Five Business Trends

14 January 2019

Let’s Get Real in Business

Boldness, agility, mindfulness, authenticity… Which trends will influence and distinguish the leaders of tomorrow and their teams? Marie-Josée Gagnon, founder and president of Casacom, takes a look at the wave expected to swoop in during 2019 and 2020.

#1 Activism: Now present on a larger scale

Activism is no longer reserved for individuals, it is now a part of large organizations. More and more companies are getting involved publically.

“In the era where channels of communication are multiplying, organizations must position themselves and even set themselves apart”, says Marie-Josée Gagnon. Peter Simons, from the large Quebec-based retail chain is a great example: he has increased his public appearances to fight against wage inequality, and to support local industries against American web-based retailers such as Amazon.”

Concrete, bold, and visible actions in regards to environmental protection will multiply in 2019-2020, reports the public relations expert. “And I’m not talking about small efforts like banning plastic straws, I’m talking about more important actions that will influence the customer’s choice, for example, choosing go to one supermarket chain rather than another.”


#2 The employee takes precedence

In 2019-2020, employees will become more important than clients, predicts Marie-Josée Gagnon. “I can confirm this particularly when it comes to communication. Leaders will make more of an effort to communicate with their employees, just as they do with their clients. There will be more quality content created internally. Therefore, employees not only become more important, they actually come first. The stronger the employees, the stronger the company!”

#3 Mindfulness

Becoming more conscious and attentive here and now. One of the main objectives of mindfulness, a practice that is becoming more attractive to the business world. Certain people naturally have the capacity to practice mindfulness on a daily basis, and others aspire to develop it by practicing meditation during, or outside of work hours. “Mindful leadership is great, but a mindful company is even better,” declares Mrs. Gagnon. “All of our employees are trained by a mindfulness coach. Consequently, we develop a similar language, signals, and behaviours.”


#4 A reminder to be authentic

Even though authenticity has been talked about in the business world for the last 10 years, it seems that it is still a trending topic that inspires leaders and advertisers. But, can we learn to be authentic? “I think we can work on being more authentic”, she affirms. “Certain people have created a work persona so they can act differently than who they truly are.”

That’s what Valérie Plante’s message was during a BRAVE interview. “When she announced the tax increase the first year of her term, she did it in a disembodied way and felt uncomfortable during the days that followed. She swore that she would never be influenced to do that again and she vowed to always remain true to herself, even through adversity.” Being authentic, is also accepting one’s vulnerability and mistakes. “We can’t force someone to be authentic”, adds Mrs. Gagnon. That’s part of a person’s own psychological path.”

#5 Having the COURAGE to be yourself

“Courageous”. A word often used to describe the person who always acts in perfect coherence and transparency with their true self, with their values. “I realize how many people aspire to develop this quality”, says Marie-Josée Gagnon. “As a leader or employee, we are often faced with decisions that go against our values and we must act with courage in order to maintain our integrity.” To do this, the individual has to be ready to have courageous conversations”, adds the creator and host of BRAVE, a unique series featuring interviews with women who “dare to be brave”. “Imagine a world where the most powerful leaders (prime ministers, deputy ministers) act with courage to achieve their goals. Wouldn’t that impact a world currently affected by major issues such as climate change, to name one!”

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Marie-Josée Gagnon

Founder and president of Casacom

Sources of inspiration: Everything! All humans, all content.
Your mentor: My friend, Nancy Trites Botkin.
Your leadership style: Amplify potential
Your go-to tool: My earphones to listen to podcasts


Founded: 2001
Head office: Montreal
Number of employees: 25
Annual revenue: 3,6 M
Services offered: Public relations and integrated communications

About the author

Mélissa Proulx

About Mélissa Proulx


Mélissa Proulx is a journalist, news contributor, and copywriter. Passion and creativity have been driving her to create rich and diverse journalistic content since 2002.