Tip #878: How to Describe Our New Normal

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”  John Keating

Our new normal is very complex. I thought I would try to describe it using some of the new words that I’ve learned (Remember how we were instructed to use new spelling words in a sentence?)


The pandemic created a crisitunity that has caused PPEC. Unfortunately, the resulting stress and uncertainty have led to languishing and anhedonia for some people and internalized capitalism for others. They will need help to get past any inhibiting identity foreclosures.

As learning and development professionals, we have had to increase our capacity as nexialists. We started with adult learning principles, curriculum design, presentation, and group facilitation skills. We have added HCD, the science of learning, digital technology, and lots of LOLAs to our repertoire. We are exploring how to build learning journeys that help employees gain the knowledge and skills they need in the FLO.

We find ourselves in a liminal space. We need sapient leaders who are masters of mental grazing and praxis. Among other issues, they must determine how to structure work, whether back in the office, WFH, or some hybrid.

This will require a scout mindset and black box thinking. The YOLO economy may help or hinder this decision-making process.

Maybe we all should take a well-deserved break and go plogging! That would clear our heads, build our fitness, and help the planet.


Please check the definitions below to see if I’ve used the words correctly.

New Words and Phrases

Ableism– the discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities.

Anhedonia– the loss of the ability to take pleasure in activities.

Black Box Thinking– the willingness and tenacity to investigate the lessons that often exist when we fail, but which we rarely exploit; creating systems and cultures that enable organizations to learn from errors, rather than being threatened by them.

Crisitunity– A crisis situation which is also an opportunity to improve or otherwise gain knowledge.

FLO– flow of work.

Geragogy– a theory that says older adult learners require a difference approach to pick up skills and knowledge effectively.

HCD– human centered design.

Identity Foreclosure– when you settle too prematurely on a sense of who you are and close your mind to alternative selves.

Internalized Capitalism– the feeling that you’re never doing enough.

Languishing– distressing feelings of stagnation, monotony, and emptiness.

Liminal space– a rite of passage or threshold between what was and what will be.

LOLA– live online learning activity.

Mental Grazing– actively training yourself to look beyond your own borders as a matter of habit, but to do so less with the intent of tearing down the barriers in one fell swoop, or coming up with a silver bullet innovation, and instead with the simple intention of introducing new ideas, images, ways, and concepts we know little about.

Nexialist– One skilled in the science of joining together in an orderly fashion the knowledge of one field of learning with that of other fields.

Nowcasting – a technique companies use to identify where they are and predict market and industry changes.

OKR– objectives and key results.

Plogging– a Swedish fitness trend that combines jogging and picking up litter.

PPEC– perpetual, pervasive, and exponential change.

Praxis– the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized; the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas.

Proprioception– the sensing of the location of our body parts in space.

PROPS model of decision making- Pause. Reflect. Options. Prioritize. Select & Evaluate.

Riff analytics– uses voice data collected during video calls to show how people interact. For example, Riff measures how engaged people are or whether anyone is dominating the conversation.

Sapient Leader– characterized by being wise, sagacious, and discerning in navigating change while also being humane in the face of change that can often feel alien.

Scout Mindset– Trying to get an accurate picture of reality, even when that’s unpleasant or inconvenient.

WFH– work from home.

XR– extended reality (Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality).

YOLO Economy– You Only Live Once mindset.

Zone of proximal development- The distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem-solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers.

Questions: So, how did I do? How would you describe our new normal using this word list?

May your learning be sweet- and safe.


#learninganddevelopment #newnormal #newwordsandphrases #sapientleader #blackboxthinking #YOLO economy

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