Power Sheet – December 24, 2015

December 24, 2015, 3:30 PM UTC

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.

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