What cool means today

💡 The Big Idea

In 2020, it’s cool to care. And the changing nature of cool is affecting what shoppers buy, who they follow, and how companies behave.

Here’s the TLDR to our field guide on the new meaning of cool.

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Author: Quartz Staff

Your company needs a shadow board of young, non-executive talent

If there’s anything this year has taught us, it is to expect the unexpected. It’ll be the maxim heard in every boardroom and executive-level meeting for the foreseeable future.

The two great inflection points of the year—the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement—have already upended the status quo and forced businesses to change their operations, their communications, and their diversity, equity, and inclusivity policies. Some moved fast, responding almost immediately in ways that were relevant to their customers and their employees. Others either lagged behind, missed the mark, or, particularly in response to the BLM movement, were paralyzed by indecision for fear of getting it wrong.

These crises have highlighted that, as business leaders, we were ill-prepared for sudden change. Uncertainties rendered us vulnerable. And the financial, social, and psychological fallout has been punishing, with companies like Hertz and J.Crew filing for bankruptcy due to the pandemic.

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Author: Rebecca Robins