Home Archives October 2007 The path to excellence

The path to excellence

| Print |  Email
Monday, October 01, 2007

The early September day couldn’t have been more beautiful and the Portland Art Museum was just as spectacular, a fitting setting for the creative work going on at our first annual 100 Best Conference.  

We packed the Mark Building for a day designed to help business leaders build a better workplace. It was remarkable to see so many business people give up the tantalizing warm and sunny day just outside the door so they could learn ways to make their company a great place to work.

It was remarkable, but not surprising. The 100 Best project has for 15 years shown that Oregon companies care about being great workplaces. We’ve had thousands enter over the years and hundreds repeatedly sign up. When we moved that project beyond the pages of the magazine to a conference this year, I wasn’t sure how many business leaders would care. But I got my answer as I stood at the podium. Looking over the assembled group, I saw 300 people representing almost 200 companies across dozens of industries. All with the same goal: excellence.

s_Robin ROBIN DOUSSARD

I know time is precious and dollars are tight. But this group managed to find both in order to learn from the nine workshops on topics such as how to be a great boss, balancing work and life, and why a positive culture is important to the bottom line. A highlight of the conference was a panel discussion among CEOs from 100 Best companies. The CEOs were generous and honest about what they do to create employee satisfaction, and they knew what it meant to their bottom line. As Dave Evans of David Evans & Associates said, he hates it when CEOs say that employees are a company’s most important asset. “They aren’t assets,” he said passionately. “They are the company.”

It is that kind of leadership and way of thinking about those who work for you that creates a great company: David Evans has been an Oregon Business 100 Best company seven times, and this year was named by Fortune as one of its best companies to work for.

As I ducked in and out of the various sessions, I heard a portion of David Layzell’s workshop. Layzell is a retired Intel executive who teaches business ethics at Portland State University and he was listing his seven steps to building an ethics program. The first and most important was “Choose to be an optimist.”

That’s powerful advice with meaning beyond ethics. If you are optimistic, you will assume greatness can be yours. If you are optimistic, you might know you aren’t there yet, but given the right information, you could get there. If you choose to be an optimist, knowing what your employees really think about working for you isn’t terrifying. It’s necessary.

The 2009 100 Best Survey is under way. I hope you participate this year if you haven’t before, and if you have, I hope you join us again. (Go to Oregon100Best.com to sign up.) There’s no cost to participate, and what you get back is honest feedback (employees take the survey anonymously) about what your workers think about your company — and you.

Choose to be an optimist.

 

More Articles

Creating a culture of compliance

Business tips
Thursday, June 19, 2014
DataBY MONICA ENAND | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Nine tips for building habits among employees to respond when needed.


Read more...

Beyond cheese

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT

Tillamook expands its tourism niche.


Read more...

Understanding Oregon medical marijuana dispensary tenants

News
Friday, June 13, 2014
061314 thumb grassrentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER

This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.


Read more...

13 West Coast seafood species now 'sustainable'

News
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Fishing OrBiz Fishing 0357 ADOBErgbCiting the transition to catch shares management as a key to rebuilding stocks and reducing bycatch, 13 species caught by the West Coast trawl fishery today earned designation from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as sustainable.


Read more...

Trends in business succession

News
Thursday, July 03, 2014
TrendsBY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS

The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

The 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

GreenLogoOregon is known for its green-minded citizens, and many workers are attracted to firms and organizations that practice green, not just pay lip service to it.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS