Words of Wisdom
“If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you,
I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.”
– Warren Buffett –
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Warren Buffett says your greatest measure of success at the end of your life comes down to one word. Can you guess the word?  Learn more here for an inspirational read.  Photo courtesy of Insider Monkey.

LinkedIn Live Launched

LinkedIn recently launched its first live video tool, giving people and organizations the ability to broadcast real-time video to select groups or to the LinkedIn world at large.

Launching in beta first in the U.S., LinkedIn Live (as the product is called) will be invite-only. In coming weeks, LinkedIn will also post a contact form for others who want to get in on the action.  Learn more here.


Red Flags of Fraud

Croixstone Consulting joined forces recently with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) as an official supporter of International Fraud Awareness Week.  We were part of a global effort to minimize the impact of fraud by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education.

Do you know the most common behavioral red flags of fraud?  Learn more by viewing this infographic with data from the 2018 ACFE Report to the Nations.


What You Need to Know About Social Enterprises

On April 16th, Social Venture Partners Charlotte (SVP) will host the annual SEED20 program which identifies, highlights, and connects the community to twenty of the region’s most innovative ideas for tackling pressing social challenges. In today’s business world, nonprofits are not the only ones concerned with being integrated into the social fabric of society. Earlier this week, Forbes ran an article titled the “The Rise of the Social Enterprise: A New Paradigm for Business” which illustrates that businesses today need to make a shift in management in order to be more integrated into the social fabric of society.

Social enterprises are revenue-generating businesses with a twist. A social enterprise has two goals that are equally important:
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  1. Achieve social, cultural, community economic and/or environmental outcomes
  2. Earn revenue
In the Forbes’ article, a yearlong research and survey of business and HR leaders by Deloitte revealed that “citizenship and social impact” were rated critical or important by 77% of respondents.
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One of the trends identified is that companies today must be “social” in a truly external sense, and one of the biggest challenges is that C-suite executives are not operating or organized effectively to deal with the new world of economic growth and technology revolution while effectively addressing diversity, inclusion, fairness, equity at work and more.
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There are two dimensions to the evolution of social enterprise.
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  • Moving from an organization which operates as a functional hierarchy to one that operates as a “network of teams.”
  • Each part of the company looks at the impact of external factors and the company’s footprint in the external world.
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Click here to read more about the new paradigm shift for businesses addressed in the article and click here to learn why social enterprise can be a win-win for companies.

Biotechnology And Its Applications

Another core technology altering nearly every dimension of our lives as outlined in a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article is biotechnology. Biotechnology is really the combination of technology, chemistry, and life sciences.  At first glance, many business leaders may believe that biotechnology only impacts the health care field. The rapid advances in biotechnology, however, show enormous promise and have the potential to “both expand existing industry boundaries and create entirely new industries,” according to Dr. Albert H. Segars, author of the article and PNC Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Faculty Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Biotechnology Applications

  • Industrial Processing – applications in product development, pollution control, bio-recycling, and hazardous waste.
  • Biometrics/Bio-identification – expanding the use of biomarkers as a gateway to information access and commerce.
  • Bioinformatics – analysis of large sets of data used in the Human Genome Project, Disney’s theme park design, and more.
  • Medical – advancements in the field of genomics, production of vaccines, antibiotics, gene therapy, and personalization of implantable devices.
  • Food & Agriculture – significant gains in the production of plants, improved quality of livestock, pest-resistance crops, nutrient supplementation, and manufactured power fibers.
  • Energy – alternative energy sources, production of biofuels from algae and other plant and waste sources.

Click here to read the entire MIT Sloan Management Review article.


Pervasive Computing 101

In a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article, Dr. Albert H. Segars from University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School outlined seven core technologies that are altering nearly every dimension of our lives and their implications for commerce, health care, learning, the environment and more.  According to Dr. Segars, pervasive computing is one of the core technologies that every business leader should become familiar with as the digital revolution rages on.

Pervasive computing, also called ubiquitous computing, is a concept where information, media, context, and processing power are delivered conveniently to us in all kinds of things. The Apple Watch’s ability to alert users of incoming phone calls and to allow users to complete calls through the watch, is an example of pervasive computing. The large network of connected microprocessors embedded in everyday objects allows access to information from virtually anywhere and at any time.

First pioneered in the late 1980s at the Olivetti Research Laboratory in Cambridge England, the development of the “Active Badge“, a small clip-on microcomputer employee ID card, enabled the company to track employee movement. This spurred articles by the The New York Times, ComputerWorld and other publications about George Orwell’s Big Brother prediction coming true.

Mark Weiser, considered to be the father of ubiquitous computing, soon began building early ubiquitous computing devices with his colleagues at Xerox PARC and popularized the term “pervasive computing” with the creation of IBM’s Pervasive Computing division.
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Today, pervasive computing generally involves wireless communications and networking technologies, mobile devices, embedded systems, wearables, wireless sensors, voice recognition, AI and more. According to a recent study report published by Market Research Future, the global market of pervasive computing technology is booming and expected to gain prominence. Technology advancements and the increased demand for Internet of Things (IoT) continue to drive the growth.
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Application of Pervasive Computing Technology:
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  • Communications
  • Logistics
  • Transportation (by air, land and sea)
  • Energy
  • Learning
  • Military
  • Banking/Finance
  • Production
  • Smart Homes
  • E-commerce
  • Security & Safety
  • Healthcare/Medical Technology
  • Media
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To learn more, read:
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Don’t Be a LinkedIn Dinosaur

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for today’s consulting professional. That said, the world’s most popular social networking site for professionals is evolving and transforming at lightning speed. Here are four of LinkedIn’s latest features to keep you in the know…and stop you from becoming a LinkedIn dinosaur!

  • LinkedIn Search – has been updated with redesigned functionality and features to help deliver more relevant results.
  • “Connections of” Filter – use your extended network to search connections of your connections through the Connections of filter and find people who work in a specific industry, location or company.
  • LinkedIn Video – pictures tell a 1,000 words. Learn how to use LinkedIn Video to share your experience and perspectives.
  • Active Status – you can use LinkedIn’s “green dot” feature to learn who in your network is online and potentially available to communicate with you.

Blockchain Simplified

Croixstone‘s CXO Patti Weber recently participated in Skookum‘s largest Tech Talks to date. Josh Miller, Senior Software Engineer at Skookum, provided insight into blockchain technology and the uses beyond Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The original blockchain was described in a 2008 bitcoin paper by Satashi Nakamoto, just 2 months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. What makes blockchain so attractive is that it provides a level of trust that is interwoven in business transactions. People can now make transactions without middlemen which translates to greater control of funds and lower fees.

So, what is a blockchain? A blockchain is a digital encrypted ledger in which transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly. Like the name indicates, a blockchain is a chain of blocks containing information. Each block contains data, the hash (i.e., digital fingerprint that uniquely identifies the block and all the contents), and the hash of the previous block. When a block is created, a copy of the block is distributed on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Each member of the P2P network gets a copy of the block, and a consensus is obtained to ensure that the chain has not been tampered with.
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The way the blocks are chained together using hashes, along with a “proof of work” mechanism and distribution through a P2P network, makes blockchains secure and trustworthy. The term immutability – its resistance to tampering or other changes – is often used when describing blockchain.
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Blockchains eliminate the need for middlemen (e.g., banks) making it more efficient than legacy systems. They exist within communities, and participants that operate within an industry can all operate on the same chain, and therefore, have a copy of the distributed ledger.
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Applications of Blockchain
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As a result of the tamper-proof and hack-proof nature of blockchain, it is one of the most promising technologies with far-reaching applications. Here are just a few of the industries that are/will be impacted..
For a more detailed explanation of blockchain, see CNET’s recent article titled Blockchain explained: It builds trust when you need it most.
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For more information about industries impacted, check out: Banking Is Only The Beginning: 36 Big Industries Blockchain Could Transform