INSPIRATION IN ACTION
How creative leaders are bringing positivity to the workplace—and the marketplace
“ONE OF THE MOST FULFILLING PARTS OF OUR DAY IS WHEN WE HEAR THAT A VIDEO THAT WE CREATED HELPED TO GET A DOG ADOPTED.”
Joanna Zelman, executive editor of video, The Dodo
“I told everybody at my show, ‘you’ve been underestimated, and that stops now. I expect you to be everything you can be today.’ It’s why our show is doing as well as it is.”
Robin Thede Host of BET’S The Rundown With Robin Thede
“YOU HAVE TO PULL BACK AND BE UNBELIEVABLY CRITICAL OF EVERY SINGLE PIECE. DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. IS THE STORY YOU’RE TELLINGTHE[SAME]THINGTHATTHEAUDIENCEISSEEING?“
David Korins, founder, David Korins Design
“WE HAVE NO PRIVATE PLACES IN OUR OFFICE. TRANSPARENCY IS KEY, TRUST IS IMPORTANT. WHEN PEOPLE FEEL SAFE, HEARD, AND FULFILLED, EVERYTHING ELSE FALLS INTO PLACE.”
Matt Scanlan Founder, Naadam Cashmere
“As leaders in today’s organizations, we need to get comfortable with constructive friction, with hearing multiple points of view.”
Marquise Stillwell Founder and principal, Openbox
“ALAN MULALLY [SAYS] SOMETHING I REALLY LIKE, WHICH IS, ‘LOVE AND BE LOVED IN THAT ORDER.’ ANOTHER LESSON THAT I LEARNED FROM HIM IS ‘LISTEN MORE, TALK LESS.’”
Ayse Birsel Cofounder, Birsel+seck
“If it can’t be explained to my 10-year-old, then you don’t understand it yourself.”
Andrew Dent Executive vice president, Material Connexion
“My daughter goes,‘guys, you’re overthinking.’ She was right. You get in the weeds and can’t pull out. It took a 12-year-old to see it so clearly.”
Doug Guiley VP of sourcing, West Elm
“Compensation and benefits are the table stakes. People enjoy being where success is measured both emotionally and financially.”
David Wolfe Cofounder and CEO, Leesa
“WE SPEAK OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AS IF THEY WERE A UNIT. THEY ARE QUITE DIFFERENT. DIVERSITY IS A CHECKLIST. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THE CHECKLIST IS THE FIRST STOP, NOT THE LAST.”
Michael Kimmel Author and professor, Stony Brook University
“It’s important to keep your team’s goals in a place where everyone can see them.”
Elana Karp Head chef and culinary cofounder, Plated
“IF THERE IS ANY WAY OUR BUSINESS CAN HELP PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY, WE SHOULD ABSOLUTELY DO THAT.”
Kevin Lavelle Founder and CEO, Mizzen+main
“THE SWEET SPOT IS ALLOWING PEOPLE TO DO WHAT THEY’RE GOOD AT AND PASSIONATE ABOUT, THEN GIVING THEM A REALLY LONG LEASH.”
Kay Hsu Global Instagram lead, Facebook Creative Shop
“My job is to tap into food moments and food memories and figure out a way to celebrate them.”
Christina Tosi, chef and founder, Momofuku Milk Bar
A staffer from the Dodo (the premier purveyor of animal-themed viral videos) helps a pup rescued from Hurricane Maria get ready for a close-up.
Direct-to-consumer luxury shoe startup M.gemi releases a new design every Monday morning. “We don’t expect our customers to buy a new shoe each week,” president Cheryl Kaplan says. “But it keeps our conversation with them going.”
Hamilton set designer Korins’s redesign of N.Y.C. Theater District restaurant Bond 45
A toy version of Naadam’s Gobi Desert cashmere goats
Interactive digital agency Kettle focuses on socialfirst branding, working with expert consultants such as drag queens (below, from left) Sasha Velour, Milk, and Biblegirl. “It’s important to stay true to who we are and do purposeful work we believe in,” says Kettle’s cofounder Olivier Peyre.
NEW YORK CITY’S NEW 12-ACRE CORNELL TECH CAMPUS BRINGS GRADUATE EDUCATION TOGETHER WITH COMMERCIAL INNOVATION IN WHAT DEAN AND VICE PROVOST DANIEL HUTTENLOCHER CALLS A “STUDIOENVIRONMENT.”THECAMPUSFEATURESOPENSPACESAND THELARGESTPASSIVEHOUSEINTHEWORLD,USINGBETWEEN 60% AND 70% LESS ENERGY THAN A TYPICAL BUILDING.
Installation in West Elm’s corporate lobby
José Andrés, the Spanish-american chef who popularized tapas dining in the U.S., has helped serve more than 3 million warm meals to Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. His nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, created a network of local volunteers and kitchens to feed hungry people in need.
The Class by Taryn Toomey offers a workout that goes beyond the physical. Participants scream, stomp their feet, and shake their fists, all to thumping music and motivational messages. “The Class is a feeling—we’re opening up a room for people to feel,” says Toomey.