We’ve all seen those lists of “best businesses.” This magazine has even published some of them. And while the parameters may vary—most profitable Fortune 500 firms, most exciting start-ups, best places for working parents—we’ve always wondered: What about the process? How do magazines and organizations actually figure out which businesses to highlight?
Next month, look for The GOOD Company Project. It’s our attempt to reinvent the “best businesses” list by being transparent about how we're putting it together. By the time we're done, we'll have found 40 businesses that answer the question, “What does a GOOD company look like?” While we’ve got some initial answers (it’s creative! it’s sustainable! it's using some next-level technology! if it were a person, it wouldn’t be a psychopath!), we’re going to let our community and our reporting process determine the companies we feature on the list. It's all possible thanks to the support of IBM, which is partnering with us on this project.
So things don’t get too crazy, we’re going to focus our attention on businesses with 99 to 999 employees. These are companies that are big enough to have weathered some major challenges and growing pains, but still small enough to be nimble and responsive to change. We’re interested in finding the places that use data most creatively, the companies that demonstrates amazing design thinking, the businesses that are using technology to radically innovate their sector, the CEOs who aren't afraid to take the long view. We’ll highlight 40 businesses by the end of the year, adding to our growing list at a rate of one or two per week. Along the way, we’ll have videos that go behind the scenes at businesses and introduce you to the visionaries who run them. It's ambitious, we know. But we're pretty sure it's going to be a ton of fun.
We’re inviting the GOOD community to contribute leads and ideas about which companies we should be checking out. We’ll also ask business leaders what companies and thinkers are inspiring them. (We'll be using the hashtag "#GOODco" on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook if you want to chime in.) Input from casual readers and experts isn't just welcome, it's vital.
In short, this isn't just a list. The GOOD Company Project will be something we work on together—a growing compendium untold stories about how medium-sized businesses are working smarter and better, for a better and smarter world. A glimpse of companies that are nimble, still growing, and can inspire others with their stories. This project will paint a picture of the future of business—a future that is smarter, better, more sustainable, and more creative.
Look for it on GOOD.is later this month.