Seed20 OnStage!

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'” Today, we focus on an upcoming event dedicated to those in the Charlotte community that are “doing for others” each and every day…SEED20 OnStage!

SEED20 is the annual program of Social Venture Partners Charlotte (a nonprofit organization) to identify, highlight and connect the community to the region’s most promising social entrepreneurs tackling pressing challenges.

Croixstone’s Mark Weber is serving as the Lead Partner for this year’s powerful program, best known for its high-energy SEED20 OnStage event where ten members of the SEED20 class compete to win cash awards by making three-minute “pitches” to a panel of judges and a community audience.

This year’s event takes place at the Bechtler Museum and Knight Theater in front of an audience of 1,000 guests on April 16, 2018.  We invite you to view the SEED20 video and website to learn more.

Tickets for the event are now on sale.  To purchase tickets, 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?
 .
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?
 .
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.  
 .
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.
 .
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.
 .
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.
 ..
About Our Guest Blogger
 .
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.
.

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@www.croixstone.consulting


#MakeYourMark in 2018

Happy New Year!  The Croixstone team is ready with some creative ways to start the year off on the right foot.  It’s time to #MakeYourMark in 2018.

  • One great way to start the year is by enjoying the great outdoors on New Year’s Day.  North Carolina State Parks will be hosting First Day Hikes throughout the state to start the year off right.  To read more about First Day Hikes in North Carolina, check out a story in the Shelby Star here and see a full list of hikes sponsored by North Carolina State Parks here.
  • Looking to make 2018 your healthiest year yet?  Start the year off with a free Healthy Lunch & Fitness Goal-Setting Session hosted by NoDa Personal Training.  To learn more and to register, click here.
  • Ready to take your career to the next level?  Check out 10 things to do in the new year to skyrocket your career in 2018 here.

Uniquely Charlotte Gift Ideas

With Christmas less than 2 weeks away and Hanukkah in progress, we know you may be scrambling to find that perfect gift.  Why not try out some uniquely Charlotte treasures?

Uniquely Charlotte Gifts
In November 2017, Architectural Digest named The Ivey’s Hotel as the most beautiful hotel in North Carolina. Why not plan a get-away at the The Ivey’s Hotel in Uptown Charlotte and explore what the city has to offer? Read more about The Ivey’s Hotel and take a glimpse at the inside here.
 .
.
Need a beautiful piece of jewelry for someone special in your life? Fashion and Compassion is a non-profit boutique located in South End that specializes in fashionable fair trade jewelry made by women overcoming poverty & injustice around the world.

.

Check out 43 local gift ideas for 2017 in  Charlotte Magazine’s Gift Guide.
Looking for a unique leather gift from a local company? Check out Anchor Leather Co. The Croixstone team first became familiar with Ethan Martin’s company at a Vintage Charlotte Pop-Up event two years ago, and we absolutely love their hard-wearing, fine leather goods. You can also find their goods sold on Etsy.
 .
.
.
.
.
Does someone on your list need a new professional head-shot? Consider giving Jim McGuire Photography and Video a call. Located in Studio1212 off of 10th Street, Jim recently captured pictures for the Croixstone team. Stay tuned for an unveiling in 2018.
 ..
.
.
Give the gift of an experience.  Here are 101 Fun Things to Do in Charlotte.

 


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.

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.

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:


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.


Global Cities 2016

So do you think you know the world’s most powerful “global” cities? 

A recently published study by The Brookings Institution and JPMorganChase might surprise you.  The study suggests that our idea of a global city has become outdated in a rapidly urbanizing world in the midst of seismic technological change. A handful of financial centers, like New York, London and Tokyo, no longer drive world economy. Instead a “vast and complex” network of cities – some surprisingly small, others mid-sized – powers the international flow of goods, services, people, capital and ideas.

The study identified seven types of global cities comprised of 123 urban areas – including our very own Charlotte (defined by the study as one of sixteen “American Middleweight” global cities).

Learn more here.