The secret behind Forbes companies

March 14, 2016

Berlin, Germany

If the biggest companies care, so can I

The top companies in the world have made dramatic adjustments in becoming global and incorporating technology towards their success.

Every year Forbes works through a process to select the top companies in the world . In order of ranking, the top 6 most admired companies in 2015 are Apple, Google, Berkshire Hathaway,, Starbucks and Walt Disney. Apple has held the leading spot for the 8th year in a row.

Two companies that stand out in particular are Amazon and Starbucks. This is not simply because I love nothing more than a great cup of coffee and a really good book! I chose these two companies because of their exceptional commitment to people having a very positive experience and, in Starbucks case, the fact that they care about having a transformational impact.

Customer service like no other

I have admired Amazon’s success for the past couple of years. I’ve marveled at the fact that they are the store in my home, that they are a company I trust, that their delivery is fast, friendly and just done right. Their customer service sets the bar for every other online company. “Their mission statement is also their vision. Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online. is successful because of their leadership and ensuring their core values are part of their make-up from day one.”

Values that communicate personality and integrity

Amazon has great values. The fun way that they have been written reveals some of their personality. Customer Obsession, Ownership, Invent and Simplify, Are Right, A Lot, Hire and Develop the Best, Insist on the Highest Standards, Think Big, Bias for Action, Frugality, Vocally Self Critical, Earn Trust of Others, Dive Deep, Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit, Deliver Results.

Amazon truly cares about people! It’s important for companies to show that kind of personal care and customer service regardless of their size. This is something that is a high value for me both as a consumer and as a company.

Commitment to use scale for the good

Starbucks is committed to what they believe in. “… at Starbucks, I’ve always said we’re not in the coffee business serving people, we’re in the people business servicing coffee.” – Howard Schultz

They choose neighborhoods to make a difference. According to Howard Schulz they are committed to their farmers and to becoming America’s front porch. Their website states, “We have always believed Starbucks can – and should — have a positive impact on the communities we serve. One person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. As we have grown to now more than 20,000 stores in over 60 countries, so too has our commitment to use our scale for good.”

Their mission statement says they exist to “inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”  

Core values a philosophy as to how to treat people well.

It’s a philosophy that Starbucks consumers have experienced. The coffee is served, but it is not about the coffee. It’s about belonging, making a difference and having an impact on society.

▪ Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.

▪ Acting with courage, challenging the status quo.

▪ Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.

▪ Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.

▪ We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity.

It's time to care.  

When people feel cared about and like they matter, they commit and come back. The caring needs to be real and the customer service needs to be professional with integrity. I value the fact that these two companies care that much about my experience. It helps me to trust and commit as a consumer. For my company, the customer experience is critical. I want every person to feel valued, looked after, heard and to have his or her needs met.

This is why we exist – is to bring about transformation by caring about people in a BIG way.

written by Karen Schenk


Most Admired 2015.

Douglas Satterfield, June 15, 2014. Core Values: Retrieved from
Howard Behar,

Quote by Howard Schultz, 2007. Not About the Coffee: Lessons on
Putting People First
. The Penguin Group

Starbucks Mission Statement