Good Companies Keep Winning


Our 2014 edition of the Good Company Index Report contains a hopeful message: the good guys keep winning.

The report is a follow-up study on the behavior of Fortune 500 companies, first published in our book Good Company: Business Success in the Worthiness Era. The report contains an updated Good Company Index (GCI), which we use to assign grades to nearly 300 of America’s largest companies based on their record as employers, sellers, and stewards of communities and the environment. The top-ranked companies in the Fortune 100 this year are Apple, Ford Motor Company, and United Parcel Service.

We also analyze company stock market performance based on the previous GCI grades we assigned in 2012. The results? On average, those companies with higher 2012 GCI grades significantly outperformed their industry peers in the two years that followed.  The median outperformance was 5.1 percentage points, with almost 60 percent of the higher-ranked companies outperforming their lower-ranked competitors.

Further, a live portfolio comprised of the top-scoring companies on the 2012 GCI, invested since October 2012, outperformed the benchmark S&P 500 average (total return, including dividends) by 17 percentage points in its first two years, ending October 1, 2014 (see figure below).  The Good Company Index is used by the Enterprise Engagement Alliance to manage both their Engaged Company Stock Index and their People Centric Annual Awards.

Be sure to check out the full 2014 Good Company Index Report for complete details on the latest ratings!
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Thinking like an Investor


Ask yourself these questions.  Start with “If I were a long-term investor considering making an investment in the company where I currently work…”

1.  In what areas would I want the company to invest more (time, money, and leadership focus)?

2.  What would I want the company to stop doing?

3.  What aspects of the company’s culture would I consider most important to preserve?

4.  What aspects of the company’s culture would I consider most important to change?

5.  Would I want more (or fewer) employees to spend their time doing what I do?

Since the vast majority of wealth is now created through intangible assets – all of which ultimately emanate from human capital – these questions are particularly important for professionals working in HR, organizational development, and learning.

Can you answer all of those?  Our hats are off to you if have the evidence necessary to confidently answer each of them.  On the other hand, if you’re worried you don’t have a strong evidence base for answering these questions, that’s cause for concern.  It reflects a likely lack of clarity and effectiveness in your company’s HR strategy – and could also mean you should think hard about your own career prospects in an organization like that.

One of our key themes this year is the tremendous power in simply asking better questions (and, of course, being able to answer them).  Asking the questions that investors would ask of you if they were given the chance is a very powerful strategy for guiding HR investments.

At its heart, this is what advances in HR analytics can help you accomplish – asking and answering better, more insightful, more important questions.  And remember – since the time and energy you spend working means that you ARE an investor in whatever company you choose to be your employer, these questions can also help guide you in major career decisions.


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Replay of “How to Get to Good” webinar now available


If you missed last week’s webinar by Laurie Bassi and JJ Jordan (“Good Company = Great Performance: How to ‘Get to Good'”), the recording is now available for download so you can watch at your leisure.

Just click here to download the Windows Media file from our Dropbox location.

Upcoming webinar: does your company make the grade?


You’ll find out at our September 20 webinar “2012 Good Company Index: What Every CFO Needs to Know.”  And do be sure to bring your CFO – he or she will really get into this stuff!  We’ll be talking about the significant financial outperformance by good companies.

You (and your CFO) will leave the webinar with an understanding of the following:

  • Where you are
  • How you can get good (or better!)
  • A process that sticks

The Good Company Index™ grades companies in areas that predict their future profitability, based on the principles described in Good Company: Business Success in the Worthiness Era. The 2012 grades were just released for 300 of the largest US companies, with grades ranging from A to F based on their behavior as employer, seller, and steward.

Companies with top grades in previous years outperformed their competitors in the stock market by 15 percentage points per year.

See how your company stacks up (and even if your company isn’t yet rated in the Good Company Index, we’ll show you how to take a first pass at calculating a quick Good Company grade).

Most important, you’ll learn how to take action to get better, moving from “program du jour” to a competitive advantage sustainable over the long term.  Laurie Bassi and Jim Shaffer will lead the webinar presentation and discussion.

Join us for the webinar on Thursday, September 20, 2012, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., EDT.

Click here to register today!

Join us for McBassi webinar: It Pays to Be Good!


Wondering how Disney, FedEx, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Abbott, and other companies are making “goodness” pay off?

Please join us next Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. EST, for a dynamic McBassi webinar featuring authors Laurie Bassi (Good Company and HR Analytics Handbook) and Jim Shaffer (The Leadership Solution), facilitated by Dave Basarab.  You’ll leave with:

  • Hard-nosed evidence that good companies outperform their competitors.
  • Insights into the convergence of forces giving rise to the new rules for business success.
  • Understanding of the 6 systems that underpin Good Company results.
  • The strategic framework to integrate Good Company principles and practices into ongoing efforts to improve your company’s performance.
  • Ways to sustain the gains rather than create just another “program of the day.”

Click here to register now.

Does your company make the grade?


I recently blogged on about the importance of your company doing business in an “all-win” way.  Your career may depend on it!

Interested in what your company’s grade might be?  Try our fun, interactive new self-assessment and find out instantly.


Where to shop this holiday season?


Glad you asked!  To help identify companies worthy of your shopping dollars this holiday season, we created the 2011 Good Company Retail Index.  It ranks 52 of the largest retailers in the US, assessing how they treat employees, customers, and the planet.

Each company’s score reflects its most recent performance on three measurements (these represent a subset of the full range of metrics we used to calculate Good Company scores in the book, and includes updated scores on each of the three):

  • rankings (employees’ assessments of their companies as employers)
  • wRatings scores (customers’ opinions of companies on quality, fair price, and trust)
  • 2011 Newsweek Green Rankings (assess companies’ environmental footprint, management of that footprint, and transparency)

The big winner?  Apple, whose top ranking reflects not only an excellent track record on customer satisfaction, but positive employee feedback at Glassdoor and a top 10 percent score on the Green Rankings.

The full top 10 list is as follows:

1.  Apple
2.  Ace Hardware
3 (tie).  Dell
3 (tie).  Office Depot
3 (tie).  Staples
6.  Whole Foods Market
7.  Lowe’s
8.  The Home Depot
9.  O’Reilly Automotive
10.  Costco

Bringing up the rear?  Dillard’s, RadioShack, and Big Lots.  Dillard’s scored in the bottom quarter of the Green Rankings, failed to impress customers in wRatings research, and earned a “dissatisfied” rating from employees at Glassdoor.

So enjoy the holiday season – and while you’re at it, consider doing business with those companies that have demonstrated they’re worthy of your business.

Click to go to full 2011 Good Company Retail Index scores.

This post also appeared on the Good Company blog.

Good Company blog launches today


Check it out at  Please do keep an eye on it (and feel free to participate in the conversation) in the coming days and weeks!

The payoffs to being a good company


This year, our sister company Bassi Investments (a registered investment advisory firm) enters its tenth year of managing portfolios based on many of the concepts we’ve outlined in our forthcoming book (Good Company: Business Success in the Worthiness Era).

By and large, these portfolios knock the socks off the S&P 500, the standard performance benchmark.  (In the spirit of full disclosure, one portfolio has slightly underperformed the market: an experimental one based on a particularly narrow concept of human capital management.)

Our longest running portfolio, which we launched in December 2001, has outperformed the S&P 500 by 40 percentage points since inception, before fees.  (In the graph below, the Bassi Investments portfolio is the top line and the S&P 500, excluding dividends, is the bottom line).


As registered investment advisors, we must add the important disclaimer that past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Additional information is available by contacting Bassi Investments.

In Chapter 5 of Good Company, we review this and other “hard-nosed” evidence on whether it pays to be a good company.  The answer?  A strong YES.

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Environmental impact of great importance to prospective employees


The findings from a newly released survey indicate that a company’s environmental impact is as important a consideration as the company’s profitability to people when they are considering a new job.  Sixty-three percent of those surveyed report that “a company’s impact on the environment is vital when evaluating a new workplace, and 61 percent say the same about the company’s profit margin.”

This finding is consistent with a great deal of other evidence that we explore in our forthcoming book (Good Company: Business Success in the Worthiness Era, to be released on Labor Day).  One of our key findings is that the stock performance of companies that succeed on multiple fronts – those that are good to their employees, customers, communities, and the environment – outperform their less worthy counterparts (roughly ‘the bad guys’).  If you’d like a sneak preview of the book, we’d be happy to send you a copy of Chapter 1 – please just send your request via email to