3 Essential Focus Areas for Your Board

As a boutique management consulting firm, the catalyst behind many of Croixstone’s engagements is tied to priorities established by private company boards.

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is a professional association with a mission to empower directors and transform boards to be future ready. For more than 40 years, NACD has been on the leading edge of corporate governance by setting standards of excellence that have elevated board performance.

The Croixstone team read with interest a recent publication by NACD spotlighting the fact that private company boards are facing increased pressure to both capitalize on and protect against disruption. Whether coming from the environment, rapid advances in technology, the political landscape, and/or regulatory realms, the ongoing threat of disruption demands that directors be flexible, agile, and ready to address these fast-evolving challenges.

NACD recommends that boards prioritize their discussions on the following three areas:

  • Human Capital: Especially on matters of hiring, retention, and succession planning.
  • Cyber Threats: In 2021, ransomware events increased by 700%. It is essential that directors understand their company’s vulnerabilities and the board’s role in addressing these challenges.
  • ESG: The rise in ESG (environmental, social and governance) mandates that boards provide strong leadership in guiding the management of their companies to allocate the appropriate resources and attention.

Learn more here.


Understanding America’s Labor Shortage

Here’s an eye-opening fact that truly captures that enormous hiring challenge facing USA employers of all sizes.

If every unemployed person in the country found a job, we would still have 5.3 million open jobs.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce published research in early February of 2022 that featured this fact along with other data that the Croixstone team found fascinating. The following data points truly help to shape the story of today’s labor market.

  • We have 11.3 million job openings in the USA – but only 6 million unemployed workers.
  • As of October 2021, the pandemic drove 3 million adults into early retirement.
  • The childcare industry lost 370,600 jobs between February and April 2020 – and is still recovering.
  • Women participating in the workforce is at its lowest rate since the 1970s.
  • Last year, more than 47 million workers quit their jobs.
  • A Gallup survey found that 91% of workers in the USA hope they can continue to work some of their hours from home.
  • 3 in 10 workers surveyed by Gallup signaled they would seek now employment if they were recalled to the office.

Learn more about the U.S. Chamber research here.

The seismic disruption in the USA’s workforce mandates that organizations of all sizes reimagine their people strategies. Croixstone’s team of highly-experienced human capital professionals are here to ideate and bring new thinking to your HR organization. Reach out to us today and let’s kick-start a conversation.


The Charlotte Ledger 40 Over 40 Awards Celebration

The Croixstone team is joining The Charlotte Ledger and U.S. Bank on Thursday evening, April 28, to celebrate this year’s honorees of local Charlotte unsung heroes aged 40+ who are doing great things in our community. We are looking forward to a fun night honoring The Charlotte Ledger’s amazing 40 Over 40 winners from 2020, 2021, and this year.

The honorees from 2021 include our very own Patti Weber, CEO and co-founder. Read more about Patti here.

Congrats to 2022’s winners! We look forward to seeing you on Thursday!


Most USA Workers are Open to Leaving

The Great Resignation is a powerful force to be reckoned with, and it shows no signs of easing up.

Case in point…Willis Towers Watson, the insurance broking and HR advisory firm, polled nearly 10,000 USA workers during December 2021 and January 2022 to gather insights for its Global Benefits Attitudes Survey.

The Croixstone team read the survey results last week, and the insights are truly stunning.

  • Most USA workers (53%) are open to leaving their employers.
  • 44% of USA workers said they are actively looking for a new job and plan to seek new employment in the first quarter of 2022.
  • 4.3 million Americans left their jobs in January 2022, and a whopping 48 million workers left their jobs in the calendar year 2021.
  • 25% of workers feel stuck in their jobs and would leave if they could. The discontent is even higher as you move up the ladder, and it increases to 30% of managers and 55% of senior managers.

Learn more here.


We’re Celebrating our Nomination for 2022

The Croixstone team is in a celebratory mood! The firm and our CEO, Patti Weber, have been nominated for the 11th annual 2022 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Crowns of Enterprise Awards.

The Crowns of Enterprise Awards recognize and honor small businesses that demonstrate exemplary leadership and sound business strategies. Charlotte-Mecklenburg strives to acknowledge and display the hard work and resilient efforts of the community’s local small businesses, illustrating the positive footprint and economic impact they have on Croixstone’s home town.

Winners will be announced during the annual Charlotte-Mecklenburg Crowns of Enterprise Awards Ceremony taking place on Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Learn more here.


LinkedIn is Rightfully Tackling an Archaic Stigma

With the demand for labor at historically high levels and workers continuing to quit their jobs at historic rates to take advantage of that demand, there has never been a better time for employers to break free of archaic rules of hiring.

For a reason that has never made sense to us, employers have traditionally scoffed at job candidates with breaks in their employment. In fact, two of our senior female leaders, Patti Weber (CEO) and Grace Lynch (Senior Manager, Business Operations), have taken breaks during their impressive careers to raise children.

We applaud LinkedIn’s news this week that it is rolling out a new feature called “Career Breaks” to all LinkedIn users allowing professionals to provide more context around breaks in employment.

Learn more about the LinkedIn Career Breaks feature here.


Management Consulting and 5 Trends Shaping Its Future

The first management consulting firm was launched in 1886 by Arthur Dehon Little in Boston, MA. More than 135 years later, there are megatrends (like any other industry) disrupting and shaping the future of the industry where Croixstone practices as a a boutique firm.

Rick Eager, Partner Emeritus at Arthur D. Little, recently shared five trends that he believes are key for consulting firms to embrace in order to successfully navigate the rapidly changing landscape.

These five trends include:

  • Success demands great senior-level involvement
  • Open consulting is key
  • More skin in the game
  • Connectors and navigators
  • Embracing new technology is vital

Learn more here via Consultancy.uk.


Get to Know LinkedIn’s New Podcast Network

Podcasts here. Podcasts there. Podcasts podcasts everywhere!

Podcast popularity is at an all-time high, with Edison Research reporting last year that some eighty million Americans are now weekly podcast listeners, while 116 million tune in to podcasts monthly.

This week, LinkedIn announced that it is piloting the “LinkedIn Podcast Network” where the networking site will host a range of shows created by both internal staff and external experts. The content will target professionals and will focus on areas including understanding tech, managing mental health, and explaining the hiring process.

Explore the LinkedIn Podcast Network here.


Portfolio Careers are Booming

Highly regarded business journals and magazines have been writing about the rise in portfolio careers for the past couple of years. Now others are picking up on this booming career trend. We were intrigued to read a newly published article in Harper’s Bazaar that makes a case for why professionals may want to consider a portfolio career.

A portfolio career comprises a variety of roles rather than one job at a single organization. It is a career strategy that is crafted with care and intentionality where professionals combine multiple streams of income to create a mix of either full or part-time employment. A large percentage of Croixstone’s consultants have successfully constructed portfolio careers that deliver variety, challenge, great income, and the professional satisfaction that so many highly experienced professionals are seeking.

The Harper’s Bazaar article spotlights recent research from the Department of Education in the UK that found that 63% of adults in England have multiple roles, or plan to, in the future. The study, conducted in November of 2021, also found that 37% more people have a portfolio career than before the global pandemic.

Read the Harper’s Bazaar article here.


What’s the Future of Consulting?

As we count down the final days of 2021 and look forward to the shiny new year ahead, Croixstone is celebrating a record year of revenues and client growth.

Croixstone sees a very bright future ahead for both the consulting industry and our firm. That said, the pathway to the future must be navigated amidst the powerful forces of disruption that are igniting rapid transformation in the consulting industry.

We were curious to learn how other thought leaders in our industry are seeing the future of consulting. We came across an interesting online article published by Future of Everything that features fascinating insights into the future from 14 consulting industry experts. Click here to learn their thoughts.