The NEXT Normal  By  cover art

The NEXT Normal

By: Dave Trafford and iContact Productions
  • Summary

  • NORMAL: Characterized by what is considered usual, Typical Routine Expected It sounds safe and staid. But our NORMAL, usual, typical, expected, routine – turned Chaotic, dislocated, disorderly and out of control when COVID 19 hit us. The pandemic sent the world reeling, forcing us to shut down economies, forcing us to recalibrate our NORMAL, forcing us to confront the WHAT’S NEXT? What’s next for jobs, for education, for families and our health and well-being. This podcast ponders how we will live in this COVID era. What’s on the horizon? What should we expect? Where are the opportunities? Our hosts, Lisa Taylor, President at Challenge Factory, Dave Hardy, President, Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited, Sarah Thorne, President and CEO, Decision Partners and Ujwal Arkalgud, Chief Anthropologist & CEO, MotivBase explore "what’s next" in the NEXT NORMAL.
    2022 Dave Trafford and iContact Productions
    Show more Show less
  • Lessons learned during COVID: Creativity is Currency
    Sep 21 2021
    In this episode of The NEXT Normal, we wrap up season one with a focus on where the pandemic created bright spots. What conversations happened because of our young people? What impact did they have? How are we now facing gaps in our education systems? Our co-hosts share the positive lessons they’ve learned through the pandemic and through this series. Decision Partners President, Sarah Thorne kicks off the conversation and says there remains a lot of unanswered questions as we move forward from our pandemic experience. However, we’ve learned a lot that we can take forward through creativity, with clear purpose, and to work collaboratively to tackle the big issues.  Sarah [00:03:22] “We really need to enable and encourage system thinking because certainly the pandemic has taught us that all of these things are interconnected. Mother nature has been telling us that for years.” Lisa Taylor, President of Challenge Factory, goes deeper on a question from episode seven, ‘What do we want the future of work to look like?’. Whether we’re discussing workplaces, the environment, food security, health equity, the list goes on, it begins by having a seat at the table for everyone, facilitating dialogue- including with our grandchildren- some of the most imaginative minds available. Lisa [00:06:29] “There's a concept of, ‘Nothing for us without us.’ It starts within certain demographic groups and certain disadvantaged populations that says, don't create programs for us without including us. And we can certainly apply that to an age lens as well.” Ujwal Arkalgud, cultural anthropologist, CEO and co-founder at Motivbase, elaborates on the idea from episode 11 that we don’t need to mythbust rather we should embrace the new myths to learn better lessons. Using surfing as an analogy, he suggests leaders ride the wave of the new consumer beliefs and understanding coming out of the pandemic and use it to find a new way forward. Ujwal [00:10:15] “One of the things that we teach when we go into these organizations is to figure out what are the areas where you don't have control and one of those areas is how myths, ideas about anything and everything in culture develops. There's very little control over that. And certainly brands cannot dictate that and certainly politicians cannot dictate that. So then the question becomes, okay, so what do we do about it?” Following the thread of going with the flow, Sarah says we’re not going to solve problems of the future with solutions of the past.  Sarah [00:12:57] “I think it's the same thing with education and policy-making, we need to be thinking about, we need to put on our adaptive management brains and we need to combine it with a passion and a commitment to continuous learning because there's no check-the-box solutions.” We started season one with meaning as currency. Additionally it’s become clear that creativity is also currency as we move forward. Urban planner, Dave Hardy is President at Hardy Stevenson and Associates believes there are two very important positives that have come out of the pandemic. Dave [00:14:37] “We need to open up our minds and allow that creativity to come in. I see two areas of better coming out of COVID. One is senior care, the vulnerable care. We need to do a much better job there but COVID has shown a light on that, unfortunately. We need to do a much better job in designing our cities. We have vacant office spaces. We redesigned public spaces and places of gathering. So that has been a result of COVID as well to have forced us to think, how do we be creative and make that happen?” Ujwal suggests that no matter the subject we’re talking about there is one underlying, positive theme. [00:15:52] “I mean, the big thing that I've learned, I think just going through this series is that there is an underlying message of optimism in everything we're talking about. And I think the pandemic has actually made us more optimistic than the other way around.” Lisa believes that one of the positives that has come out COVID is zoom, and not the virtual meeting technology. [00:18:05] “...but zoom in terms of the level of focus that we put very tight up on a certain topic or very broad. And I think one of the things that we've learned going through COVID is we need to be able to [00:18:20] readjust the level of focus that we have all at the same time.” Sarah highlights that one positive lesson learned through the pandemic is the power of connection and getting to know the people in our communities. [00:20:45] “We learned, to Dave's point, to value the people in our community who are looking after us, the people who were working in healthcare, the people who were delivering food, the people that were producing food. I think that we learned about our communities. We learned about people who are vulnerable in our communities, including seniors living in their own homes who didn't have access to the...
    Show more Show less
    28 mins
  • COVID Has Created a Global Climate Experiment
    Sep 14 2021
    In this episode of The NEXT Normal, we look at the big picture of energy and environmental considerations post-pandemic with a focus on the opportunity ahead of us. What has shifted in the minds of the consumer? What are we missing? Where should we be looking next? Who is obligated to respond? Urban planner, Dave Hardy is President at Hardy Stevenson and Associates sets up the episode by stating how COVID has created a global climate science experiment. Dave [00:04:23] “Who would have thought, 18 months ago that we could say, well, what would happen to climate if we took all the cars off the road, if we removed the airplanes from the air, if half the Western workforce worked from home for 18 months? And the results that I can see from the climate scientists I follow is that there's been a global fall in carbon emissions of 21% below 2005 levels. And the ozone layer is starting to repair.” Ujwal Arkalgud is CEO and co-founder at Motivbase. As a cultural anthropologist he says the research is showing another positive that has come out of the pandemic. The distinction between good technology and bad technology and how it’s slowly becoming clearer in the mind of the consumer. The old “boogeyman” narratives are on their way out. Ujwal [00:08:03] “I'll give you one example, the realization that we can now use technology to effectively reduce our reliance on certain types of fossil fuel, especially nuclear technology, as an example, is seen in a slightly different light now because the meanings around it, as long as we talk about technological innovation, the meanings around it are very positive.” Lisa Taylor, President of Challenge Factory, says we all need to be in the sustainability game including career development and workforce strategy firms and that there are two dynamics that are pushing companies to make changes; market opportunities and the desire to highlight sustainability as a core value through certifications such as B Corp. Lisa [00:15:01] “... Core to how they operate, [companies] think about these things and they demonstrate the impact that they're having. And I think that as we look at the number of companies like ours, that are pursuing B Corp certification, or whether it's other levels of certification and qualifications, it's also transforming the work that gets done inside of the companies.” Decision Partners President, Sarah Thorne says they’ve recently completed development of engagement framework for the Army Corps of Engineers to involve people in a way that is purposeful and meaningful to them so that they contribute to solutions that address climate change. Sarah [00:19:09] “We are what we measure and what we're seeing is that corporate social responsibility is actually being replaced with more comprehensive Environmental, Social, and Governance, ESG it's called, measures. And these are really, really important because they're elevating the social measures, including stakeholder and community engagement, dialogue, co-creation. They're elevating those to the same levels as financial and climate change reporting.” Next week we’ll wrap up season one of the series with an energized conversation amongst our co-hosts on the topic of Education, Youth and Creative Empowerment. Collectively setting up the future for generations to come and confidently taking steps towards The NEXT Normal. Have comments questions or ideas for our hosts? Feel free to drop us an email at hello at StoryStudioNetwork dot com. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show! See for privacy information.
    Show more Show less
    29 mins
  • Challenging outdated career thinking
    Sep 8 2021
    In this episode of The NEXT Normal, we confront ageism – particularly in the workplace. Lisa Taylor, President at Challenge Factory debunks two myths about older workers. Whatever we call our ageing workforce, Lisa shudders when we refer to it as the “grey tsunami”. Lisa [00:03:39] The grey tsunami, my least favourite phrase for this very normal and very positive demographic trend that we are living longer. It casts such a negative light into the concept that we have added years of engagement and productivity and relationship building. It makes it seem like it's a disaster that's happening instead of a triumph.” North America’s traditional retirement age of 65 was set in 1935. It’s worth noting life expectancy in that year was 62. Today, life expectancy is closer to 83. Decision Partners President, Sarah Thorne says our collective perception of ageing assumes seniors are all vulnerable. And that’s not entirely true. Sarah [00:09:44] In times of change, times of uncertainty, what determines how seniors can respond are the social determinants of health, not age. So, we can't simply assign a number and say, this is the age where we need to retire or, as a company I used to work for called it, decelerate.” Ujwal Arkalgud is CEO and co-founder at Motivbase. As a cultural anthropologist he says we can’t just wait for or rely on policy changes. It’s up to each of us to force a shift in culture. Ujwal [00:20:40] “People themselves have to change how they think about their careers. They have to change the ideas that they have been born and brought up with. There’s a massive cultural shift that is also necessary because as long as you have people flocking to buy anti-aging products, taking Botox injections, as long as you have…these kinds of narratives…there is no one way that this is going to change.” Urban planner, Dave Hardy is President at Hardy Stevenson and Associates. Four of his recent hires are in their 70s. He says they not only bring experience and historic perspective, they bring a sense of values to the workplace. Dave [00:22:43] There's a set of values and a work ethic that's really important in the senior population that I think still needs to kind of trickle down into gen Zed, like: spelling counts when you produce something, showing up to work counts, you know, talking to your boss and not your friends count. All of these things aren’t filtered down. They need to, and that's why I hire people in their seventies.” Have comments questions or ideas for our hosts? Feel free to drop us an email at hello at StoryStudioNetwork dot com.  If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show! See for privacy information.
    Show more Show less
    27 mins

What listeners say about The NEXT Normal

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.