Welcoming Week

Welcoming America returned to Charlotte on Friday, September 15th, for a week long series of events to celebrate National Welcoming Week. The events during Welcoming Week are focused on bringing together immigrants and U.S.-born residents to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone – including new Americans.  Croixstone’s founder, Mark Weber, is Chairman of the Board of Directors for ourBRIDGE for KIDS, a nonprofit afterschool program for immigrant and refugee children here in Charlotte that provides an inclusive and welcoming environment.

During Welcoming Week, ourBRIDGE is opening its doors and inviting the community to the inauguration of the organization’s new afterschool center in east Charlotte on Sunday, September 17th from 3 – 6 p.m. at 3925 Willard Farrow Drive, Charlotte, NC, 28215. The public is welcome to attend!

  • Learn more about ourBRIDGE for KIDS here.
  • Read about ourBRIDGE for KIDS’ new home and partnership with Aldersgate here.
  • See how ourBRIDGE for KIDS won Amazon’s #TickSaveMyCity contest here.

Agile For Business

Back in 2001, seventeen people at The Lodge at Snowbird met to talk, ski, and relax, and what emerged was the Agile ‘Software Development’ Manifesto.  Those seventeen individuals may not have predicted that the agile methodology would now go well beyond IT and impact all areas of business.

As agile becomes more and more popular, business teams across a broad range of industries and functions are continuing to adopt an agile approach as a wide-ranging global business strategy.  And, big businesses aren’t the only places where agile is flourishing.  Small businesses and startups are also benefiting from embracing agile strategies and mindsets.

  • Learn about the secret history of agile innovation here.
  • Read how to make agile work for the C-suite here.
  • When it comes to scaling agile, learn how the devil is in the details here.
  • Finally, read about changes required to make your organization truly agile here.

Keeping Up With Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has by now made its way to nearly all industries, and therefore, it comes up in Croixstone’s conversations almost daily. Why is digital transformation so important? Quite simply, if organizations don’t modernize and become fully digitalized then they will be left behind and the threat of disruption becomes very real. With companies investing millions to digitalize their businesses, they are hoping for outcomes that will increase revenue, reduce cost, create more products and services, improve customer satisfaction, enhance differentiation, and ultimately mitigate the risk of digital disruption.

Regardless of your area of expertise, digital transformation will impact everyone. Companies are looking for change drivers to help them weed through the digital transformation myths, create a culture that makes data-based decisions, and sift through an avalanche of digital initiatives to reshape their organizations.

Read about a new practical guide to a successful digital transformation here.

Learn some insights into helping your C-suite understand digital transformation here.

See how three companies are thriving with digital transformation here.


What’s Happening in the Financial Services Sector?

Those of us who live in the Queen City know that Charlotte is the third-largest banking center behind New York City and San Francisco.  According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the Charlotte region is home to 16 banking institutions with $2.27 trillion in total assets.  So, what’s happening in the USA’s financial services sector overall?

Learn about the future of Financial Services here.

How are tech trends and FinTech affecting the Financial Services industry?  Learn how here.

Are technology firms the next Financial Services providers?  Let’s see what Forbes thinks here.

Finally, learn about the third way of innovation (AI and machine learning) in Financial Services here.


The Growth of Coworking

The Queen City is continuing to see the growth of coworking space.  The coworking concept, paying for access to private and shared workspace, was initially fueled by the rise in mobile technology and the gig economy.  More recently, the coworking trend expanded in the corporate and commercial real estate market, with more than one million people worldwide expected to be working in coworking spaces by the end of 2017.

Coworking spaces come in all shapes and sizes and represent the antithesis of yesterday’s corporate offices.  With an estimated 14,000 spaces around the world, the spaces are shared by corporate teams, small businesses, tech workers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and more who are looking for the flexibility to be able to expand and add office space as they grow.

Learn more about the coworking trend below:


How Microsoft’s Acquisition of LinkedIn Affects You!

Last year, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn, the world’s largest networking and job search platform, for $26 billion.  LinkedIn now has more than 500 million members, and its job platform hit a record 10 million jobs posted.  Why did Microsoft buy LinkedIn?  LinkedIn provides Microsoft with vast data to fuel its machine learning and business intelligence strategies.

Learn about the benefits of the Microsoft/LinkedIn acquisition here.

Coming soon, a new version of LinkIn’s app that will match you up with a mentor…read about it here.

Dive deeper into LinkedIn’s newer features here.


Ideas Worth Spreading…TEDxCharlotte

With TEDxCharlotte taking place in little over 2 months on October 13th, this is a great time to listen to a TED Talk.  TED began in 1984 as a conference resulting from Richard Saul Wurman‘s observation of the convergence among three fields: Technology, Entertainment and Design. Today TED Conferences, TED Talks, TEDx events, TED-ED and many other variations of TED continue to share “ideas worth spreading” (the TED mission).

Learn about the history of TED through a Q&A with Chris Anderson, the Curator of TED, here.

Below are two of our favorite TED Talks:


Gaining the Competitive Edge Through Digitized Supply Chain

Just like everywhere else, digital transformation has impacted the optimization of supply chain efficiency.  Advances include crewless ship operations, new warehouse automation breakthroughs with robots, development of autonomous-vehicle supply chains, advancements in 3D printing, and the emerging role of blockchain.

Learn more about how a digitized supply chain can give you a competitive edge here.

Demystify 3D printing and its disruption in industry here.

Your roadmap to a digital supply chain is here.


WBTV’s Maureen O’Boyle Visits the Croixstone Loft

The Croixstone team enjoyed welcoming WBTV’s Maureen O’Boyle (Anchor/Reporter) to our loft today.  We enjoyed working with Maureen for a photo and video session to promote PurpleStride Charlotte 2017…the walk/run to end pancreatic cancer hosted by the Charlotte Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) on September 9.

Croixstone’s Founder and Managing Partner, Mark Weber, serves as a volunteer Media Relations Chair for PanCAN.  Patti Weber, Croixstone’s Chief Experience Officer, volunteers as Teams Ambassador for PurpleStride Charlotte.


Pop-Up = Competitive Advantage

The concept of “pop-up” was once limited to the world of retail and public relations stunts.  Fast forward to today, and you’ll find business innovators using pop-up strategies in fresh, new ways to gain a competitive advantage.

Most people think of “pop-up retailing” (also known as “flash retailing“) as shops, restaurants, collections of shops or events opening short-term in a temporary location.  The concept, however, is now being utilized in other ways including as a business model for temporary, project-based companies and training/professional development organizations.

The New York Times recently ran a story about how “flash organizations” are forming to build products for the on-demand economy.  Click here to learn more.

The Croixstone team loves SkillPop, a local organization providing pop-up training and professional development.

For WSJ subscribers, learn how consumer brands create buzz by setting up NYC pop up stores here.