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One of the few national companies that has made a name for themselves as being a stellar place to work is the very well known Starbucks.  (And yes, I love my local coffee shop as much as the next person, but you have to admit they make a great brew.)  And having read the Corner Office from the New York Times October 10th issue I can see why.  In this interview Howard Schultz, the chairman, president and chief executive of Starbucks makes some brilliant remarks, these being my fave:

  • “It was my experience growing up in Brooklyn, where my dreams were beyond my station in life, and I wanted build a different kind of company that perhaps my father never got a chance to work for.  It came from seeing firsthand that if you were not a highly educated or a very successful person – that perhaps as a blue-collar work or lower-middle-class person, as my parents were – that the work environment didn’t treat you with a level of respect.”
  • “People have come to me over the years and said to me:  ‘I admire the culture of Starbucks.  Can you come give a speech and help us turn our culture around?”  I wish it were that easy.  Turning around a culture is very difficult to do because it’s based on a series of many, many decisions.'”
  • “The discipline that I believe so strongly in is H.R. and it’s typically the last discipline that gets funded…more often than not, the head of H.R. does not have a seat at the table.  Big mistake.”

Howard gets it.  He gets that everyone should have the opportunity to work in a place where they’re respected.  He understands that a culture is built over time, day to day, through interactions and choices.  And he appreciates H.R. , he values the critical contribution that they bring to the table – the ever important people piece.

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1.6 min readLast Updated: April 6th, 2021Published On: October 19th, 2010Categories: Improving Workplace Culture, Organizational Development ProcessTags:

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