Shift from Pink to Purple this November for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that more people die from pancreatic cancer than breast cancer in the U.S.? 

The Croixstone Consulting team is joining forces with the Charlotte Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in shifting from pink to purple this November in support of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and World Pancreatic Cancer Day, taking place on November 17.

Only 8 percent of Americans with pancreatic cancer survive 5 years or more.  In 2010, after seeing too little progress in pancreatic cancer survival in over a half century, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network put a stake in the ground with a bold and aggressive goal to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020.  With the help of the Charlotte region, the U.S. will see purple this November and move one step closer to doubling survival by 2020.

Croixstone founder Mark Weber lost his mother to pancreatic cancer in 2013 and serves as the Media Relations Chair for the Charlotte Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  Croixstone’s Chief Experience Officer, Patti Weber, lost her father to pancreatic cancer in 2005 and provides leadership as Teams Ambassador for PurpleStride Charlotte, the Charlotte Affiliate’s signature fundraising event (5K timed-run and family-friendly walk).

Join us in the fight against pancreatic cancer and learn more about how you can #WageHope here.

 


Fueling Opportunity in the Queen City through Innovation

Goodwill = Innovation? 

Yep, you better believe it.  Today we joined a team of folks from Social Venture Partners Charlotte and toured Goodwill’s brand spanking new, $22 million Leon Levine Opportunity Center in west Charlotte.  And we we blown away.

Forget what you think you might know about the Goodwill experience.  When we entered the building located at 5301 Wilkinson Boulevard, we were transformed into a high-energy universe filled with natural light, soaring ceilings, original art, a very tasty restaurant featuring locally-sourced food, and more.

Goodwill’s new 160,000 square foot facility is vitally important to Charlotte.  With a 2014 Harvard study having ranked Charlotte as 50th out of 50 large cities in the country for economic mobility, the Croixstone team applauds Goodwill for its innovative approach in bundling a comprehensive collection of resources and opportunities for job training, job placement and job creation in the Charlotte metro region for individuals with barriers to employment.

Learn more here.


The Power of Constructive Nonconformity

Did you know that Croixstone’s consultancy model is built around the concept of leveraging the talents of “business mavericks“? 

With that in mind, we have been enjoying Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino’s new Harvard Business Review series on the power of constructive nonconformity.

In the first article of the series, Professor Gino presents her case that “curiosity” is the most important trait for leaders to assess when identifying talent who can drive innovation in their organizations.  She believes that curiosity – the impulse to seek out new ideas and experiences – is crucial to innovation because it moves people to look at the world from a different perspective and to ask questions rather than accept the status quo.

Learn more about the importance of curiosity, it’s link to innovation and strategies to assess this important trait here.


Friday Fun Facts – Life is Good with the Firebird

So if you live in Charlotte, you already know that the #1 destination for tourist photos and selfies in the QC is on the sidewalk in front of The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.  

It is here that the Firebird outdoor sculpture (affectionately named “Disco Chicken” by many locals) calls home.

Some Friday fun facts compiled by the Croixstone Consulting team that every Firebird aficionado should know…

  • The sculpture was created in 1991 by French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002).
  • It was purchased by museum patron Andreas Bechtler specifically for placement in front of the museum.
  • Andreas Bechtler loved the sculpture and found it to be “joyful, uplifting and engaging” and stated that “it makes you feel that life is good” (don’t we all feel this way on Fridays?).
  • Firebird is adorned with 7,500 mirror mosaics over polyester on steel armature and stands over 17 feet tall.
  • The sculpture weighs 1,443 pounds.
  • It gets restored three to four times a year at an annual cost of $5,000 to $8,000. The process largely involves replacing cracked mosaic mirrors.  It is believed that “nocturnal skateboarders” are largely responsible for required restoration work.

What is the State of NC’s Economy?

So what is the state of North Carolina’s economy? 

A “mixed bag” according to a recently published story in The News & Observer (Raleigh) in conjunction with The Charlotte Observer and McClatchy.  The media organizations assessed the state of North Carolina with a focus on 20 measures of how the state is doing compared with previous years and compared with Georgia, Virginia and the rest of the nation.

Key findings:

  • NC has been adding jobs at a pace of about 7,000 a month over the past few years.
  • The state had above-average job growth from July 2015 to July 2016.
  • NC’s economy performs similarly to Georgia’s and worse than Virginia’s.
  • Wages are back to pre-recession levels, but people are also more likely to be in poverty.
  • Employment in NC is better than average — but only if people who have given up on job hunts aren’t counted. A smaller share of North Carolina adults are in the labor force than Americans as a whole.
  • For each of the last 20 months, companies in both North and South Carolina have reported being unable to fill open jobs.
  • At 4.6 percent, the state’s unemployment rate is better than the national average. The state has 290,000 more jobs than it did in 2007.

Read the full article here.


Employee Engagement & Work Environment

Does workspace design drive employee engagement? 

In partnership with global market research firm Ipsos, office furniture and workspace industry leader Steelcase has published a new report entitled “Engagement and the Global Workplace” that explores the relationship between employee engagement and the work environment.  Conducted with more than 12,000 office workers in 17 countries, the study uncovered a correlation between employees’ attitudes about their workplace and their level of engagement.

Because most experts believe that the number of disengaged workers outnumbers those of engaged workers, the findings of this report are helpful to understand to improve bottom line results.

Key findings from the comprehensive survey include:

  1. Employee Engagement Positively Correlates with Workplace Satisfaction
  2. Engaged Employees Have More Control Over Their Experiences at Work
  3. Fixed Technology Exceeds Mobile 2:1
  4. Traditional Workstyles Persist
  5. Cultural Context Influences Engagement Levels

Read the full report at:  360steelcase.com


10 Charlotte International Business Factoids

The Charlotte Regional Partnership is a nonprofit, public/private economic development organization that leverages regional resources to market the 16-county Charlotte region.  The organization markets the Charlotte region as a “Center for International Business” by promoting the following ten factoids.

  • Largest concentration of foreign-owned firms between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta; German, British and Japanese parent companies represent the countries with the largest representation of foreign-owned firms
  • Home to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), 5th-busiest airport in the U.S. and only 15 minutes from uptown Charlotte
  • Never more than one plane change away from any business destination
  • If the Carolinas were a country, would be the 17th largest economy in the world
  • More than 40 languages spoken in the Charlotte region
  • Five language immersion programs in French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Japanese
  • Twelve honorary consuls located within the Charlotte region
  • More than 715 daily departures to 159 nonstop destinations, including nonstop daily service to international business destinations such as London, Frankfurt, Munich, Rome, Paris, and Mexico City
  • Foreign Trade Zone #57
  • Siemens Energy, Areva NP, Dassault Systèmes, Okuma, Toshiba and Compass among largest foreign-owned firms

When McKinsey Met Uber: The Gig Economy Comes to Consulting

So is the gig economy disrupting the traditional consulting industry?

Yes, according to many experts. Back in 2013, Harvard Business Review published a fascinating article entitled “Consulting on the Cusp of Disruption” which predicted the disruption of established consultants as first smaller, then larger, clients start using alternatives to the big brands for all but “a core of critical work”.

In follow-up to this prediction, the Croixstone Consulting leadership team reviewed this week a newly-published article by Andrew Hill, Management Editor of the Financial Times, entitled “When McKinsey Met Uber: The Gig Economy Comes to Consulting” which spotlights the trend of business consultants setting out on their own as a higher-paid, and growing stratum of “gig consultants”.

We found the following factoids from the Financial Times article to be of particular interest:

  1. 31 percent of management consultants in the UK are self-employed.
  2. 20 percent of staff at the big consultancies leave every year.
  3. 59 percent of consultants made a deliberate choice to become independent (with top triggers including the desire for a career change, wanting more control over time and schedule, and wanting to work with clients in a different way).

Read the full article here (subscription may be required).


Friday Fun Fact – Peanuts, Innovation + the Croixstone Consulting Offices

So what do you do when you get stuck with 500 pounds of unwanted raw peanuts?

If you are an innovator, you see the opportunity to build the foundation for a nearly $2 billion snack foods company. When food broker Phillip L. Lance was stuck with those raw peanuts back in 1913, he looked past the challenge and saw an opportunity to roast the peanuts and sell them on the streets of Charlotte. Those 500 pounds of peanuts, coupled with the visionary talents of a forward-thinking entrepreneur, led to the birth of Lance, Inc., now a publicly-held, multi-billion corporation named Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. that retains its headquarters in Charlotte.

In 1926, Lance built a plant along South Boulevard in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood from which to base its growing company. Fast forward to 2016, and you’ll find the company based in a shiny office tower in Charlotte’s Ballantyne district. The South End plant was renovated as a mixed-used building in the late 1990’s (now known as The Lofts at Factory South) and is home to a vibrant community of small businesses (like Croixstone Consulting!) while also providing cool residential lofts to some of the QC’s most creative folks.

We are inspired by the story of Phillip L. Lance and his legacy as an innovator and business-builder in Charlotte…and we are proud to base our unique Croixstone Consulting offices at his former plant.


5 Ways Work Will Change in the Future

Are you ready to peek into the future?

The Croixstone Consulting team recently reviewed a study published in the UK’s The Guardian newspaper that highlighted five ways that work will change in the future.

1. Workplace Structures
Forget the rigid corporate ladder – now the corporate lattice allows free-flowing ideas and career paths

2. Artificial Intelligence
The robots are coming and if the forecasts are correct, they could impact millions of jobs

3. The Human Cloud
Websites that match employers with freelancers are growing fast

4. Workplace Monitoring
Are you ready to be tracked in a much different way?

5. The End of Retirement
There’s no more automatic “out” at age 65

Read the full article here.