Spotlight on Disruption

Coworking office spaces represent a fundamental shift in the way people work, and the coworking industry is disrupting the commercial real estate industry in a very BIG way.  The future of work is a huge topic of discussion every week at Croixstone, and the shift in how people work is what incentivized us to relocate our offices from our business loft in South End to Industrious in Uptown Charlotte nearly one year ago. Learn why companies like Spotify, Lyft, Hyatt and Chipotle have joined Croixstone in calling Industrious home across the United States.  Click here.


2018: The Year of Professional Courage

With months of revelations about sexual harassment and abuse of men and women across industries, we encourage you to make 2018 the year of professional courage. Guest blogger, Tony Armeni, shares his insights below.

What are we to think of all the news about workplace behavior, and particularly sexual harassment, in the media of late?
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I am sure you have read and heard every possible angle about the individuals, situations, causes, explanations, and even excuses. Who knew? When did they know? How could this be?
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The one thing I have heard little about is accountability. Do we really need more training and clarifications from attorneys about the definition of sexual harassment? Do we need more value statements about integrity and transparency? The answer is NO! It is time for human resource leaders, and their executive peers, to step up and start holding their organizations and individuals in them accountable for behaviors that are in clear violation of the policies and training that they have already established. Enough about all the grey areas, misinterpretations, consensual this and that and all the other excuses. We know what this looks and sounds like. We know what the right thing to do is.  Now we need to start doing it.  
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No more separating the offender from the accuser, rationalizing how you can’t afford to lose the star performer, implementing mutual separation agreements for the accuser and so forth. Let’s eradicate the innuendo and foul language, jokes, inappropriate remarks and other behaviors that create a culture of tolerance and acceptance.
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It is important to make sure our policies on workplace behavior and sexual harassment are well communicated and that we have trained everyone in our organizations. We must take every complaint seriously and investigate thoroughly. Once all the facts are known, we must do the right thing, regardless of who the violator might be.
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Merriam-Webster defines courage as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty. Get an early start on your new year’s resolutions and begin now to demonstrate professional courage and start leading your organization’s accountability crusade. Let’s make 2018 the year of professional courage.
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About Our Guest Blogger
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Tony Armeni, MBA, SPHR and SCP, is a senior consultant in Croixstone’s human capital practice. With extensive experience in diverse industries, cultures and environments (including Fortune 200 companies), Tony has delivered high-impact results to support the business objectives, change initiatives and leadership development activities at companies including SCOR, Joerns Healthcare, Sompo Japan, CSX World Terminals and more. Tony offers deep expertise in helping organizations navigate through sexual harassment complaints, investigations and training.
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Are you ready to make 2018 the year of professional courage?  For a confidential discussion, contact Mark Weber, Managing Partner, at (980) 263-0234 or by email at mweber@croixstone.consulting


Croixstone is On the Move!

We are thrilled to formally announce the relocation of Croixstone Consulting from our start-up loft in South End to Industrious Charlotte in Uptown. When Croixstone initially opened its doors, we intentionally selected the loft space in South End for many reasons, including its robust history as a center of innovation and entrepreneurialism. South End is home to the nation’s first gold rush, attracting men and women to the Queen City, and in 1926, a pioneer snack company born from an innovative idea of pairing creamy peanut butter with crackers made South End its home. In the early 1990s, the corporate headquarters for Lance Crackers was converted into mixed-use space which kick-started the revitalization of the South End area. Innovation, entrepreneurialism and revitalization mirror the values our maverick consultants deliver to our clients.

Our selection of Industrious in the Bank of America Plaza building as Croixstone’s next home is also intentional. The dictionary definition of industrious captures the spirit of our firm. We are a tribe of industrious, forward-thinking individuals tackling industry challenges and propelling companies forward. Our consultants understand the importance of questioning the status quo and diligently culling through the issues to solve complex problems and advance critical outcomes.

In February 2017, Forbes wrote an article about the Industrious formula for productive coworking spaces. The parallels between our beliefs at Croixstone in a balance of serious business + fun and Industrious’ formula for productive coworking were too coincidental. Our move to Industrious allows us to continue to expand and grow, while surrounding ourselves with other companies, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, working just as hard. The move also allows us to extend an invitation to our consultants to drop in and work in a vibrant, professional community as the need arises. Click here to read more press about Industrious.

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 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:


Portfolio Careers + LOOM Coworking + Croixstone Consulting

Yesterday the Croixstone Consulting team enjoyed the opportunity to facilitate a professional development “Lunch + Learn” talk on the topic of portfolio careers at LOOM Coworking.  The session was led by Mark Weber (Croixstone’s founder and Managing Partner) and Tony Armeni, MBA (Senior Consultant in Croixstone’s Human Resources practice group).  The Croixstone team presented at the invitation of Jen Belk (Director and Programming Coordinator, LOOM Coworking and VP of Design and Consulting, Belk Construction Management Group).

Portfolio careers have long been prevalent with creative arts professionals and have emerged as a compelling career option for business professionals.  Simply stated, a portfolio career is a working style where a professional has several strings to his/her career bow (often creating a mix of employment, freelancing and/or consulting).  Business professionals are increasingly turning to portfolio careers to combine their passions in a way that works for them.

Despite Mother Nature’s fury yesterday, the Croixstone team presented to a full house and enjoyed the warm hospitality delivered by Jen Belk in the energetic LOOM Coworking space.  Thanks to Jen and all who participated in yesterday’s “Lunch + Learn”.

To learn more about portfolio careers, click here.

To learn more about LOOM Coworking, click 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