Dec 7, 2020 | Leadership

The best organizations today understand that culture is their strongest asset and can be the glue to retaining top talent. Whether you nurture it or not, you have a culture. It may be empowering or toxic. Either way, the results are showing up on your bottom line.

Here are the 12 companies we featured in CEE News this year that show how doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive.

No alt text provided for this image

1. In September 1970, economist Milton Friedman argued in an article for the New York Times Magazine that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.” 50 years since that publication, leaders are still struggling with what, exactly, the social purpose of business should be. That struggle is being chronicled by Carl Erickson, Founder and Executive Board Chair of Atomic Object, a custom software design and development firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Erickson shares the existential angst behind the company’s vision for lasting for 100 years in the blog Great Not Big[Read More

.

 

No alt text provided for this image

2. If you start a new business this year, can you imagine it still thriving in the year 2110? 90 years ago, George Jenkins opened the first Publix Food Store in Winter Haven, Florida. Today, the business thrives not because of ping pong tables or kombucha on tap, but because of the enduring philosophy of treating people with dignity and giving them a stake in the company’s success. The Publix Super Markets of 2020 is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States fueled by over 200,000 dedicated women and men. Jenkins’ philosophy of putting people first has landed Publix recognition as one of one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For 22 years in a row, the South’s Best Grocery Store by Southern Living magazine (2018), and No. 2 among the Top Companies for Social Responsibility by the Harris Poll (2017). [Read More

.

 

No alt text provided for this image

3. According to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, 1.3 billion tons of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year. In Canada, 58% of all food produced is wasted, according to a report by the food bank Second Harvest. Nada, Vancouver’s first zero-waste grocery store, was founded by Alison Carr and Brianne Miller. As a marine biologist, Miller witnessed the mass of plastics swirling in the oceans, most of which was tied to food packaging. She realized the grocery store system was broken, and asked a simple question. What if food was just food again? [Read More

.

 

No alt text provided for this image

4. Last week, the global number of confirmed deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 50,000 and cases topped 1 million. With cases on the rise, corporations are stepping up to help support people in need of assistance and flatten the curve, like a program just rolled out by Expensify to support SNAP, the United States’ largest anti-hunger program. [Read More]

 .

 

No alt text provided for this image

5. While most restaurants in America are shuttered, White House Italian Steak House in Anaheim, California, is hammered. Twice a week, cars line up by the hundreds, turning the fine dining experience into the ambiance of a Nascar pit stop. Owner Bruno Serato knows that most guests of this popup, bi-weekly drive through can pay no more than a heartfelt “thank you”. And that’s just fine by him. Bruno and his team are catering to the growing legions of the desperate. It’s a mission for which he is very well suited. He bought the mansion-turned-restaurant in 1987, and started serving Northern Italian cuisine in the style of his home in Verona, Italy[Read More

.

No alt text provided for this image

6. Brian Halligan was vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard in 2006, weighing the pros and cons of launching Hubspot. “One day,” according to Halligan “I’m looking at a book of cartoons from The New Yorker, and the first cartoon I open to shows this dog who’s just sitting at a computer on the Internet. A second dog is looking over his shoulder, like, what the heck are you doing on the Internet? And the dog on the Internet looks at the other guy and says, ‘You know, the great thing about the Internet is nobody knows you’re a dog.’” [Read More

.

 

No alt text provided for this image

7. Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra had just moved JCRT, their direct-to-consumer shirt company, to a new office on Pier 59 in New York City when New York’s stay-at-home order was issued in mid-March of 2020. Founded in 2016, JCRT is a modern menswear studio where craft meets tech through responsibly manufactured fashion. Their work has been exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is in the permanent collections of The Victoria and Albert Museum and Museum at FIT. Heartsick that their beloved city was the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak, the couple immediately set to work to so something to help. [Read More

.

 

No alt text provided for this image

8. If you’ve worn out a pair of walking shoes to break out of your Covid orbit, you might consider ordering your next pair from Allbirds. Founder Tim Brown, a native of New Zealand, was well versed in the qualities of merino wool. Inherently curious, Brown began asking himself why such a remarkable, sustainable resource was virtually absent in the footwear industry. And with that spirit of wonder, the Allbirds journey began. After years of researching and tinkering, Brown teamed up with Joey Zwillinger, an engineer and renewables expert. Together, they crafted a revolutionary wool fabric made specifically for footwear. The outcome? An entirely new category of shoes inspired by natural materials, and an ongoing mantra to create better things in a better way. [Read More

.

 

No alt text provided for this image

9. Once a week, the employees at the HR Software company Workday get a two-question survey. On #FeedbackFriday, employees might be asked first about their relationship with their manager, and then to reflect on their own mental and physical health. The questions vary from week to week, but the survey creates a robust data set of responses from over 10,000 employees that can be mined to help ensure the company’s culture stays on track. From the day that the idea for the company was sketched out over lunch at Jax Truckee Diner in California in 2005, co-founders Aneel Bhusri and Dave Duffield resolved to build a company that would scale by tapping into a rich tapestry of diverse talent. [Read More

.

 

No alt text provided for this image

10. 2020 has challenged leaders in ways they never expected. Outside of the healthcare industries, corporate leaders may feel unequipped to navigate the medical complexities that come with leading through a pandemic. Even the most seasoned leaders who’ve won accolades for setting vision, values, strategy, and culture have little understanding of the many unknowns that this pandemic and future ones might present. Yet, organizations now have a life or death role to play in protecting the health of employees, customers, and the public. One organization, Constellation Brands, has decided to add a new executive to the C-Suite – a Chief Medical Officer. [Read More

.

No alt text provided for this image

11. Rajesh Anandan and his MIT roommate, Art Shectman, founded Ultranautswith one goal in mind: to prove that neurodiversity and autism could be a competitive advantage in business. “There is an incredible talent pool of adults on the autistic spectrum that has been overlooked for all the wrong reasons,” said 46-year-old Anandan in a recent interview with BBC. “People who haven’t had a fair shot to succeed at work, because of workplace and workflow and business practices that aren’t particularly effective for anyone but are especially damaging for anyone who is wired differently.” [Read More

.

No alt text provided for this image

12. A little over one year ago this month, a young woman was hired to be a cashier at The Bazaar, Inc., a family-owned merchandising business in Chicago that has been around for three generations. When she walked in looking for a job, she seemed capable and bright and willing to work hard, and so she was extended an offer to come on board. She was thrilled—and so was her mother. [Read More

 

Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!

Archives

Categories

Related Posts

Farewell and G’day to WD-40’s Outgoing CEO Garry Ridge

Farewell and G’day to WD-40’s Outgoing CEO Garry Ridge

6.5 years ago, when a San Diego-based client asked for our help to codify their core values, I immediately reached out to WD-40 CEO Garry Ridge. I was first charmed by Garry when I heard him speak at a leadership conference. His Australian accent, the catch in his...

read more
Feed Your Need to Learn with 15-Minute Microlearning Bites

Feed Your Need to Learn with 15-Minute Microlearning Bites

“There is a big disconnect between what science knows and what business does.” So claimed Daniel Pink in Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. One of the three elements of true motivation, Pink found, is the deeply human need to learn. Our workplace...

read more

LET’S GET CONNECTED

 

Preferred method of contact:

4 + 11 =

*Required fields. By submitting this form you agree to receive emails from Center for Executive Excellence and can unsubscribe at any time.

Share This