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Resolutions and reflections — we can count on plenty of both at this time of year. That, along with reports of which businesses and organizations saw profits in 2023 and their projections for the coming year. Success is announced. Challenges are hidden. People, however, seem absent from the public-facing conversation. 

Earlier this year, Mazda announced being 21% ahead in year-over-year sales. According to the release, they sold 323,836 cars so far this year. Kelley Blue Book says the average cost of any 2023 car is $48K, so guess what? They made over a TRILLION dollars – yes, a TRILLION in one year.

Smith and Nephew, a Memphis-based firm, says it jumped to $1.35 billion in revenue for the third quarter, which is a nearly 8% increase.

The International Air Transportation Association, IATA, a professional organization supporting airlines, is already celebrating expected industry growth for next year. It shares that net profits, not revenues, are on target to reach 25.7 billion dollars in 2024, based on 2023 performance.

An argument could be made about the excessive amount of money these corporations and organizations are making, but that’s not mine (at least not today). In fact, I applaud their business outcomes but notice one thing missing from their profit-focused media announcements – people. The growth of any organization is only possible with the ideas, hard work and loyalty of the people behind it – employees and customers. I’m left wondering who’s responsible for the marketing campaign that helped fuel Mazda’s growth. Did an innovative mind develop new technology and help Smith and Nephew revolutionize orthopedics this year? Many people suffered long layovers and canceled flights in 2023 and those are the same high-flying, loyal customers fueling their 2024 projections. Was their sacrifice commended?

At KQ, we want to take our year-end, public moment of reflection to recognize the people who make our growth possible and give them the necessary praise. 

First off, our clients are all mission-driven businesses and organizations. We choose to work with people who positively impact the communities they serve. Some are up against unthinkable odds, yet they keep pressing for community change. They’re community advocates, social justice leaders, school superintendents, business trailblazers, and nonprofits with unique approaches to creating more opportunities for all. It makes us beyond proud to call them clients, and we work hard to do good work on their behalf. We have shared accountability and trust. For that, we are truly grateful.

Then, there’s our team of employees. What we appreciate most about them is their wildly creative talent, from those researching clean energy and related communication gaps to refining a tool to amplify the voices of Black & brown experts to developing unique ways to use AI for efficiency but with ethical principles as a guide. Then, there’s our team diversity. It’s not just how we look, but how we move. We bring diverse perspectives and lived experiences that allow us to better communicate with a broader range of audiences.

As we near the end of 2023, we could join the big guys in publicly celebrating another year of increased revenues. Instead, we’ll spend the time praising outstanding people. After all, our growth isn’t possible without them.  

View The Q4 Newsletter