Is Flexible Work Driving the Future of the Workplace?

Will the day come when we all work as our own boss? 

The World Economic Forum held its annual meeting earlier this month and the future of work was a key topic of discussion.  The organization’s Global Future Council on Education, Gender and Work is presently crafting a document that addresses the question of how we facilitate the transition from the traditional form of work to the future state where work is more flexible.

Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork and co-chair of the Global Future Council on Education, Gender and Work, recently shared the following perspectives on the future of work:

  • Entrepreneurs and freelancers represent the future of the workplace as traditional office jobs become less and less relevant
  • Lifelong learning is more important than ever before as skill requirements are constantly changing
  • There is a constant need to be reskilled and you need some kind of job renewal every five years or so
  • The workplace is moving towards more flexible arrangements where individuals are working with multiple companies at the same time
  • “Knowledge” work is especially aligned with more flexible work arrangements and can be done from anywhere, thereby creating more value than the traditional work model
  • The future of work is not going to be about full-time employment

Learn more about the future of work here.


Croixstone Celebrates the Latest Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte MDP Class

We’re planning to do some Ivy League-style celebrating tonight!

The Croixstone team is joining the Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte at Olde Providence Racquet Club this evening for an “end-of-year” celebration to honor Patti Weber (our Chief Experience Officer) and other Charlotte-area executives who participated in the latest Management Development Program (MDP) class. The MDP is a “mini MBA” style course and a favorite with Charlotte-based corporations. The program is taught entirely by Harvard Business School alumni to area executives.  Learn more here.  #lifelonglearning  #harvardtraining


Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance Award Winners 2017

This month, the Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance hosted a series of events in Charlotte in celebration of National Mentoring Month.

The events — which included a mentoring town hall, mentor 101 training, an agency/mentor speed networking session and awards ceremony — helped provide community members with more information about the importance of mentoring, connected potential and existing mentors to local mentoring agencies, and celebrated the great work that mentors do in our community.

The Croixstone Consulting team congratulates the following people and organizations who were honored at last week’s award gala at the Harvey B. Gantt Center:

A special shout out to Sil Ganzo (Executive Director) and the ourBRIDGE for KIDS team!  ourBRIDGE empowers refugee and immigrant children and their families through education and cultural awareness and is one of Croixstone’s designated charities.  Mark Weber, Croixstone’s Managing Partner and Founder, currently serves as the Board Chair with this high-impact non-profit organization.

Learn more here.


Consulting Industry Leaders Forecast Robust Growth in 2017

So just what do 100 Managing Directors, Partners and Vice Presidents think about the state of the consulting industry? 

According to the team at CONSULTING magazine, they are exceptionally positive about the prospects for growth in 2017 and maintain a “pedal to the metal” philosophy.  The magazine has just published its annual “executive outlook” for the new year and the CROIXSTONE consulting team noted the following highlights with great interest.

  • Consulting industry leaders are “especially giddy about the forecasts for the year ahead” with some having reported sales growth above 20% in 2016.
  • The consulting industry is among the first to see signs of an economic slowdown and no such signs are being seen.
  • 65% of consulting industry leaders experienced real revenue growth above 10% in 2016.
  • 96% of leaders project that net profits will increase in 2017, with 57% forecasting that net profits will be up more than 10% in 2017.

Read the full article here.


Top 10 CFO Risks for 2017

So what is keeping CFOs awake at night in 2017? 

North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management and Protiviti recently surveyed 735 board members and executives worldwide about risk issues that will likely have an impact on their companies this year.  The top 10 risk issues cited by the respondents included:

  • Economic conditions
  • Regulatory changes
  • Cyberthreats
  • Rapid speed of disruptive innovations
  • Privacy/identity management
  • Succession challenges/attracting top talent
  • Volatility in global financial markets
  • Organization’s culture doesn’t identify risk
  • Resistance to change
  • Sustaining customer loyalty

Learn more via CFO magazine here.


“Crystallized Intelligence” + the Older Worker

The Croixstone Consulting team understands the benefits that highly-experienced professionals bring to the workforce.  A recently published brief from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College illustrates how older workers, who are living and working longer than ever before, maintain productivity as they age.

The brief suggests that older workers make up for a decline in “fluid intelligence”—the ability to solve new problems—with “crystallized intelligence,” or the learned knowledge and experience they accumulate over the years.

Visit the Center for Retirement Research to learn more about cognitive aging and the ability to work here.


Croixstone Consulting CXO Patti Weber Completes Harvard Program

Congratulations to Croixstone Consulting’s Chief Experience Officer, Patti Weber, who this week successfully completed the Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte’sManagement Development Program“.

The Management Development Program, a “mini MBA” style course taught at Queens University, is a favorite with Charlotte-based corporations and is taught entirely by Harvard Business School alumni to program participants. The course offers rising executives the chance to study business one night a week for 13 weeks with a roster of some of the most prominent CEO’s, Presidents and Managing Partners in the Charlotte region.

In addition to participation by Croixstone Consulting, this year’s Harvard program included leaders from companies including: Bank of North Carolina, SYNOPTICS Northrup Grumman, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Carolinas Medical Center, Schaeffler Group, ScentAir Technologies, Continental Tire, Snyder’s-Lance, Duke Energy, Carolina Cat, EnPro Industries, Skookum, National Gypsum Company, Ridgemont Equity Partners, Coats North America and more.

Patti completed the Harvard program to supplement her more than 20 years experience in helping global Fortune 500 companies and top-ranked public education schools implement forward-thinking and “game-changing” initiatives.  Her background includes diverse business experience in the technology consulting (Accenture) and workforce solutions (Kelly Services) industries.

As an active community leader, Patti is a Partner with Social Venture Partners Charlotte and serves on the group’s Education Committee.  Additionally, she serves as a volunteer Math Tutor at Charlotte’s Sedgefield Elementary School with Heart Math Tutoring and as PurpleStride Charlotte Teams Ambassador with the Charlotte Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

 


The Freelance Economy in 2017

According to a new study conducted by LinkedIn, freelancers now account for nearly 35% of the USA workforce…and the trend is only gaining traction with more professionals opting out of traditional “full-time” employment. 

The Croixstone Consulting team found the following survey findings of particular interest:

  • 40% of LinkedIn’s freelancers (the social networking site’s “ProFinder” members) are based in just four states (California, Florida, New York and Texas).
  • Marketing, Business Consulting and Design were the top 3 industries for freelance work in 2016.
  • Younger freelancers identified industry preferences centered on Writing, Photography and Home Improvement.
  • Older freelancers identified industry preferences focused on Career Coaching, Business Consulting and Real Estate.
  • 33% of all professional freelancers surveyed were male.
  • The average freelancer is an older male (nearly 50% of LinkedIn’s ProFinder members are older than 50).
  • The average hourly rate for freelance work averages $50-$150.

Gain more insights into the Freelance Economy here.


The Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017

These are the top 10 strategic trends Gartner sees breaking out of the emerging space to have a potentially substantial impact over consumers and industries during the next five years.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Advanced Machine Learning
  • Intelligent Apps like VPAs (virtual personal assistants) and VCAs (virtual customer assistants)
  • Intelligent Things like drones, autonomous vehicles, and smart appliances
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Digital Twins
  • Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers
  • Conversational Systems
  • Mesh App and Service Architecture (MASA)
  • Digital Technology Platforms
  • Adaptive Security Architecture

Learn more about each of these top 10 strategy trends via Forbes here.


USA’s Most Fulfilled Cities

So which city in the USA has the most fulfilled workers? 

According to LinkedIn and Censuswide (a global survey consulting firm), it is our very own Charlotte.

During the summer of 2016, Censuswide surveyed 1,000 professionals across the USA about their overall level of job satisfaction and the factors that contribute to it. Charlotte tops the list with 65% of its professionals feeling very or completely fulfilled at work, and chefs rank the highest in job satisfaction with 84% reporting they feel very or completely fulfilled at work.

The next time you are feeling down about your career, you may wish to visit one of the Queen City’s great local restaurants at lunch and sit next to the apparently happy chef to change your mood.  After your meal, call the Croixstone Consulting team and we’ll be glad to talk about our management consulting opportunities!

Read more about the survey on LinkedIn’s blog here.