July 16, 2016 BestCompaniesAZ

Arizona’s Most Admired Companies – Leaders in Innovation

Employees and customers alike are driving innovation, and Arizona’s Most Admired companies are leading the way.

They want it all, and they want it now. Influenced by Amazon, customers want effortless ordering, same-day delivery, and free shipping, all from their devices. Employees want flexibility, balance, and career growth. Both employees and customers have many options. One Harris poll showed that 82% of US corporate executives said that expectations of their company were higher than three years ago. Across the board, the pressure to innovate to keep up with increasing expectations is real.

The rise in expectations has elevated innovation into a mandate for business success, so it’s no surprise that Arizona’s Most Admired companies are models for innovation, customer experience, and workplace culture.

The Innovation Spotlight Award winner from 2015, Charles Schwab, has a history of innovation dating back to the early 1970’s, proving that a large, established corporation can be as creative as a startup.

Here’s one example: introduced in 2015, the Schwab Intelligent Portfolio is an automated service designed to build, rebalance and monitor a portfolio. Customers can invest their money with Amazon-like speed and convenience, without investing their valuable time in research – and do it without paying management fees. The Schwab Intelligent Portfolio is targeted toward the 80% of investors who aren’t getting any formal investment advice and prefer a technology-driven approach.

Where does Charles Schwab’s creativity come from? Diversity encourages innovation, and Charles Schwab’s approach to diversity can be traced to the company’s early commitment to make financial services more affordable to all investors. Schwab employees are free to solve problems, to innovate, and to challenge the status quo – while bringing their different perspectives to the mix.

Does your company have new and creative ways of keeping up with the increasing demands from customers and employees? Innovation can involve small, meaningful improvements as well as breakthroughs. Innovation may include a product or service, but it can also encompass meaningful process, policy, or incremental improvements.

Is your company among those who were innovators in the past year? Then shine a spotlight on your achievements by participating in the 2016 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies award program! It’s the most prestigious program in the state and the deadline for nominations is June 3, 2016. Get all the information you need to get started in our Arizona’s Most Admired Companies section.

About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.