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In a year like 2020, it is likely we have become professional reactors. Between COVID-19 and the uncertainties of the election, leaders and managers have jumped from fire to fire, putting out the blaze that has been this year. In response to that level of crisis management, organizations large and small have now learned the true meaning behind being lean and agile. However, despite these skills, we must not forget to learn from the cards that were dealt to us in 2020. The goal in any organization should be to learn to move beyond being reactionary and agile, and into being anticipatory and proactive.

The reasoning behind encouraging companies to become Anticipatory Organizations is that even after this pandemic ends and we move into the future, digital disruptions will continue to transform all industries, and those same feelings of uncertainty that we all faced in 2020 will resurface in new ways. Wouldn’t you like to be in front of them this time?

Anticipation Is the New Competency

To thrive in both the post-pandemic “new normal” and the future of digital disruptions and growing uncertainty, we must learn how to accurately anticipate the future—a new competency for many. That may seem unrealistic, as if I am encouraging you to learn how to predict the future, but it is not. The future is there for you to see when you know where and how to look for it.

This skillset is one of anticipation, where a leader or entire organization pays attention to Hard Trends—or future certainties that they know will happen and cannot be changed—and uses them to pre-solve problems those certainties are bringing their way. Hard Trends are based on measurable, tangible, and fully predictable facts, events, or objects.

Conversely, I have developed a way of separating those Hard Trends from their counterparts known as Soft Trends. Soft Trends are future maybes that are open to influence, allowing a leader or organization to transform their future.

Understanding and analyzing the differences between Hard Trends and Soft Trends allows us to know which parts of the future we can be right about, making that aforementioned competency seem less like fortune-telling and more like preparation for what is to come.

Linear and Cyclical Changes

Employees of an Anticipatory Organization also realize that in addition to analyzing trends, there are ways to differentiate between types of change as well. There are two types of change that occur in the world: linear change and cyclical change.

Linear change happens once and transforms products, services, or entire industries, such as what we saw with the Internet boom of the late nineties and other forms of digital disruption. Cyclical change is one that occurs in a cycle, such as the seasons we go through every year, the election in the United States happening every four years, and even that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

Understanding these two types of changes is an integral part of being an Anticipatory Organization going forward, especially after this pandemic. COVID-19 was a linear change; it transformed the way we do business and, in some ways, accelerated other transformations that were likely headed our way regardless of the economic shutdown we faced early on in the year.

Cyclical changes allow us to accurately foresee problems years before they happen. Not only did this year bring a linear change like COVID-19, we already knew the election was happening, which often brings with it its own level of disruptions. Now in four more years, another election will happen, so what will Anticipatory Organizations do to prepare for what may change during that one?

Likewise, while we can’t predict when linear changes may happen as easily as cyclical changes, we should have learned from them and know how to identify one and anticipate what problems may come with them.

Science of Certainty

Separating Hard Trends from Soft Trends and understanding both linear and cyclical change allows you to accurately define certainties going forward.

In reference to cloud computing, we know that is a linear change that has transformed how we do business both before and after COVID-19, and we can be certain that we are not going to discontinue using cloud computing, especially with the increase in connectivity with 5G.

So why is this so important to businesses, especially after a year like we have experienced? The answer is simple: strategy based on certainty has low risk, while strategy based on uncertainty has high risk. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the competitive advantage in the event something as profound as a global pandemic and a nationwide lockdown happens again?

To succeed in business in the coming years, being lean, agile, and reactionary is counterproductive. Anticipation is key, and is a competency that has been missing for decades. Don’t look at 2020 like a year to forget; think of it as the year we all learned to master this missing competency and to be prepared for the future!

Posted On Wednesday, 30 December 2020 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Friday, 25 December 2020 00:00 Written by

 Whitney CurryAs Pacaso CMO, Whitney is responsible for driving demand, building brand and creating exceptional customer experiences online and offline. She launched her career at Zillow as the startup’s first intern. Throughout her 12-year tenure, she held leadership positions in marketing and PR, and played a key role in growing the brand into a household name. Whitney is passionate about bringing the voice of the customer into daily decision-making. Prior to Pacaso, Whitney co-founded Kingston Marketing Group, a Seattle-based marketing agency. 

Posted On Friday, 25 December 2020 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 21 December 2020 16:29 Written by

 Cleve002Cleve Gaddis is a Master Coach, speaker, and trainer with Workman Success Systems who works with some of America's most-profitable teams. He specializes in helping family-owned brokerages and teams navigate the challenges unique to family businesses. Cleve hosts "Your Move Atlanta," a weekly radio show on 640 AM, a Fox News station on iHeartRadio.  He learned to sales the hard way, by selling vacuum cleaners door to door.  To have Cleve speak live to your company, team, or group, connect with him at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Posted On Wednesday, 23 December 2020 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 20 December 2020 05:23 Written by

For some, the post-coronavirus “new normal” is a frightening concept that rattles their status quo, while others are taking this moment to seize new opportunities afforded to us by a global disruption, as COVID-19 has proven to be. The fact of the matter is that aforementioned opportunity is available to all of us, whether our “new normal” is unbearably difficult or extremely simple.

You may be asking yourself: How is that possible?

The key in leveraging this worldwide disruptive and still unpredictable virus to your benefit is to implement my Anticipatory Organization Model, where business leaders identify Hard Trends and Soft Trends, differentiate between the two, and use them to pre-solve the new problems headed our way in the “new normal.”

New Opportunity Puts Significance Over Success

Even at the start of COVID-19, new opportunities were all around us. We must make sure that we have our opportunity antenna up at all times, and more importantly, we must understand what these new opportunities are.

Something to consider about these new opportunities emerging throughout the ups and downs of this pandemic is that their focus has fully shifted to one of significance, so in order for you to capitalize on them, you and your organization must shift your focus from one of status quo success to one of significance.

If you feel this concept to be a bit over your head, let me break it down for you with an example.

Concert Venues Gone Dark

A focus on success over significance is a focus solely on your bottom line, which is rather limiting.

Let’s suppose your business is an indoor concert venue. This is something directly impacted by the global pandemic, as touring musicians have been halted completely. Your focus, as was that of any brick-and-mortar business at the start of 2020, has predominantly been on saving money as your income was and possibly still is completely cut off. Perhaps to preserve much of your dwindling bottom line, you decide to lay off most of your staff.

However, a Hard Trend – or future certainty – of the first wave of the coronavirus was that we would flatten the curve and move into the “new normal” we now find ourselves in, allowing many brick-and-mortar businesses to reopen. While you can now open your concert venue, you still cannot let a mass amount of people in for a live vent.

However, you do have a professional stage, professional lighting and sound, and even professional videographers. A shift to significance in this “new normal” would be renting out your venue to keynote speakers or other small events needing to go virtual in a more professional setting than, say, the individual’s home office or living room.

This shift from success to significance will bring more to the bottom line, and, as perhaps lesser known, more local musicians who are more heavily impacted by the coronavirus need a way to make a living. You could rent them your facility and make it their home base for a “virtual tour,” where they sell tickets online and you merely take a small fee for the use of your facility.

Pre-Solve Problems With Innovative Solutions

Of course, with every opportunity comes pushback from those who are attempting to preserve their status quo.

Many brick-and-mortar businesses crunch the numbers of their operating costs and feel that pivoting during this “new normal” is too costly. But truth be told, in relation to becoming anticipatory, they are actually halfway there!

By taking tally as to what can go wrong or prove to be a seemingly insurmountable obstacle in their pivoting process, they are implementing the very Hard Trend Methodology mentioned above. Noting that operating costs would be something to consider as a potentially large concert venue is said concert venue identifying the future problems that could pose an issue to its adjustment to the “new normal.”

Identifying these potential problems allows you to solve them before any one of them becomes a problem.

The “New Normal” Is Anything but Normal

When we say the words “new normal,” we should really ask: What exactly does “normal” mean? The phrase as a whole means “normal” won’t be normal compared to the way we all used to operate, but that does not mean that there aren’t amazing opportunities.

Many put their hope in the new vaccine as if it is some instant fix, but I often tell them that “hope” is not a strategy. You need a real, concrete strategy to navigate what is to come, and becoming an Anticipatory Leader, which identifies Hard Trends and Soft Trends as a way to pre-solve problems before they occur, is most definitely a way to shift from significance to success and ultimately become more recession-proof as an organization.

Posted On Wednesday, 23 December 2020 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Monday, 21 December 2020 00:00 Written by

Twas the week before Christmas,

And despite what the media has said;

Purchase loans and refinance activity,

Are far from dead!

Buyers are still making offers,

On homes both large and small.

Despite their faulty belief,

That all of the shopping is done at the mall!

So don’t pay attention,

To those who would say otherwise.

Mortgage loan volume,

Still continue to set new highs!

While this year has been unlike,

Any other we have seen.

The desire to own and refinance,

Are still picking up steam!

I will leave you with good tidings,

As a coach to some of the best;

Don’t miss out on opportunities available,

While others party and rest!

There are renters wanting to own,

Trade-uppers looking to sell and buy;

And let us not forget those,

Who have yet to Refi!

Enjoy some time with your family,

Make sure to have some well-deserved fun;

But it will serve you well to remember,

To take your momentum with you into 2021!

Posted On Monday, 21 December 2020 00:00 Written by
Posted On Friday, 18 December 2020 00:00 Written by

Photo Greg JugglingBooks copyGreg Godek

Sure, you could buy some roses.
Yes, you could cook an elegant romantic dinner.
Of course, you could give a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

But sometimes you want to do more than that. Sometimes you want to show just how much you really care, how much passion you really feel, and how much more your partner means to you than absolutely anything else.

Packed with unique suggestions, easy gestures, and thoughtful gift ideas, 1001 Ways to Be Romantic is a romance kit “worth memorizing” (Boston Herald). It’s a must-have for anyone, in any relationship (whether dating, engaged, or married for 50+ years!) who wants to spark some more love in their lives.


Karyn Buxman headshot 4 copyKaryn Buxman is a TEDx speaker, successful author, brain-based high-performance coach—and a neurohumorist (she lives at the intersection of humor and the brain.) As The Global Expert in Strategic Humor for Business Karyn helps high performers go from great to world class. From the Mayo Clinic to the Million Dollar Round Table, organizations around the world hire Karyn to educate, inspire, and entertain their audiences again and again. She’s one of 254 people (and only 53 women) in the world to be inducted into the National Speakers Association's Speaker Hall of Fame. Her latest book, Funny Means Money: Strategic Humor for Influence & World Domination will be published by ForbesBooks in 2021. Karyn is serious about humor!

Posted On Friday, 18 December 2020 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 17 December 2020 08:41 Written by
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