James Ledbetter firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest pairing in Inc.’s Founders
Project has Ju Rhyu (pictured),
co-founder and CEO of Hero Cosmetics, receiving advice
from Jaime Schmidt of Schmidt’s
Naturals. Follow along, starting
on page 48.
ulture eats strategy
for breakfast,” according to a famous quote
attributed to Peter Drucker.
There is a lot of room to quibble there,
starting with whether Drucker ever said
this. Strategy, obviously, is vitally important and frequently misunderstood. Too
often when leaders talk about strategy,
they are really discussing procedures
or vision or something else. (Richard
Rumelt’s book Good Strategy/ Bad Strategy, which I’m currently reading, makes
this point brilliantly.)
And yet, in at least two ways, the
wisdom of Drucker’s observation stands
up—which is why you’ll see it turn up
elsewhere in this issue.
For starters, a culture is going to be
there whether you plan it or not. Many
companies treat workplace culture as
something that just happens. That omission
isn’t necessarily fatal, but it often means
wasted energy and disengaged employees.
Second, you can have the smartest
strategy in your industry and still have a
miserable workplace. Who needs that?
And, as our annual Best Workplaces sur-
vey (beginning on page 68)
demonstrates, there are plenty
of companies that turn a great
workplace culture into a
massively successful business.
Good business leaders know
how to adapt to their location, key
employees, industry, and other
variables. As you will see in our
package, what works for the
employees of the cybersecurity
firm IntelliGenesis (page 68)—
where nearly all the workers need
government security clearances—
won’t be the same as what works
for sock company Bombas (page
92). There isn’t a single formula
that works for every company.
Or is there? The quest is on to discover
if there is some fundamental blueprint
to create satisfied workers. Starting on page
86, editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan profiles
the leadership coaching firm BetterUp.
Working with psychologists like Martin
Seligman, the company is trying to
scientifically determine what makes for
an engaged workforce. It’s a little early to
report definitive results, but the lessons
in Buchanan’s story are a good investment
of any manager’s time—even if you can’t
eat them for breakfast.
Better Than Breakfast EDITOR’S LETTER