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“Our People Matter”

January 4th, 2018

That’s a line you’ll find on the website of almost any company. It’s part of the standard template. But that won’t tell you if their actions match their words. I’m blessed to work with companies of all different sizes, cultures, and industries,  where their people do matter, and it shows. Here are three very different businesses whose actions match their words:

TRU-CO is a dynamic company with a unique vision on how to do business. Their view is that, if people are happy, they will be productive and conscientious. The by-product of this is a world class product out the door. This concept carries through to relationships with their customers, vendors, competitors and charitable organizations that we are affiliated with. If you give people what they want, they give back (or forward) more than ever expected.

Chinese internet giant Alibaba (their equivalent of Amazon) became a publicly traded company two years ago and instantly became one of the largest companies in the world. But to quote CEO Jack Mah: We put customers first, employees second, and shareholders last. It’s the opposite of most North American companies and what they teach in business schools. But Mah made that clear before shares went on sale to the public. ‘If you don’t like it – do not buy the company stock.’

An even bigger proponent was Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. In an interview with his biographer he was asked what his biggest accomplishment was. It wasn’t the Iphone, Apple computer, or any actual product. It was building the Apple team. His answer shouldn’t be a surprise, because, without a team and the people, the products wouldn’t have been developed.

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