Trends Shaping the Consulting Industry
In the 2017 Management Consulting Outlook report prepared by Greentarget, a strategic public relations firm focused exclusively on business-to-business organizations, the global management consulting market has been growing revenue approximately 4 percent annually over the past few years. As the most mature market, the U.S. market grew 7.7 percent in 2015 to reach $54.7 billion, up from $50.8 billion in 2014. The global management consulting industry is now delivering an estimated $150 billion in revenue, and the growth trend is expected to continue, with the U.S. accounting for nearly half (44 percent) of the global market.
 .
We at Croixstone know it is important to keep abreast of the many forces and trends shaping the consulting industry. Demand for change as result of disruptive technologies and competition from new market competitors continues to drive investment in consulting.  What else is new in the consulting industry?
 .
  • Learn more about the who’s who of the consulting world in 2017 here.
  • What makes a great consultant?  Here are 10 attributes required for long term success as a consultant.
  • Read here about five consulting technology trends in 2017 that are more than buzzwords.

Sustainability in Business
On September 7th, the results of the annual 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America were announced, and both Duke Energy Corp. and Bank of America Corp. made the list for their focus on environmental, social and governance issues. Like Duke Energy and Bank of America, companies continue to change their business models as a result of sustainability opportunities.

Sustainability is all about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability to meet the needs of future generations. Instead of today’s linear ‘take, make, depose’ economic model, companies like Hewlett-Packard, who recently unveiled the world’s first printer with closed-loop recycled plastic, and Procter & Gamble, with its ongoing focus on creating a new method to recycle plastic for reuse, are helping to drive the circular economy concept of ‘return and renew’ as part of their approach to sustainability in business.

  • Is it time to tie executive compensation to sustainability?  Learn more here.
  • Learn more sustainability in today’s business world here.
  • Read about the circular economy concept here.

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: