Photos: Liu Xinghzhe/ChinaFotoPress/Getty; iStock; Volkswagen

We can only see the future through a rear-view mirror. Marshall McLuhan said that—and who are we to argue with him? So we looked at some of the biggest moments in the business world in 2015 to see what we could learn.

Here are 18 lessons from the past year to help you get where you’re going in the next one.

Bricks-and-mortar is back »

Everything new is old again, including the physical storefront. How companies are integrating physical and digital selling

Productivity is exhausting »

Chris Bailey tests novel ways of getting more done on himself to see if they work. What he’s learned about lifehacks

Working from home isn’t for everyone »

Shared offices went big, while a Canadian company built an app to test workers’ home-aloneability

Everyone needs a squad »

Take it from Taylor Swift—business is better when you do it with friends

Want diversity? Set targets »

The federal cabinet got gender parity this year. Other organizations would do well to follow that lead

Sitting is killing you. Try pedalling instead »

Are stationary desks the latest thing in office fitness, or just another workplace workout fad? One journalist finds out

There’s only one sale that matters »

What Achievers founder Razor Suleman learned this year

Spending can get out of control as you grow »

What Minhas Brewery and Distillery CEO and Dragons’ Den star Manjit Minhas learned this year

Never bet your brand »

Volkswagen jeopardized its reputation for the sake of a few miles per gallon

You can’t fight the people »

As Porter Airline’s grounded plans for airport expansion show, doing business is impossible without public approval

You need to do your own people-building »

What FreshBooks CEO Mike McDerment learned this year

Lego isn’t just for kids anymore »

Everything is awesome when you tackle organizational problems via plastic bricks

Canadians spend too much time imagining failure »

What Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss learned this year

Automation is coming to the white-collar office »

Thanks to rapid advances in technology, robots are replacing workers up and down the supply chain

It may be time to ban salary negotiations »

Reddit scrapped pay talks because its CEO believed they undermine workplace gender equality

Gender-neutral marketing sells »

As Target showed this year, there are no “boy” toys and “girl” toys—there are just toys. Time to ditch the labels

The falling price of oil wasn’t all bad news »

A Fort McMurray craft brewery won hearts amidst a downturn with a creative pricing strategy

Going public isn’t all it’s cracked up to be »

With more VC and private equity money available than ever before, today’s top startups are eschewing IPOs

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These articles are part of the What We Learned 2015 package in the January 2016 issue of Canadian Business. Subscribe now!.

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