Updated: May 5, 2020
The expression 'mover and shaker' caught my attention when the term was used in a documentary describing a self-idolising narcissist. At first, I thought this is an odd application for this expression. However, in the context that the individual saw himself as a self-made leader, it made some sense. Till today I associated the expression to business and it is best described as individuals with a lot of energy, powerful, who initiate change and influence events. Without any prior knowledge to the origin of the expression I thought it was a modern term. But wrong. Surprisingly, it was first used in a poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessy in 1874, called Ode. It did become more commonly used during the 20th century and now is well-established.
Thinking about the words separately, a shaker could be a musical instrument, referring to a "Quaker, a religious believer", a pepper and salt or cocktail shaker. A mover less ambiguous is moving goods, from spare parts, office supplies or your furniture. The metaphor is strong. I literally envisage that a mover and shaker would shake their ideas and with the right amount of intuition choose one. If the idea is a bit outrageous or very creative, it requires a strong belief in the final goal and strategy to bring it to market or implement a process change.
A good example I encountered is the success of the "Kinder egg" or Ovetti Kinder" an Italian invention of Nutella's owner Ferrero, who did explain that in 1967 when he introduced his idea to produce a daily chocolate egg, deviating from the yearly Easter egg tradition, even his closest family and advisors thought it was a step too far. The seed was sawn after he had visited Germany, where he had realised that they ate chocolate every day and not only with Easter. Hence the product was developed and produced first in Germany and branded "Kinder", which is the German word for children. Of course, the whole concept with the toy encapsulated in the egg is still successful even more than 40 years later.
Clearly out of the box thinking and brainstorming can lead to great things, as long as there is also strong leadership implementing those ideas.
Movers and shakers, or shakers and movers, the expression used interchangeable, are essential to any business. Learn Business English with Marleen @Englishafirenze.com #English #Englishteacher #BusinessEnglish
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