ExtensionEngine Blog

The Most Important Word in Hebrew

by omarkus

With today's global workforce, cultural differences in the workplace can be a challenge. Words or gestures can mean different things to different people, certain things are more or less appropriate to do, and even tone and style can make a big impact. And not surprisingly, the highest performing teams are the ones with high heterogeneity which results in a sort of unique "gumbo" of social norms.

Part of my contribution to the ExtensionEngine culture is an infusion of some of Israeli culture. We joke that every person needs to learn "the most important word" in Hebrew. The word is Tachless (pronounced takh'les), which means, the essence, the bottom line, the brass tacks.

In prior companies, we would use this in the context of sales to say "get the deal done" or "show me the money", but the common use of the word in everyday Hebrew is much more positive and constructive. "Speaking 'tachless'" means speaking to the point - delivering a clear and unambiguous message. Saying "In tachless" means "the essence is". In recent years (as a part of a slang trend), Israelis even started saying "tachless" as a stand alone word, meaning "I completely agree with what you just said, you spoke to the point!".

This 'tachless' approach is something I promote every day at ExtensionEngine. I'd like to think it's my unique Israeli infusion to ExtensionEngine's culture, but I was happy to discover that my colleagues already share a similar very direct culture and approach (though perhaps a more gentle version of it!).

That cultural difference actually helps improve the products we build and the service we provide. Figuring out what's important and what's not, and focusing on the essence, is what organizations in general, and software companies in particular, need to be better at. Tachless.