10 Basic Tenets of Great Companies

Is your company a “great” company today? What constitutes a great company? Are there established criteria, like the Good Housekeeping Seal, that all great companies must adhere to in order to be deemed great?

Each year Fortune magazine completes the most extensive employer survey in the corporate world and publishes its list of the “100 Best Companies To Work For”. The survey ranks the top companies in a variety of major categories including size, job growth, low turnover, no layoffs, women, diversity, etc.

As you would expect, there are quite a few highly recognized brand names that made Fortune’s Top 100 list for 2010 including Microsoft, Nordstrom, Google, FedEx, Starbuck’s, Intel and others. And each year, there are also some lesser known companies that appear on the list as well, such as NuggetMarket and Umpqua Bank to name just a couple from this year’s list.

What makes these companies and others great companies to work for and leaders within their respective industry segments?

When I think of great companies, here is my list of the 10 basic tenets of great companies that each seem to have in common:

  1. Recognize that customers and employees are their greatest assets.
  2. Combine great vision with strong core values and superb execution.
  3. Stay connected to their employees, customers, partners and suppliers.
  4. Demand quality and excellence in everything and everyone, and hold people accountable for great results.
  5. Continually search for ways to deliver more value to customers, and stay ahead of the competition.
  6. Make course corrections when and where needed, and realize that perfect failures are sometimes necessary to accelerate the speed of change.
  7. Follow the Golden Rule principle in their treatment of others, and create win-win partnerships in all major areas of the business.
  8. Value and reward diversity, teamwork, collaboration, smart risk-taking and innovation.
  9. Lead by real-world experience and example, not by the latest management dogma.
  10. Set high standards for performance, and consistently exceed their business and financial goals.

Whether your business is a start-up or has been around for awhile, everyone wants to be a part of building something special – a great company. Great companies set the standards by combining strong core values with great vision, people, products and leadership. An unstoppable formula for success!

While there may not be a Good Housekeeping Seal required to be labeled as a great company, we all know great companies when we see them, and have had positive experiences doing business with them.

Is your company a great company today? If not, then I hope my list of the ten basic tenets of great companies will serve as a guidepost to help you get there in the not too distant future!

COPYRIGHT © 2010-11 John Carroll