It had to be one of Business Week’s shortest pieces ever. Under the caption The Year in Six Words: Normal, Jobs, Stuck, Currency, Spills, and Gaga say all that needs to be said about 2010.

Of course, the article came with a slide show sharing insights as to why these six were the business mag’s picks, and it’s pretty good.

While thinking about the over-arching issues of 2010, I thought these picks made sense. It got me thinking about which six words would best sum up business in 2010.

Hmmmm. How about shifts, caution, thrift, social, content, and relationships?

  • Shifts: Business has definitely made a lot of changes in response to the economy and slow sales figures, from putting off major expenditures to streamlining operations and supply chains. Consumers have shifted the way they make purchase decisions, opting for more value.

  • Caution: As in proceeding slowly, cautiously and with more deliberation before making major decisions. The carefree attitude of the recent past gone.

  • Thrift: Paying down debt and paying with cash on hand---not spending beyond the cash on hand.

  • Social: As in evolving media; how to use it to connect business with target customers and people in general with each other. A renewed focus on what matters.

  • Content: Forget selling products or services. The focus is on selling expertise, knowledge, and who we are first. The rest falls into place if the content strategy is well executed.

  • Relationships: Connecting and reconnecting using multiple media platforms to stay in touch to share what’s meaningful.

Do you agree with my six or do you have your own six? I’d love to hear what they are.

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image of Ted Mininni

Ted Mininni is president and creative director of Design Force, a leading brand-design consultancy.

LinkedIn: Ted Mininni