I noticed in the current issue of Fast Company Magazine that Intel, the processor-making giant, had been ranked in the top ten most innovative companies for 2009. It reminded me of that little badge on my computer that says “Intel Inside.”
What this tells me is that I can rely, at least, on the processor being high quality and the most innovative available.
It got me to thinking, what do the best companies have inside them that makes it such a pleasure to do business with them? You know the companies: Apple, Google, Whole Foods, Southwest Airlines, Harley Davidson, etc. They deliver value, often beyond what I expect. I know I can trust their products and expect great service every time well.
There are two essential ingredients I see in organizations that deliver value their competitors can’t match:
- There is a high level of trust inside and outside the organization. Everyone is treated with a high level of respect, and the openness that is encouraged allows everyone in the organization to contribute innovative ideas that increase the organization’s value proposition. Trust-based leadership abounds as leaders understand that their employees are going to extreme lengths every day to ensure the company’s success.
- They are purpose-driven: everyone from the CEO to the front-line workers understands that the purpose of the organization is to deliver outstanding value to the customers. They also know that what they do delivers the value customers experience. Employees who don’t directly deal with external customers know their internal customers and deliver exceptional value to them, knowing that what they do flows through to impact on the value external customers experience.
I’d like to hear from you about organizations you believe have “trust inside”: those that build and sustain a high level of trust with their customers because of the trust and commitment that permeates every layer of the organization.