Recognizing The Best Workplaces:
Values & Virtue Signaling
When we invest, we are ultimately betting on a leadership team, a bet that a handful of people can lead a much larger group of people towards a mutually beneficial goal. A big part of that judgement comes down to evaluating if the company’s leaders create win-win relationships not only for customers, but also for employees and communities. We don’t think anything less is profitable long-term.
It’s easy to talk about values and difficult to live them. If it was easy and advantageous, the world would be a lot kinder, generous, and soft-spoken. It’s something we think about a lot at adventur.es.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we struggle to live out our aspirations. Fairness is the obvious path until it costs you something. Reliability is a no-brainer until it causes inconvenience. We’re human and our first reactions are sometimes wrong. But, we’re trying. We try to identify and study our own inadequacies. And we try to use those feedback loops to get a little better. Baby steps, but hopefully in the right direction.
We’re blessed with portfolio company leaders who are walking with us. I’d like to shine the spotlight on John Hall and Kelsey Meyer who lead Influence & Co. Like every relationship, we’ve had our ups and downs. But even in my deepest frustration, I’ve always respected them, especially how they care for their employees. "Caring for your people" is so often repeated that it has become virtually meaningless. I can assure you that it’s lived at Influence & Co. consistently, in thick and thin, and especially when it’s inconvenient.
It’s no surprise that they were recently ranked #37 on Fortune Magazine’s Best Small Workplaces. It’s quite an honor and one that fits them well. Every company has a unique personality and their’s is quirky, caring, and innovative. They have blazed a new trail, which is something in and of itself. But what makes them more impressive is how they’ve done it with an eye towards providing a first-class work environment. No wonder out of the 65 employees surveyed by Fortune, 64 of them are proud of where they work. There’s always room for improvement.