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?