President's Day 2007 Post #2: All Men Are Created Equal

Pres W and Pres L, the birthday duo, guided us to a sort of freedom and autonomy that the World had never seen before. Permit me to link that to the 22 January Fortune's annual cover story on "The 100 Best Companies to Work For." (I only read it upon return from NZ.)

The #1 spot went to Google—which is appropriate enough; they are attempting to innovate in organization-people practices as much as in the marketplace. But it was #s 3, 4, & 5 that caught my attention—Big Time. The likes of Google and last year's winner, Genentech, are pretty obvious "types"—at least in retrospect. But retail, which employs huge #s of folks in less than a Goldman Sachs-like pay bracket? Well, #3 was Wegmans (a previous #1), #4 was Container Store, and Whole Foods bagged the #5 slot.

Yes! Retail took 3 of the top 5 slots! Which means to me that "we the people" (not only "cool" Googlers and Genentechers, #2 this year), can find seriously Cool Places to Work in surprising places.

Hooray, say I!

(Also in the top 27: David Weekly Homes at #12—builders are not normally "great places to work"; Nugget Market as #13; Starbucks as #16; and REI, Recreational Equipment Inc., at #27. Thus, 7 of the top 27 in mundane, mass employment retail, are Top Dogs. As I said ... very, very nice.)

Presumably, the lesson here is obvious. No "excluded categories" in the world of Top Employers. (Incidentally, the research methodology behind these rankings is Top Drawer.)

Happy President's Day.