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Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007 4:47 PM


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What makes a person smart? I think it's kind of like being a leader, you can't necessarily give a good description, but you know it when you see it. And just as with leaders, there are different types of "smart".


I caught this article on Baseline about the 100 Smartest Companies of 2007. They had a spreadsheet with a formula to define a smart company and they're really looking quite a bit at the financial performance of the company. There's an argument that smart people do well financially, but look at all of the athletes, actors, and tradesman making lots of money that didn't do well in school.


Or maybe we're measuring a different kind of "smart" here. In any case, while I may or may not agree that the measure of a company's "smart" ness is in their financial performance, or even financial performance v employee count, I thought I'd ask...



Do you work for a smart company?


I'll let you define it and explain it however you wish to interpret it. Just think about what you'd say if a friend from high school asked you if your company was smart.


For me I'll say yes, whether you count Red Gate or End To End Training. Both are what I'd consider smart companies. Both make sound financial decisions, take care of employees, and are in business for the long term, not the next quarter.


Of my past companies, I'd say that JD Edwards was smart, Peoplesoft wasn't. My thoughts on IQDestination are that it was a great team in IT, but not a smart company. The financial services firm I worked for a long time ago in Denver was downright stupid (and maybe I was, sticking around for 18 months). The Penrod Company, whom I worked for in Virginia was pretty smart. I'm not sure about Dominion Resources. I saw pockets of smartness and places I thought they were making mistakes, but overall I think it was smart.


So what do you think, on this Friday in April after your taxes are paid. Is your company smart?

Post #359814
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 1:55 AM
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I work for the NHS in England.  There are a few smart people at my hospital - obviously I am one of them! - but the 'company' is not smart at all.  In fact, I think the smart people lose some of their smarts every day they work here.

 

Post #359877
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 3:25 AM
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Michael,

The fact that you can say that without fear or intimidation suggests that NHS England is smart because views are freely expressed and problems must surely then be open for all to see and fixed more quickly.

 

Post #359899
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 4:51 AM


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Well, I'm self-employed so I'm biased no matter what I say!

I subcontract almost exclusively for Solid Quality Learning and they're a smart company.

:{> Andy



Andy Leonard
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Follow me on Twitter: @AndyLeonard
Post #359921
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 4:57 AM
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I work for a smart comapny.  Another measurement would be "Vision" or "Gaols"....does the company plan for the future and set realistic, attainable goals.  The same can also be said for an individual.  Those sports stars may not have  done well in school but I am sure they set goals to improve their performance and worked hard to achieve them.  I am glad that I work for a smart company.
Post #359922
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 6:37 AM


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I learned long ago that what's smart to one is pure stupidity to others.  As a DBA, I'm not privy to everything going on in my company (though some would argue a DBA should be).  My company doesn't always make decisions I agree with or necessarily consider smart.  But they are on solid financial ground and growing, so I have to figure they know more about what they're doing than I.



Take care,

Bert

"Speculations? I know nothing about speculations. I'm resting on certainties. I know that my Redeemer lives, and because He lives, I shall live also." - Michael Faraday

Post #359952
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 7:23 AM


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Let's see... smart... hmm... Well I work for a State government... you do the math.

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Post #359965
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 8:16 AM
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I work for a company that is in a shift to being smarter.  I have only been here 6 months but we have really started the process of thinking long term and we are building the resources to be smarter and make more informed decisions.

I used to work for a Large Auto Retailer and have to say they were actually going in the opposite direction from an IT perspective.  They were smarter and they have put themselves on a slope of getting dumber from my vantage point.  The decisions are very short sighted and they are losing their best resource (people) because they don't value you them as they should.  I believe some of it has to do with getting complacent which is never good. 

My sister once told me about the theory that the true enemy of "Great" isn't "Bad"; it is "Good Enough" because people accept "Good Enough" versus fighting for change when things are "Bad".  I think this can be applied in many areas but I feel like my old employer accepts Good Enough where my new employer was in the Bad Category and we are trying to move the needle in a different direction.

Post #359988
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 8:23 AM
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Since I own a large hunk of the company, I would be inclined to claim brilliance, but realistically I think my company is wavering between smart and idiotic. Then again, it may be because part of what we do is provide some close client support, and, frankly, a lot of the companies we work with are not on verge of winning any rewards. So, internally smart; but our world interface is suffering some.

I do believe recognising the weaknesses is a step toward being smarter.

In a less humourous vein, given the constant financial restatements of some of the companies I used to consider smart, perhaps finances is a weak way of measuring strength.

Post #359996
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 8:50 AM
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I work for a hospital - definitly not smart - but caring. Actually I think all the crap we have to do to process a bill to someones insurance is pretty amazing (amazingly stupid).


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