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Forward thinking is backwards babble

I’ve not blogged for a while, so should probably get back into it. Since we last spoke online there have been some changes. I’m now the editor of CN. That’s about it, actually.

Anyway, I’ve come before you today to complain about the term ‘forward-thinking’.

As you can imagine, I receive a lot of self-congratulatory nonsense, or sycophantic drivel from people who, it seems, will do or say anything to climb the greasy pole.

Therein lies the problem: words, all of them, even these, no longer mean anything.

Did you know, for example, that every venue in the UK is the ‘leading’ one? My reporter Stuart Wood recently picked up on this and I implore you to read his blog on the matter when he gets around to publishing it. No metric is cited for such claims, it's just words.

Pish, there is no leading venue. All venue is venue.

I could say I’m the best editor in the UK, but I know full well this is not the case. I have the emails to prove it.

The thing is, though, that if words are just used without really thinking about what they mean then they lose purpose. Calling Donald Trump a ‘Nazi’, for example, understates the true barbarity of what the actual Nazis did during the Second World War. ‘Nincompoop’ would be better, or ‘thin-skinned man-child’. And why compare Jeremy Corbyn to Lenin? He’s a pound shop Ramsay MacDonald at best.

Anyway, back to ‘forward-thinking’.

I meet lots of people who are billed as such, but I genuinely don’t understand what that means. So far as I can tell, ‘forward-thinking’ means ‘taking a punt’.

Everyone who runs a business, or is involved in decision-making, should always be planning for the future. It’s called a business strategy, and it’s a common gig among businesses.

‘Forward-thinking’ is a holier-than-thou buzzword(s), where people think things like diversity, equality and whatever else are new, quirky ideas, reserved only for dynamic, forward-thinking businesses.

It’s not, it’s just a stupid phrase used by people who aren’t able to articulate a real, positive reason to stand out.

Diversity, equality, corporate social responsibility, and inclusiveness are all good things and should be part of every organisation’s business plan. It's not 'forward-thinking', it's 'standard-thinking'.

The next time you meet someone who describes themselves as ‘forward-thinking’, stop them, and ask what it is they’re actually thinking about, and how far forward they are with it. I bet they’re well behind. So tell them to wind their neck in.