Just in time for Labor Day weekend, we’ve released the new 2012 Good Company Index ™ grades on 300 of America’s largest companies!
Check over on the Good Company website for full details.
Yesterday morning, Laurie was interviewed on KUSA regarding Good Company.
You can watch the interview here.
Laurie Bassi spoke recently at Bellevue University regarding Good Company, its stories, research, and data. Click here to watch her full presentation.
Our book Good Company has been a very long time in the making. It all started back 23 years ago with a conversation that changed my life.
In those days, I was a young assistant professor of economics at Georgetown University. With my newly minted Ph.D. from Princeton in hand, I understood the rules of the game for someone in my position. First among them was publish or perish. Equally important was to do so in a way that was respected and valued by my profession – by doing research and publishing papers in prestigious journals based on complex mathematical modeling and sophisticated econometric analysis. I became totally immersed in my field and this perspective. I came to view the world and the people in it through a lens of simultaneous structural equations and elaborate statistical methodologies.
And then one day in 1988, I found myself in a steel mill in western Maryland. I was there interviewing workers about the “learning environment” at the mill. These interviews were a component of a well-funded research project I was fortunate to be working on – one that held the promise of getting some good papers published. My immediate task was to translate the findings of my interviews with workers into quantitative, coded data. It was definitely a “stretch assignment” for me, because truth be told, although I was a card-carrying labor economist, I had never been in a workplace anything like this before.
This steel mill was a pretty tough place. It was hot – probably at least in the low 90s – dirty, noisy, and dangerous. Workers were busy managing the flow of red-hot, molten metal as it moved between various pieces of massive processing machinery. And there I was in my neatly pressed pant suit, with a tasteful purse on my shoulder, and clip board and Cross pen in hand – interviewing workers in steel-toed boots, hard hats, work clothes covered in grime, with sweat running down their sooty faces. They were compliant and polite as I took them through one question after another about the extent and usefulness of the (virtually nonexistent) learning opportunities available to them through their work.
In the very last interview, I apparently asked one question too many. In a very respectful tone of voice, the fellow I was interviewing finally said to me, “Look lady, I can sum it up for you like this. I go home at the end of every day, whupped, tired and disgusted.”
That pretty much ended the interview – there was really nothing left to say. He thanked me for my interest, and I thanked him for his time.
As I drove home that night, his words played over and over again in my mind. I shared them with my husband, and I thought about them the next day and the day after. The raw honesty of what he said didn’t fit neatly into my data coding scheme, and I understood that no system of equations – no matter how sophisticated or elegant – could capture the grim reality this gentleman had shared with me.
Over the course of the weeks and months that followed, I began to think very differently about my work. It was no longer an academic exercise that would help me publish papers and get tenure. It was much more important than that. It was about the quality of people’s lives, and how they are shaped for good or for ill by their places of work. I also came to understand the profound effects our work places have on our lives outside of work, and indeed, the very society in which we live.
That conversation set me on a journey that ultimately led to Good Company. The book is a marriage of heart and head. It is, I believe, an important book. Here’s what my favorite professor at Princeton, Dr. Alan Blinder (former Vice Chairman, Board of Governors o f the Federal Reserve System), wrote about our book: “Close your eyes and wish that companies that were good to their employees, their customers, their communities, and the environment made more money than ‘the bad guys.’ Now open your eyes and read this fascinating book. Amazingly, Bassi, Frauenheim and McMurrer marshal evidence that it’s true. Read it and smile.”
I hope you will take the time to read it. And if you agree it is important, please consider helping us to get the word out by sharing it with colleagues, writing a blog post, posting a review on Amazon, or sending us a testimonial.
Thanks in advance for whatever support you can provide. I look forward to hearing from you.
(Note: this post was cross-posted from the Good Company blog.)
CFO.com senior editor David McCann explored our new book Good Company in a recent blog post:
We’ll soon be placing our own order with the publisher (Berrett-Koehler) for our “authors’ copies” of Good Company. For a limited time we are able to share our authors’ savings (50% off the cover price) with you for bulk orders. We’ll send you autographed copies for $13.97 per copy (including free shipping within the US) for pre-orders of 10 or more copies.
Click here to place your bulk order or for more information.
If you’d like to read more about Good Company, we’d be happy to send you a preview copy of chapter 1. Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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