2019 Was “as Good as Gold”
A look back at the last year.
Reflection and resolution are two of the most commonly used words this time of year. We look back at the past 12 months, critically assess our successes and challenges and then resolve to make certain changes in the new year (or decade, as is the case this year).
We have a lot to celebrate this year at Zebra. It is truly phenomenal what our talented people have achieved, and I’m glad to see so many of them recognized by their peers and the broader industry throughout Q3 and Q4:
- Rikki Jennings was named one of Crain’s 2019 Notable Women in Healthcare
- Therese Van Ryne and Stephanie Kneisler were two of the “Top Women in PR” for 2019 according to PR News
- Ed Tonkon was recognized for "Excellence in Partnerships" as part of the 2019 Loss Prevention Magazine “Magpie” Awards
- Janice Roberts was named one of the 2019 Most Influential Corporate Directors by WomenInc. Magazine
- The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society awarded “Best Ergonomics in Design Article” to Chandra Nair, Richard Martin, Konstantunos Tsiopanos and Graham Marshall
- Zebra was a “Most Honored Company” in the 2020 All-America Executive Team Institutional Investor poll of equity research analysts and investors, achieving top three of each of the respective categories in our industry:
- Zebra was voted #3 best investor relations program
- Anders Gustafsson was ranked #3 best CEO overall
- Olivier Leonetti was ranked #2 best CFO overall
- Zebra’s investor relations team ranked #1 overall
Of course, it’s always humbling when Zebra as a whole is recognized in the way we were this year:
- Zebra was ranked #166 on the Forbes “World’s Best Employer” list and continues to climb in the Forbes Global 2000 list
- Newsday ranked Zebra’s Holtsville, New York, office #6 on Long Island’s Top Workplaces 2019 list
- Zebra was named the Best Retail Solutions Vendor in the TahawulTech.com Hot 50
- Zebra Analytics (formerly Profitect) was ranked #6 on the Retail Info Systems (RIS) Software Leaderboard 2020
However, our accomplishments aren’t solely defined by these awards (or the numerous accolades received in the first half of 2019.) Together with our partners, Zebras have helped thousands of customers increase their operational intelligence and capture a performance edge. We’ve made industry-changing technological advances as a result of our rigorous and collaborative research, design and engineering efforts. And we’ve changed the lives of millions of people within our communities.
We also welcomed new members into the Zebra family with the acquisition of Cortexica Vision Systems, Ltd., secured the largest order in Zebra’s 50-year history and watched Zebra’s stock price hit record highs on multiple occasions. (The first time was on April 24, as we blogged about here.) Just as exciting, we just learned that Zebra will be added to the S&P 500 on December 23.
We have more than 7,400 employees around the world working with our extended Zebra family members – partners, customers and technology solution collaborators – to make the impossible possible. They move mountains every day. So, what is impossible is properly recognizing the incredible strides that have been made over the last 365 days in 2,000 words or less.
It would take a book – more like a library of books – to properly document all of the life-changing milestones that we have achieved together and the significant marks that each Zebra family member has made on the world both personally and professionally in 2019.
Zebra has a peer recognition program here at Zebra called GEM (Going the Extra Mile), and I showcase the people who have received GEM points at each quarterly marketing town hall meeting. Last week, there were 217 names on that slide. We literally had to shrink the font size down to 7.5. These are just marketing team members too – and not single instances of recognition. Many of these Zebras had been applauded by their peers on multiple occasions in the last three months.
I call this out because it is the perfect time of year to remind ourselves that we are making a significant difference in someone’s life every day, whether we realize it or not. Even when we “fail” we succeed, to the benefit of ourselves and those around us. I can’t tell you how many times our team has been challenged to rethink our strategy or try a new approach to something in 2019. But we celebrated every opportunity to “try something different” as a win.
It is in the face of adversity that our strength, resilience and brilliance really shine. When we are challenged in life, we learn how to adapt, and that ultimately empowers us to achieve a better outcome – for ourselves, our customers, our partners and our communities.
So, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I encourage you to pause and truly celebrate all that you have accomplished this year. (Even if it was just checking one thing off your to-do list each day.) Then, I challenge you to repeat this exercise every day thereafter. Consider it your New Year Resolution – or your resolution for the next decade.
Give thanks for the outcomes that may not have been what you originally expected or hoped and embrace the fact that there is a lesson to be learned and a success to be had from every “failure”. Because I know that, if we had not been challenged in some way every day over the past 50 years, Zebra would not have as many incredible milestones big and small to celebrate during 2019 – our “golden anniversary.”
Indeed, this year has been “as good as gold” and I can’t wait to see how many more incredible – and incredibly significant – milestones we cross in 2020.
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