Great Companies: What Do They Have In Common?

Great Companies: What Do They Have In Common?
Last Updated: December 29, 2022

    Whats Inside?

When you ask someone what they think are the world’s top ten greatest companies you will almost always hear them say Google and Apple. These are 2 companies which have reached great success but they could not be more different. Whilst Apple is notoriously secretive; Google is a pioneer in transparency. Apple began as a hardware 


company; Google started as big data research. Apple has a military-style top-down command-and-control org chart; Google has a bottoms-up approach to it. Apple is driven primarily by vision; Google worships experimentation and data. Steve Jobs was a heart-centred designer; Larry Page presents himself as a Spockian engineer. Yet, in terms of revenue and impact on the world, both are among the world’s most successful companies.

This brings about the question. How can 2 seemingly different companies have both achieved such great success? The answer lies in the similarities between them.

What Great Companies Have In Common

  1. They have clarity of purpose-The best-performing organizations know why they exist and what they are trying to achieve. That allows them to explain every project, every priority, every role, even lines of code, in terms of how it serves the mission. Armed with clarity, everyone can feel and act in alignment with the organization’s core purpose.
  2. They determine and live their values-Most companies throw a list of things in their HR manual and never speak of them again. But the real great companies walk the walk when it comes to their values: using values to make decisions, explaining decisions publicly in terms of those values, screening potential teammates for alignment with those values and generally operating in true integrity with them.
  3. They have clearly defined their brand’s personality attributes-The best-performing organizations know why they exist and what they are trying to achieve.
  4. They recruit people compatible with them-  You may have heard rapidly growing companies praised for going on so-called hiring sprees, a supposed mark of success, but a smart company also takes the time to get to know prospective employees. In addition to evaluating a candidate’s skills, hiring managers at awesome companies should also be checking if potential new hires are going to fit in with the culture.
  5. They practice mindfulness-Great companies regularly reflect on what they are doing and how they are doing it, and if those actions feel in alignment or out of alignment with the company’s authentic core.
  6. The company admits when there’s a problem-At great companies, they are quick to acknowledge when something needs to change, and are willing to work with employees to make improvements. These companies are more transparent.
  7. The company leads by example-The best companies maintain a work environment that ensures that everyone treated with trust, respect and dignity in every interaction.
  8. The company values everyone’s contributions- Recognition is key to establishing a great relationship with an individual employee and great companies know this. That recognition then allows an employee to feel more invested, more valued and more engaged in the work.
  9. They spend money (to make money)-Great service and quality products generally mean customers buy more, which leads to bigger profits. Great companies know that investing in their companies pays off in the long run.
  10. They develop their employees-Great companies provide training and education subsidies and/ or have in house training initiatives designed to not only make employees better at their jobs but also to help them prepare for their future roles within the company.

The Link between Great Companies And Company Culture

Ultimately, the best places to work are those where employees feel valued, work with good people and enjoy their work. Building a company culture that works around the needs of every single employee is a challenge, but where companies get it right, employees stay. Candidates often ask about the culture of the company before accepting a job because so much of your time is spent at work, you need to know that where you work delivers more than just professional growth but is also the sort of place you fit into and are proud to be part of. Great company culture doesn't happen on its own and great companies work hard to maintain it.

While the culture that works for one company might not work for another, there is a lot to learn from companies who are doing it right,

Top 30 Best Places To Work

Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista to compile our fourth-annual list of the World’s Best Employers for 2020. They surveyed 160,000 full-time and part-time workers from 58 countries working for businesses with operations in multiple nations or regions. The final list is composed of 750 multinational and large corporations headquartered in 45 countries.

  1. Samsung Electronics-South Korea
  2. Amazon-United States
  3. IBM-United States
  4. Microsoft-United States
  5. LG-South Korea
  6. Apple-United States
  7. Adobe-United States
  8. Alphabet-United States
  9. Siemens-Germany
  10. Bosch-Germany
  11. Adidas -Germany
  12. Dell Technologies-United States
  13. Nike-United States
  14. Huawei-China
  15. Accenture-Ireland
  16. Philips-Netherlands
  17. HP-United States
  18. Cisco Systems-United States
  19. Cognizant-United States
  20. Costco Wholesale-United States
  21. Volvo Group-Sweden
  22. Honda Motor-Japan
  23. BMW Group-Germany
  24. SITA-Belgium
  25. Deutsche Lufthansa-Germany
  26. Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco)-Saudi Arabia
  27. Southwest Airlines-United States
  28. Marriott International -United States
  29. PayPal-United States
  30. HCL Technologies-India

All of these companies share the same sentiments described above and that is why they are recognised as 2020’s greatest places to work.

Fadzai Danha is a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950 or email: or visit our website at


Fadzai Danha
This article was written by Fadzai a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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