What does it mean to radically innovate on the leading edge of elevating humans in the workplace?

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Empowering ideas that can change the organizational world

Tony Hsieh Award winners have come from across the globe and across industries including Mountain View real estate development in Cairo, Vertical Harvest bringing hydroponic agriculture to urban spaces in North America, to Junior Achievement Worldwide with operations in 115 countries. These companies are at the forefront of radical innovations that are elevating and empowering their employees and customers. Learn more about them here and prepare to be inspired!

2023-24 WINNERS

We are proud to announce the first three winners of the Tony Award. Each winner will be honored and walk in Tony’s shoes at prestigious events through the year.

KRISOS

A private equity group based out of the Netherlands that buys 75% of corporate shares from targeted companies with a minimum of 80% of employees committing to transform management from a top-down structure to self-managed teams.

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e.l.f.

A cosmetics company that uses ‘High Performance Conflict’ in lieu of performance reviews. All employees commit to interactions that are specific, happen early, happen often, and occur across all levels of the organization.

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Guild

Guild’s mission is to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education, skilling, and career mobility. Guild’s Career Opportunity Platform™ enables employers to invest in their employees, creating life-changing opportunities through learning programs, career development, and coaching with support, guidance, and resources at every step to ensure the new skills employees are building translate into career pathways — all without paying for tuition or career services on their own.

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Vote based on our award criteria: Innovation, Authenticity, Scaleable / Self Organizing, Replicability, Proof of Better Outcomes, and Delivering Wow.

Learn more about the award criteria →

2023 WINNERS

This past cycle, 5 companies were selected and celebrated for their radical innovations that elevate and empower human potential in the workplace.Vertical Harvest, urban hydroponic farms in communities struggling with food insecurity, Mindbloom, the first mental health and wellness platform in psychedelic telemedicine, SINA (Social Innovation Academy), a self-organized African non-profit developing social enterprises amongst marginalized young people and refugees, Human Bees, a workforce recruiting, staffing and human capital company and Dropbox, the pioneering global file hosting and cloud storage service.

Learn more about the winners’ journeys in this Forbes article and in their profiles below.

We are proud to announce the first three winners of the Tony Award. Each winner will be honored and walk in Tony’s shoes at prestigious events through the year.

Vertical Harvest

Nona Yehia & Caroline Estay

Co-Founders

Key elements of innovation: 1) Customized employment - build the job to fit the person, not find the person to fit the job. 2) Grow-well model: inclusive, career-building employment for people with disabilities.

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SINA

(The Social Innovation Academy)

Etienne Salborn

Founder

Key elements of innovation: Regenerative institution.  Self generating franchise. Set up the model. 1) Empowerment is the foundation of education and job training – “We do not impose what they need to learn or how to work - they own it from the beginning and they learn to lead themselves and others”.

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Human Bees

Ranil Piyaratna & Geetesh Goyal

Co-Founders

Key elements of innovation: Culture as an Algorithm - culture is the center of everything - hiring and socializing and places individuals into jobs for their clients; 2) Promotion through merit, without limit - throw out the normal model of time in role and climbing the ladder at the same pace others did. “We will promote anyone when they are ready”.

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Dropbox

Drew Houston

CEO

Key elements of innovation: Physical space 1) Neighborhoods and studios over offices, purely collaborative spaces without work spaces, which are for home. Embraced a transition to remote and asynchronous work; 2) Meetings are only for the 3Ds: discussion, debate, decisions; 3) 4 ‘core working hours’ as a company-wide framework for collaboration work across global teams.

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Mindbloom

Dylan Beynon

CEO

Key elements of innovation: 1) Asynchronous, remote-first work model that trusts employees accomplish work; 2) Culture of constant feedback “I like” and “I wish” feedback provided to manager and at least one peer every 2 weeks.

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Vote based on our award criteria: Innovation, Authenticity, Scaleable / Self Organizing, Replicability, Proof of Better Outcomes, and Delivering Wow.

Learn more about the award criteria →

2022 WINNERS

Our first cycle of the award, celebrated 3 companies from across the globe: ET Group, a technology company from Canada,  JA Worldwide, a youth serving NGO (nominated for the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize!) and Mountain View, an Egyptian real estate developer. Between these 3 organizations we found innovative human capital models successfully at work like holacracy, self managed teams, decentralized decision-making processes, shared ownership structure, self-setting salaries and a unique “fixed-flexible-freestyle” way of working to embrace global diversity.  

We are proud to announce the first three winners of the Tony Award. Each winner will be honored and walk in Tony’s shoes at prestigious events through the year.

Dirk Propfe

President & CEO

ET Group

“It’s not just one breakthrough and you’re done. This model is a commitment to an ongoing journey because we are constantly evolving our structure, our practices change, we try new things, get rid of things that no longer serve us. It is an evolution and a commitment, and it is hard because sometimes it feels messy and uncomfortable. There is no absolute clarity yet there is coherence. There is no explicit roadmap that defines, “yes, this is the way for you” so you are trying new things every day and continuously validating what is working and what is not."

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Asheesh Advani

President & CEO

JA Worldwide

“We were selected as one of the Top 10 NGOs in the world in annual rankings of the Top 200 NGOs in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The "Raising Aspirations" plan, and Fixed-Flexible-Freestyle model of staff engagement and execution has helped us act as a more cohesive global network with a collective voice and empowered teams, which has helped us attract this recognition."

Read more →

Rasha El Gamal

Vice President of HR & Culture

Mountain View

“Applying happiness as a business model has allowed Mountain View to increase retention by 50%, decrease absenteeism by 40% and earned them the top employer award! “Purpose pulls you where you want to go, and we had a purpose of creating a happier life for our employees, customers and the whole world.”

Read more →

Vote based on our award criteria: Innovation, Authenticity, Scaleable / Self Organizing, Replicability, Proof of Better Outcomes, and Delivering Wow.

Learn more about the award criteria →

2021 WINNERS

Dirk Propfe

President & CEO

ET Group

“It’s not just one breakthrough and you’re done. This model is a commitment to an ongoing journey because we are constantly evolving our structure, our practices change, we try new things, get rid of things that no longer serve us. It is an evolution and a commitment, and it is hard because sometimes it feels messy and uncomfortable. There is no absolute clarity yet there is coherence. There is no explicit roadmap that defines, “yes, this is the way for you” so you are trying new things every day and continuously validating what is working and what is not."

Read more →

Asheesh Advani

President & CEO

JA Worldwide

“We were selected as one of the Top 10 NGOs in the world in annual rankings of the Top 200 NGOs in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The "Raising Aspirations" plan, and Fixed-Flexible-Freestyle model of staff engagement and execution has helped us act as a more cohesive global network with a collective voice and empowered teams, which has helped us attract this recognition.”

Read more →

Rasha El Gamal

Vice President of HR & Culture

Mountain View

“Applying happiness as a business model has allowed Mountain View to increase retention by 50%, decrease absenteeism by 40% and earned them the top employer award! “Purpose pulls you where you want to go, and we had a purpose of creating a happier life for our employees, customers and the whole world.”

Read more →

GAMECHANGERS

Empowering ideas that can changethe organizational world

We are looking for people who are breaking the 4 minute mile in business and organizational design. Submit your application for The Tony Hsieh Award and gain access to upcoming opportunities.

Empowering ideas that can changethe organizational world

We are looking for people who are breaking the 4 minute mile in business and organizational design. Submit your application for The Tony Hsieh Award and gain access to upcoming opportunities.