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HR Capitalist Definitions: "Battlefield Promotion"

Business slang - it's everywhere.  Sometimes you need an interpreter, someone to tell you not to drink the tap water, etc.  I'm here to help, at least on the talent side.  Let's start with the business slang term "Battlefield Promotion":

Formal definition of Battlefield Promotion - An advancement in rank within the military that occurs generally while deployed in combat, often after an injury or death of another soldier in battle.Patton

Business definition of Battlefield Promotion - An advancement in rank in the business world that generally occurs when an incumbent leaves, and the company in question makes a quick decision to promote from within so they don't miss a beat in operations.

What people really mean in the business world when they use the term "Battlefield Promotion" to describe the situations of the newly promoted - They're not sure whether the person just promoted has the chops to do the job, and they're pretty sure that if the company opened up the search to outside candidates, there's no way the person just promoted would get the job.  Use of the phrase in the business world underscores this skepticism, with the following usage:

"John just left ACME.  Looks like Jen is going to get a Battlefield Promotion".

"Ann just got a Battlefield Promotion over at IBM Global.  Hope she can get it done, it's going to be tough"

Listen closely, and you can hear the codewords around you.  If you hear the term "Battlefield Promotion", it's code for "I'm not sure this person is up to that job."

Which is not to say the person doesn't get it done.  They often do, it's just a term that illustrates the back biting nature of the human condition.



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