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Cheryl  Cran

Cheryl Cran

Future of Work & Change Leadership Expert


Cheryl Cran is the founder of NextMapping/NextMapping.com and the CEO of parent company Synthesis at Work Inc. Recognized as the #1 Future of Work influencer by Onalytica and GoCatalant placed her in the top ten future of work influencers, she is the author of 10 books including NextMapping — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Create the Future of Work. Read More >

Other book titles include The Art of Change Leadership — Driving Transformation In a Fast Paced-World (Wiley 2015), 101 Ways to Make Generations X, Y and Zoomers Happy at  Work (2010) and other books on the ultimate leadership skills needed to be future of work ready. Her new book, called Super Crucial Human - The Next Needs You!, is focused on why the future requires MORE people not less and that the continued worker shortage means we will need more people to be skilled and ready to take on fast pace change. The book is also focused on how we all need to be ‘better humans’ in order to create the next renaissance we are about to enter.

Cheryl’s future of work thought leadership has been featured in publications such as Huff Post, Forbes, IABC Magazine, Fast Company, Inc Magazine, Law Magazine, Metro New York, Entrepreneur Magazine, Readers Digest, CBS Online, NBC Online, Fox Online and more. 

For over two decades Cheryl has built a reputation for delivering extraordinary value to clients that include Amazon, Upwork, State Farm, Astra Zeneca, TD Bank, Bank of America, Manulife, Nationwide, Freelancer, as well as mid-sized companies and entrepreneurs in industries that include technology, health, agriculture, finance, insurance and more.

NextMapping was developed as a proprietary business solution brand that encompasses all of Cheryl’s work and research on the future of work and the leadership needed to navigate change in the workplace. It’s time to not just hear about the future but to use NextMapping to get there! Her new podcast is titled, “NextNow” and is a weekly podcast on future of being human, future of work and future of ‘all’ things including social change, leadership change and more. 

Technology in the workplace must be used to prepare for the future with a focus on how technology can enhance outcomes for people.

The common theme of all of Cheryl’s life’s work is a ‘people first’ and digital second approach to create a more human future, helping companies to build the leadership capacity needed to ‘change the world through business.’ Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Speaking Reel

2023 Workplace Trends For Leaders - NextNow Podcast Episode 28

Change Leadership To Create Future of Work -NextNow Podcast With Cheryl Cran - Episode 25

Speech Topics

The Future is Human - How Being a Better Human Is the Key to Future of Work

This keynote is based on Cheryl’s new book, Super. Crucial. Human. and focuses on the concept that now and in the future ‘everyone is a leader’ and with that everyone needs to be a better human. Read More >

Research has confirmed that not only are we in a workers market, we are going to need MORE people now and into the future even with the rise of automation, AI and robotics.

What we need is people who have crucial human skills—skills that go beyond the basics when it comes to compassion, creativity, communication and collaboration.

This keynote will inspire and elevate the mindsets of audience members to embrace that being human means we have infinite possibilities to evolve and to adapt at the speed of change.

In this keynote attendees will learn: Read Less ^

  • Research on the social trends that are driving the urgent need for everyone to develop ‘crucial human skills’
  • How to reframe challenges, setbacks and disruptions into elevated opportunities to evolve and grow
  • The 4 C’s of being a super crucial human – next level skills of compassion, creativity, conscious communication and collaboration
  • Why LQ (love quotient) is even MORE important than EQ (emotional intelligence) and how to apply it in both life and work
  • How to leverage the ‘me to we’ mindset model to increase collaboration in a hybrid workplace reality
  • Actionable models and strategic ideas on how to elevate crucial human skills and apply in real time in life and work for accelerated success in all relationships

Think Like a Futurist - How to Leverage Trends & Patterns to Create What’s Next

We collectively have been through more change in the past few years than we have in the previous decade. The future needs leaders with energy, stamina and increased ability to inspire and engage teams in the hybrid workplace. Read More >

The future needs more leaders to think like a futurist – anticipate change and to be aware of the trends and patterns at play that are impacting the fast-changing workplace dynamics.

Many leaders can get caught in the cycle putting out fires or focusing on tasks and have less time to vision, focus and plan for what’s next.

This keynote will inspire leaders to think like a futurist and to look for patterns and leverage trends in order to increase energy, innovate and collaborate at the speed of change.

In this keynote attendees will learn: Read Less ^

  • Research on the ‘workers market’ and what that means for leaders today and in the future
  • How to reframe change as something we can ‘lead’ rather than something we ‘manage’
  • The social trends and patterns that are impacting the way leaders need to lead now and in the future
  • A model on how to think like a futurist that minimizes stress and increases ‘flow’ in life and work
  • Actionable ideas on how to apply ‘futurist thinking’ to your daily interactions as a leader

The Future of Hybrid Teams

Hybrid teams are here to stay, research shows that virtual work and WFA (work from anywhere) is going to increase. Read More >

Leaders and teams have been navigating this new reality throughout the pandemic. The future requires leaders and teams to be able to successfully navigate the nuances of a hybrid workplace reality.

There is a continued shortage of workers and we are firmly in a workers market. This means that it's a new world of work. Leaders are leading in unprecedented times and all workers are asking themselves big questions about what it means to work, and how they want to work in the future.

In this keynote attendees will learn: Read Less ^

  • Future of ‘all things’ research that reveals the social trends impacting the future of work
  • Insights into the trends that are shaping what the now and future workplace
  • How to leverage patterns in human behavior to increase team synergy in a hybrid workplace
  • Key strategies on how to communicate and collaborate in a virtual team environment
  • New ways to engage teams in a hybrid culture
  • The ‘future ready’ skills that ALL workers need to develop to increase agility and adaptability
  • How to use the ‘adaptability scale’ to see where you are and how you can ’ self-coach’ to greater flexibility
  • Actionable takeaways that can be applied right away in your everyday work and life

Navigating What’s Next in a Post Covid-19 Reality

No one predicted that a global pandemic in 2020 would upend the entire way we work and live. What WAS predicted by futurists was a remote work reality, an automated reality and a new way of leading in the future of work. The best way to predict the future is to focus on the now and look at patterns to look at ‘what’s next’. There is no going back to ’normal’ there is only preparing for and creating the future. Read More >

In this virtual keynote you will learn:  Read Less ^

  • A look into the future and ’next normal’ of work including hybrid work set ups
  • Case studies of companies who are shifting to ‘virtual’ workplace as their new normal
  • A model on how leaders and teams can change and adapt quickly to ongoing disruption and change
  • The top 5 skills needed by leaders and teams to increase agility and adaptability
  • How to leverage technology to maximize team communication and performance
  • How to use the PREDICT model to navigate what’s next for your business and industry

Leading Change In a Post Covid-19 Future - How To Deal With People Challenges in a Work From Home Reality

The pandemic has accelerated future of work realities such as increased work from home workers and the inherent challenges that come with remote work.  In the past workplace culture was handled based on in-person conversations, performance was measured on metrics as well as on team interactions. Now and into the future workplace culture is about remote and how to engage with remote workers and how to succeed in remote teams. In the past few months, our surveys have found that leaders are struggling with how to lead, engage and manage performance of their WFH workers.

Leading Virtual Teams In A Fast Changing Workplace

In 2020 companies rapidly pivot and adjust to the major disruption of the pandemic. Leaders have had to quickly shift their teams to work virtually and this quick shift has created challenges that include keeping teams engaged and productive. Read More >

In this virtual keynote you will learn:  Read Less ^

  • The new hybrid future of work reality and what it means for business
  • How leaders can increase team culture in a virtual team/ in office team reality
  • How to increase team motivation with half the teams working remotely
  • A change leadership model to help leaders coach their teams to greater productivity
  • How to leverage video/collaboration tools to increase team collaboration

The Future Is Now - How Remote Work Is Here To Stay and What To Do To Succeed In The Future

By the year 2020, 50% of the workforce would be working remotely. No one would have ever predicted that a global pandemic would make that particular prediction a reality. Workers have been looking for companies to offer remote work and it has been a key element for talent to decide which companies to work for. Leaders have been adapting to the remote work reality albeit some industries have been faster at remote work adoption than others. The reality is that the ’next normal’ is here to stay and that includes remote work. Read More >

Attendees will leave this session with: Read Less ^

  • Research and data on remote work and the numbers of companies who have a remote work strategy
  • Case studies of companies who have mastered the remote work dynamic
  • Strategies on who to align remote work strategy with worker engagement and retention
  • Ideas on how to compete in business with a remote work strategy
  • Tips and tricks on how to help leaders inspire remote workers and lead them to high performance
  • Insights on how remote workers can set up their environments for greater success
  • How to integrate remote work strategy into future planning of the business

The Future of Work is Now – Are You Ready?

This keynote will provide researched global business insights, thought provoking, creative, leading edge ideas and strategies on how leaders can take immediate action to increase team buy in, adaptability and execution NOW as we head towards 2020. Read More >

Attendees will leave this session with: Read Less ^

  • A look at the trends and technologies shaping the future workplace today
  • Ideas for leaders and their teams to adapt their personality style and leadership style to the evolving workplace
  • Tools to use to and the “how” to successfully engage the multiple generations in the workplace
  • Insights into how leaders need to adapt to the ever-changing reality of worker attitudes and shifting attitudes on loyalty, job satisfaction and how work is done.
  • Case studies and examples of progressive companies that are on the cutting edge of creating innovative workplaces and creating the template for the workplace of the future
  • Strategies on how to get everyone on board with the overall vision, build excitement for the company’s direction and create commitment and buy-in to taking action today and for the future

The Future of Leadership

Never before have workplaces had so much ambiguity, uncertainty and constant change. Workers are challenged with doing more with less, learning at the speed of disruption and working with diverse situations. There is a massive opportunity for leaders to create the future for themselves and their teams. With the increase of digital transformation there is a calling for leaders to be connected, empathetic and inspiring for their teams. Read More >

In this keynote leaders will learn:

  • The most recent and up to date research on the future workplace and what it means for leaders today
  • Statistics and sentiment analysis on worker attitudes and what workers want today and in the future from their leaders
  • Leadership models on the ‘me to we’ mindset and mapping the future of the leadership journey
  • Tips and strategies on how to leverage leadership mastery to increase the attraction and retention of top talent
  • Inspiring ideas that can be put into immediate action to increase employee motivation and engagement
  • Practical daily actions to help leaders feel energized and to help their teams to be inspired and excited to create the future of work 

Cheryl Cran future of work expert and founder of NextMapping shares inspiring, uplifting and practical ideas for leaders to be future ready now! Read Less ^

Lead Change In a Fast Paced & Technological Workplace

This change leadership keynote is for everyone because “everyone is a leader!” Read More >

Everyone in the workplace is working in times of intense technological innovation and dealing with ongoing change.

The key is how to inspire and engage everyone to be ‘leaders of change’ and to dynamically increase innovation, collaboration and success for everyone in the company and for the business overall.

This keynote focuses on how each individual can harness their own inner abilities to lead change and personal leadership in a positive and proactive way.

This keynote is based on Cheryl’s new book The Art of Change Leadership (Wiley 2015)

Attendees will leave this session with: Read Less ^

  • Further insight into how is fast change is impacting the speed of work and how we as leaders need to build adaptability to the new reality
  • A shifted perspective on how we as individuals can harness positive stress and leverage time in an increasingly fast-paced work environment
  • A clear understanding of how each generation views change, deals with change and strategies to improve change responses and actions
  • Insight into their own personal change behaviors and tools to leverage their individual ability to adapt more quickly to ongoing change with a positive approach
  • Tools to lead change with multiple perspectives including emotional intelligence, generation intelligence and energetic intelligence
  • Skills to elevate communication in a way that speaks to the higher potential of each individual and creates unprecedented understanding and commitment to change as we move forward
  • A change leadership ‘journey map’ a guide to follow to lead change beyond the program

Upgrade Your Leadership OS (Operating System)

We are living in a time of fast paced transformation and YOU are the transformers! Read More >

The key skills needed in these fast moving times are the ability to think fast, make prudent decisions quickly, test innovative ideas and to collaborate with fast responsiveness. Think about it, we keep upgrading our technologies and as technology speeds up we need our ‘thinking’ to be upgraded too!

In this ‘evolutionary’ keynote you will learn how your thinking and your mindset can impact the speed with which you and your team are able to respond and create. Imagine if you were able to download a new version of thinking that would allow you to move faster and get results more quickly.

Attendees will leave this session with: Read Less ^

  • How leadership thought has evolved over the past few decades and how it relates to what was needed in the business through each of those time periods
  • How technology has created a multi-tasking and multiple priorities reality and what to do to maximize abilities to thrive in this reality
  • The four levels of leadership awareness model that provides you with a ‘tool’ to elevate your thoughts and to align your actions with the new ‘leadership operating system’
  • How to leverage mindfulness as an evolutionary strategy and other new strategies to increase your creativity, speed of thought and ability to execute effectively
  • How to leverage emotional intelligence with ‘energy’ intelligence to increase collaboration and connection with others
  • By using Level Four Focus, how to commit to ‘knowledge sharing’ as a future of work strategy and to engage all employees

Maximizing Collaboration & Innovation in Multi-Generational Teams

Generations in the workplace is no longer news; leaders and teams don’t want to hear about what makes the generations different anymore they want to know “HOW” to leverage collaboration and innovation among the multi-generational teams. Read More >

This keynote is tactical and practical and provides examples of different generational approaches to leadership, problem solving and getting things done.

Newer research indicates that in the past few years as Gen Y’s/Millennials impact the workplace there is a higher need for valuing the differences of each of the generations and to find ways to work together synergistically.

This generations keynote provides ideas and strategies on ‘what’ and ‘how’ each individual can increase his or her own ability to leverage generational intelligence to increase innovation and results.

Attendees will leave this session with: Read Less ^

  • The three things that ALL of the generations want at work
  • How the strengths of each of the generations are absolutely needed for the future of work today
  • Insight and a reminder of the demographics of each of the generations in the workplace and their impact on business
  • How each of the generations leverages technology to achieve work goals
  • Debunking the myths of the stereotypes of the generations
  • Leadership strategies on how to successfully lead each of the generations by adapting to their work style and generational style
  • How to increase success in communication, collaboration and innovation with each of the generations
  • Case studies of high profile companies who have a large Gen Y demographic and what those companies are doing to recruit and retain Gen Y’s
  • Stories of progressive ideas on how to deal with retiring or ‘refiring’ Zoomers, how to encourage reverse mentoring and how to build career plans for Gen X and Y
  • How to leverage evolutionary leadership skills of creativity and innovation when leading multigenerational teams

Recruiting Top Talent: Finding & Keeping Good People In The Age of Robotics, Remote Workers & Increasing Competition

We are in a war for talent, Fortune 500 CEO’s surveyed state that even with the age of robotics they are planning to continue to seek and hire talented people well into 2020 and beyond. The competition for attracting top talent is increasing, and as quickly as people are being hired and trained other industries are approaching and poaching talent. Read More >

Attendees will leave this session with: Read Less ^

  • The latest research from your industry and the current reality of finding and keeping good people
  • Innovative ideas on finding the right people that are suited for your industry
  • Creative ideas and examples from global companies Cheryl has worked with and or interviewed and how they are solving the war for talent
  • The top ten ‘wants’ of top talent when looking to work for a company
  • How to be a company that ‘attracts’ talent, is a workplace of choice and creates a culture where people want to be stay longer with your company
  • The number one reason people leave an employer and how to fix it
  • A greater understanding of why investing in recruiting alone is a no-win approach

Personal High Performance: Lead With Energy, Passion & Power

We are all working in a rapid-fire change reality- it can be a challenge to have the stamina, the energy and the passion to keep growing and going! Read More >

Through my research and subsequent leadership development solutions, I- like other successful people and organizations- have tapped into the secret of creating on-going extraordinary results and increasingly better performance.

What’s the secret?

“Everyone is a Leader” AND everyone needs to increase his or her Passion, Energy and Personal Power individually in order to create the extraordinary, sustainable positive change and growth collectively.

This powerful, inspiring keynote provides solid research, insights and evolutionary tools to help individuals to increase energy, reignite passion and step into the next level of personal power.

Attendees will leave this session with: Read Less ^

  • A personal power process visual that identifies ‘how’ you are motivated and whether you gain more energy from intrinsic or extrinsic motivators
  • A deeper understanding of the power of positive stress and how to leverage it to reach personal and professional goals
  • A checklist that helps to identify what gives you energy and what does not and what to do to stay focused on what gives you energy
  • A greater understanding of the power of emotional intelligence and how mastering this skill increases personal power
  • The four levels of the sought after leadership awareness model I developed and how to leverage it to increase passion and energy