"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Thinking outside of the box

Thinking outside of the box is a modern, business-speak term for lateral thinking. It means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective.

'Thinking outside of the box' was voted the most disliked example of buffling (business waffling) in a survey commissioned by Ramada Encore Hotels.

These were the nation's most hated buffling terms, according to the survey:

1. Thinking outside of the box

2. Touch base

3. At the end of the day

4. Going forward

5. All of it

6. Blue sky thinking

7. Out of the box

8. Credit crunch

9. Heads up

10. Singing from the same hymn sheet

11. Pro-active

12. Downsizing

13. Ducks in a row

14. Brainstorming

15. Thought shower

16. 360º thinking

17. Flag it up

18. Pushing the envelope

19. At this moment in time

20. In the loop


  1. Oooooo! I like Blue Sky Thinking! Although my description of that word would be:
    what I do when I'm pretending to listen to something I'm not interested in!
    Probably not what they meant, right? he he.

  2. I can guess what most of the expressions mean but 'Blue Sky Thinking'??? I think Shabby Girl sounds right - I would have thought it's the sort of gazing out of the window that school children do when thewy are draming of playing out. Does anyone know what it does mean?

  3. Hubby thought it meant being overly positive in the face of catastrophe, or something along those lines.

  4. Hey,

    Being from an American business background, it means, Thinking without restraint. If there were no clouds, no obstacles, "let your mind run free, we're just doing some blue-sky thinking here."

    Really, most of these sayings have meaning and usefulness. They can also be trite and meaningless, but that's true with most words. It's mostly about sincerity and purpose, or the lack there-of.


  5. I actually like the concept of brainstorming and cannot really find a better word to describe it. I have to admit to not liking most of the rest.