12 Culture Trends Business Leaders Should Prepare For This Year - Rolling Stone
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12 Culture Trends Business Leaders Should Prepare for This Year

Leaders in every industry can expect to be affected by these changes.

Images courtesy of the members.

Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

No matter what niche your business occupies, chances are you were impacted by the drastic changes to our collective culture last year. 

To share some insight into what business leaders might expect from this year, Rolling Stone Culture Council members discuss the inevitable trends they predict leaders across many industries will need to prepare for in order to stay successful in 2021.

People Becoming Their Own Champions

We will all have to be the masters of our own fates. Big business and big government have proven incapable of helping us deal with pandemics or economic downturns. It’s in our hands, so enable people to become their own champions. – Codie Sanchez, Contrarian Thinking

A Mass Habit Reformation

With a massive disruption to daily routines, things that people did due to a force of habit are going to be disrupted. This is going to allow for a period of mass habit reforming for large swaths of people. Innovative brands, companies and products can benefit at the expense of larger players who benefited from habitual behavior prior to this. – Devin Emery, CuriosityStream

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Greater Adoption of Remote Work Policies

I believe the trend has already started: Remote work isn’t going away. We’re going to see many companies that we didn’t expect move into a remote-first model. Leaders need to be thinking about how they’re going to communicate with teams at scale and what tools may be helpful. To get the best employees, companies are going to need to be flexible moving forward. It’s an exciting time. – Kyle Sherman, Flowhub

An Accelerated Digital Transition

Lockdowns and social distancing have resulted in an acceleration in the ongoing transition to digital (livestreaming music, for example, or working from home). That presents a lot of opportunity because behaviour is changing. The key challenge is to come up with business models that can thrive in this new world and don’t just transpose the old way of doing things online. – Phil Barry, Blokur

Online Shopping Becoming the New Normal

E-commerce just got accelerated 10 years in the space of six months. With the acceleration of e-commerce adoption, a whole new segment of customers will now find this to be the new normal of shopping. – Fan Bi, Blank Label

A Hybrid of In-Person and Remote Work

The new way of working will be a hybrid of in-person and remote work. The winners in this changing world will be the ones who understand how to blend the two best! – AJ Vaynerchuk, VaynerSports

Mandatory Involvement With Diversity

I predict there will be mandatory involvement with diversity in race, gender, sexuality and disability. Leaders must see through the eyes of their team members who are underrepresented in order to understand these perspectives. I am part of the LGBTQ+ community, a PoC and have a disability, and I finally feel comfortable coming forward with these perspectives. – Meg He, ADAY

More Discussions Around Mental Health

Public discourse around mental health and mental illness will explode in 2021. This is an issue that has been front and center for so many Americans during the pandemic. – Alex Lieberman, Morning Brew

An Attempt to Build Employee-to-Company Connections Digitally

Remote work seems to be inevitable, and keeping our employees connected not only in the form of communication but also in personal relationships will definitely be the hard part. I feel people are more productive when they feel that connection or relationship with their company, and recreating that in a remote environment will be tricky. – Blake Beshore, Small Batch Foods

An Increase in Small-Group In-Person Gatherings

There is no substitute for in-person human interaction. Small-group social gatherings will multiply in number and be more influential in purchasing and consumption trends than large-group digital gatherings. – Luke Anderson, Cann

An Uptick in Direct-to-Consumer Models

After 2020 we learned that in-person physical meetings are not as important as we once thought they were for business. They’re still important, but a lot of time and travel can be saved by scheduling back-to-back Zoom meetings throughout the day. This past year I saw a lot of brands turn their businesses into direct-to-consumer models. We’re going to see a lot more of this in 2021. D2C structures are the future of e-commerce. – Mark Shami, The M Jewelers

Further Legalization of Cannabis

Covid-19 has created holes in the budgets of most states. I believe that the recent legalization of adult-use of recreational cannabis in Arizona and New Jersey will create a legalization domino effect. – Jason Wild, JW Asset Management

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