Flexport is thrilled to learn that we’ve been named to both the 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50, CNBC’s annual list of private companies transforming the economy, and Inc.’s Best Workplaces. We’re honored and humbled to be recognized alongside so many fantastic businesses.
Joining these lists reaffirms a few things for me. First, and most importantly, it speaks volumes about our people: Flexport has some of the most impressive people in the world. To our nearly 1,200 Flexporters worldwide, I can’t say enough how proud I am to work with all of you. I hope these recognitions fill you with pride; you’ve earned it.
There isn’t room in this blog to share my full appreciation to all of our teams, but it will come through in the commitments I’m making to create an environment where we can all do the best work of our lives.
Because culture is the most important competitive advantage we can build.
Recently, The Loadstar’s Russell Wood posited that Flexport’s secret sauce for disruption, growth, and success isn’t our technology, but our culture – and that “this one ingredient counts for more than all the others combined.” I couldn’t agree more.
I’m proud of the culture we’ve built together. This week’s awards confirm once again that we have an incredible foundation for success. But we also have a long journey ahead of us and room for improvement in all directions.
That’s why, as we’ve continued to grow at hyperspeed, I spend a good portion of my time speaking with founders and senior leaders at some of the best run companies in the world. I’ve also spent time with many inspiring people at Flexport who have shared invaluable advice on what our culture means for them, and where we can add to and improve it.
All the leaders I admire share an obsession with building and nurturing their company cultures. And, while there isn’t a universally agreed upon definition for culture, I’ve found enough commonalities to create a framework that our teams can use to better define, nurture, transform and scale our culture. The pillars of my framework for great culture are purpose, talent, decision-making, prioritization, and community – all underpinned by world-class communications. In the weeks and months to come, I’ll be writing more about this framework, and begin the hard work of using it to continue to improve what is already our main strength as a company.
While there’s much work to be done, our own employee survey tells me we’re hitting the mark in several of these cultural pillars; in fact, 75% of employees say the Flexport culture is one in which they can thrive. For example, we are:
Learning and development begins with Flexport Academy.
To create their list of Best Workplaces, Inc. surveyed our employees directly, and audited the benefits we provide. Obviously, I’m extremely proud and encouraged that these assessments deemed us worthy of recognition. But there’s still so much we can improve upon. Our recent biannual employee satisfaction survey is an even better tool, which gives us a more granular understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. And the data is pretty clear that we still have a long way to go.
The more we grow, the more critical programs and processes that support culture become. That’s why Flexport’s leadership and I are committing to:
I won’t be the first (or the last) to agree that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It’s important to remember that culture has an insatiable appetite. We’ve got to continually feed, nurture, and transform it if we want our culture to keep giving us an edge as we scale.