2018’s Most Inspiring Books

We are eternal optimists at Croixstone Consulting and, therefore, love Inc. Magazine’s list of “The 10 Most Inspiring Books of 2018.”  Faithful readers of this blog and Croixstone’s social media channels know that we adore “Rebel Talent” by Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino.  It speaks to the benefits of constructive nonconformity and our fondness for business mavericks.  And we plan to read Bill Gates’ favorite book of all time, “The Better Angels of Our Nature”, that came out in January. Read the list of 2018’s most inspiring books here.


#RebelTalent

Going against the grain is something many of the greatest minds really like to do.  Francesca Gino (Harvard Business School professor and author) was interviewed by BBC recently and shared her perspectives on rebels and how they break the rules to thrive in both business and their personal lives.  Learn the benefits of showing your true colors to the world here.


Seven Business Rebel Beliefs

Croixstone is proud to represent an exclusive group of highly-experienced business mavericks who enjoy tackling industry challenges. Our group of rebel talent, also known as “constructive non-conformists,” understands the importance of questioning the status quo and has the people skills to work with others to advance ideas for change. Recently, Inc. ran an article titled “7 Beliefs Business Rebels Hold That Disrupts Their Competition.”  S.C. Gwynne, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Pass, explained the seven beliefs as follows:

  1. Play Simple. A winning team doesn’t necessarily rely on complicated “plays” or on the quantity of them. Instead, insist on keeping your playbook simple. Simplicity is memorable.
  2. Redefine Boundaries. Don’t accept the conditions in which you work as a given. If you need to move the lines on the playing field, then do it.
  3. Redefine Expectations. Evaluate the “rules” that everyone follows and find leverage points to pivot away from tradition and create new expectations.
  4. Believe in Greatness. No matter your track record or the obstacles in your way believe that great outcomes are possible. People perform to the expectation levels you set.
  5. Look to the Past to Change the Future. While rebels defy conventional wisdom, they also study the past to learn trends and patterns that can change the future.
  6. Be Persistent. Steadfast in their resolve, rebels internalize their purpose. This helps them to stay persistent despite the temptation to back down or dial back their ambition.
  7. Believe in People. A business is nothing without the commitment and resolve of its people. Invest heavily in your talent.

Do you hold these same beliefs?  If yes, reach out to Patti Weber, our Chief Experience Officer, at pweber@croixstone.consulting!


100 Best Apps
Even before iPhones and Androids, the concept of mobile applications or mobile apps existed. The first smart phone with mobile app technology was actually developed by IBM in 1993 and was equipped with features like a calculator, world clock, calendar and contact book. In 2002 came the next major step in the advancement of mobile apps with the release of the BlackBerry Smartphone.
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When Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone seven years later, he effectively proved he could disrupt and transform the market. Soon after that, Apple launched the App Store and officially introducing third-party app development and distribution to the platform in July of 2008. As of March 2017, there were 2.2 million available apps in the Apps Store.
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Not to be outdone by Apple, the first Android phone was launched in October 2008 with apps available through the Google Play Store, formerly known as Android Market. As of March 2017, Android users were able to choose between 2.8 million apps.
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So, what are the 100 best apps that can turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades today?
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Learn more about the revolutionary mobile app development trends to look for in 2018 here.

Slack = Collaboration + Communication

Recently Croixstone Consulting joined Industrious Charlotte and our fellow coworking companies on a newly launched Slack Channel. We are enjoying the opportunity to build community through the enhanced communication the channel provides. Launched in 2014, Slack is the fastest growing business application in history, and the company boasts 9 million weekly active users and 50,000+ paying companies including 43 companies from the Fortune 100 list. Slack, a cloud-powered team collaboration and communication tool, is capable of bringing together team communication and giving everyone a shared workspace where conversations, decisions and work are organized and accessible. Additionally, Slack’s App Directory allows users to find apps and integrations including Dropbox, Google Docs, and Salesforce to name a few. You can even order Domino’s Pizza through Slack and book your next hotel room with an emoji on Slack.

  • Learn why Fast Company thinks Slack is one of the most innovative companies of 2017 here.
  • Find out why you should Slack it up for workplace collaboration and communication here.
  • Built on a game foundation, read more about why Slack can’t slow down here.

Re-Envisioning the Future with Generative Design
Could the current manufacturing, distribution, assembly and maintenance processes become obsolete in the not too distant future?  Today, we take a look at generative design as an innovative approach to thinking outside the box when it comes to design and its implications to manufacturing.
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At Croixstone we are inspired by mavericks…those unconventional thinkers who can see past conformity and who can accomplish what others say can’t be done.  Generative design has the ability to generate unconventional design options that go beyond our imagination alone and can be used to create everything from running shoes, earbuds and airplane partitions, to a revolutionary approach to designing the office space and buildings of the future.
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So what is generative design? According to Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, “Generative design is a technology that mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. It starts with your design goals and then explores all of the possible permutations of a solution to find the best option. Using cloud computing, generative design software quickly cycles through thousands—or even millions—of design choices, testing configurations and learning from each iteration what works and what doesn’t. The process lets designers generate brand new options, beyond what a human alone could create, to arrive at the most effective design.”  To better understand what generative design is all about, click here for a short video.
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  • Learn how generative design and additive manufacturing (i.e., 3-D printing) is changing the manufacturing world here.
  • Check out how generative design could radically transform the look of our world here.
  • Delve into a new world of highly efficient products made by generative design here.
  • Take a sneak peak into the first large-scale generative designed office 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.