5 words doomed to be big in 2012

First posted February 2012

Shortly after posting 5 words to ban in 2012 a reader pulled me up short. Rather than “ban” words, she suggested, perhaps I should name five words that will be a hit. I love a challenge, so here it is. 5 words that I predict, for good or bad, will be all the buzz in the corporate world for the next 11 months (and then end up on my banned list for next year).


It's not just phones that will be "smart" this year.

It’s not just phones that will be “smart” this year.

Smart will take the leap from gadgets to work practices.

We will be using the video capabilities of our smart phones to hold smart meetings. Our smart fridges will allow us to smart shop and our smart cars will ensure we use smart routing to get where we need to with the minimal fuss.

The word will let us feel superior: we are savvy enough to use the tools around us for increased efficiency, productivity and simplicity. Of course we will be kidding ourselves, but like most buzzwords it’s the illusion of change that matters.


Technically not a word, but a word family, -nomics will be tacked on to all kinds of “soft” factors that make up a company’s value but can’t be easily quantified. It’s a way of keeping these concepts relevant in an economy where return on investment will dominate decision making.

I’m not sure of the final wording, but as examples: brandonomics – cost vs return on brand maintenance; riskonomics – the potential capital loss vs perception as a pioneer; and trustonomics – the worth of standing by a client even when it has a negative impact the bottom line

Circle (as a verb)

Just like it’s Google + origin the business world will circle people or groups. While Google + brings people together under a common interest business circling will be around common goals.

“Let’s circle around that” will be a rallying call to get everyone onboard (a bit like circling the wagons really) and actively working together in a lovely little community to solve a problem or achieve the impossible.

Note: this will be a late bloomer, not until the end of the year.


DNA - let's leave it in the realm of genetics, not the office.

DNA – let’s leave it in the realm of genetics, not the office.

Companies will be taking a more cautious approach in 2012, focusing on consolidation rather than expansion. Strategies will centre on core business and doing more of what we do best.

Since the trend is towards seeing companies as one big organism, all working towards a common goal, the parallel will be drawn between the building blocks of the business and the building blocks of life.

If you haven’t heard it all ready, look out for phrases such as: “Caring for the customer, it’s what we do best, it’s in our DNA”, “We have built our reputation on solving client problems, it’s in our DNA”.

Dialogue (as a verb)

The business world has been holding dialogue for quite some time now, but in 2012 it will be dialoguing. And I don’t mean actually talking to each other.

Like industrialise before it, the world is being corrupted to imply a process, in this case identifying a problem, challenge, trend or need and bringing it “out in the open” as a learning experience and discussion point for improvement.

In theory it’s a “no blame” approach but realistically it’s just a polite way of forcing people to own up to their mistakes and move on.

You might like my earlier posts:


Posted in Better content, Content strategy, Things to avoid, Workplace communication Tagged with: ,

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