Just a short note today, as we head into our holiday break, recommending our new ranking of the 50 Best Workplaces for Camaraderie. Collaboration and teamwork are the group skills that every organization yearns for now, and these are the companies that have mastered them. A few of them are big and famous – Boston Consulting Group, SAS – but most of them are little outfits you’ve never heard of.
|Produced by Ryan Derousseau|
Read the profiles and you’ll quickly notice a powerful theme. “We spend every day ensuring others on our team succeed. It’s just the way Elixiter works. We don’t compete, we succeed as an entire team,” says an employee of Elixiter, a marketing firm in Bozeman, Montana. Many employees of these companies use the word “family” and talk about all the things they do together outside of work. Maybe you’re skeptical or even cynical about such talk. You have good reason to be. But at these firms it seems to be genuine.
Note also the companion article called “What Business Can Learn From the Golden State Warriors.” If you’re not a hoops fan, know that this team is worth studying because it’s the reigning NBA champion and opened this season with 24 straight wins, the best season start of any major U.S. professional sport ever. What’s their secret? It’s not a secret. They’re happy to tell you. “It’s a brotherhood,” says Warriors forward Marreese Speights. “We support every guy that steps on the court, whether it’s 30 minutes or two minutes. Everybody gets the same love.”
Lots of business leaders are really uncomfortable with the word “love.” But I’ve noticed that some of the greatest have used it regularly. My favorite example is Southwest Airlines co-founder and former CEO Herb Kelleher. For years, Southwest called itself “the airline that love built,” and its ticker symbol is still LUV. Yes, I know that’s partly because the company began by operating out of Dallas’s Love Field (named after an early military aviator). But Herb has always been comfortable talking about love in a business context, and it’s no coincidence that Southwest embodies the collaborative culture that every organization wants now.
The lesson that emerges is one that you don’t hear very often. As technology becomes central to the success of every business, you can’t help wondering if just maybe love is increasingly the key to making it all work. And what better message for this time of year?
See you on January 4. I wish you the happiest, most restful of holidays.
You can share Power Sheet with friends and followers here.
What We're Reading Today
Staples blasts government in Office Depot decision
In a court filing, Staples called the Federal Trade Commission's decision to block the merger between the two office-supply companies "misguided" and "fundamentally flawed." Ron Sargent's company argued that the combined company would face stiff competition from Amazon in the corporate services market. Fortune
U.S. posts rare warning to travelers in Beijing
The British, French, and Australian embassies have followed, saying there's a credible threat of violence against Westerners visiting a popular shopping district in Beijing. President Xi Jinping and Chinese authorities are aware of the concerns; with many shoppers expected this week, the government has already beefed up security at malls around the country. CNN
Honda and Takata discussed airbag troubles 5 years ago
Newly unsealed court documents show that Honda's head of U.S. manufacturing operations grilled Takata president Shigehisa Takada about airbag problems at a meeting in 2009. The meeting came two months after the first death linked to the airbag occurred, and Takada claimed the problem was limited in scope. Some 19 million vehicles have since been recalled, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration linked an eighth death in the U.S. to the airbags on Wednesday. NYT
Illinois AG says daily fantasy sports are illegal gambling
Attorney General Lisa Madigan said state law prohibits the online games even if they involve skill. New York and Nevada already maintain that daily fantasy sports are illegal. Illinois's action is another blow to Nigel Eccles's FanDuel and Jason Robins's DraftKings, as the state has the third-highest number of daily fantasy players. It's unclear how the two companies will proceed in the state. ESPN
Building a Better Leader
Is it time to find another job in 2016?
Listen to what coworkers say. If they're disguntled (or getting fired), it might be time to look. Seattle Times
Getting an MBA isn't necessarily all that great
You may learn better business values working at a well-run business. Fortune
More managers are firing employees...
...for shopping on the job. The rate has risen from 1-in-12 managers saying they've done so to 1-in-8. USA Today
Abercrombie & Fitch moves forward without a CEO
The retailer suspended its search for a new chief executive; a group of executives have been managing the company's turnaround since Mike Jeffries stepped down a year ago. The board has just promoted Hollister President Fran Horowitz to A&F's chief merchant, putting her on the inside track to become CEO. Fortune
Online cuts into mall sales as holidays approach
Even last minute shoppers turned online to make their final purchases. Physical store sales fell 6.7% last weekend while mall traffic declined 10.4%. Fred Smith's FedEx said it's working "round-the-clock" to fill orders and assures customers that if packages were ordered by their deadlines, they should be delivered by Christmas. WSJ
Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's new tactic in N.H: guilt
Bush and Christie, trying to convince voters to support anyone but Donald Trump, are emphasizing New Hampshire's importance as the first primary state. Its voters bear a heavy responsibility, the candidates tell them. Even if the argument proves convincing, of course, Bush and Christie may not get the votes. NYT
Fortune Reads and Videos
Hyatt Hotels hit by hack
The company discovered malware on computers the company uses for payment processing. It's unclear how many customers were affected. Fortune
A return to the old ways in 2015
In a struggle between old power and new power, old power -- think Vladimir Putin, for example, prevailed. Fortune
The Vatican didn't enjoy Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Vatican newspaper called it "confused and hazy." You can't win 'em all. Fortune
The biggest gainers in the Fortune 500 this year...
...include Netflix and JetBlue. Fortune
New Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turns 44 on Friday. Biography
Karl Rove, former White House adviser to George W. Bush, turns 65 on Friday. Biography
Share Today's Power Sheet: