|The WSJ has a list based on Drucker's principles:|
Amazon takes the top spot, followed by fellow tech giants Microsoft and Apple, in the Drucker Institute’s annual Management Top 250 ranking
America’s best-run companies today include some of the nation’s oldest corporate giants and many of its most nimble technology firms.
This year, Amazon.com Inc. unseated Apple Inc. to earn the No. 1 spot in the Management Top 250, an annual ranking that uses the principles of the late management guru Peter Drucker to identify the most effectively managed companies. (How does your company rank in the 2019 analysis of well-run companies for customers, employees and investors? Explore the full Management Top 250 here.)
The online retailer was bolstered by its relentless focus on innovation. Microsoft Corp. rose to the No. 2 position, followed by Apple Inc., with Google parent Alphabet Inc. and networking-equipment giant Cisco Systems Inc. rounding out the top five.
A team of researchers at Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker Institute compiles the list using dozens of data points to evaluate companies on five performance dimensions: customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility and financial strength.
Those principles reflect the teachings of Mr. Drucker, long considered the father of modern management, who emphasized a comprehensive approach to leadership. He argued that highly functional organizations should benefit not only investors but also society, a viewpoint that has gone in and out of vogue.
The article covers topics that include Prime Now, and Alexa:
Toni Reid, a vice president of Alexa Experience and a more than 21-year veteran of Amazon, coaches her team not to solve too many technical problems in a memo or force a conclusion when one is uncertain. “If you do that, you end up watering down the project to average, because the technology likely doesn’t exist,” she says. “It’s something we may need to invent.”
Amazon’s Alexa, she says, started with a vision presented in a memo, even though the company had to later build the technology to power it. That’s why Ms. Reid encourages her team to spend ample time crafting the documents.
“You actually have to carve out space in your calendar and your brain to really be able to think and spend the time writing,” she says. “Especially if you’re trying to come up with something visionary that hasn’t been done before.”
While Amazon stands out in innovation, the company is a more uneven performer on other Drucker scores. It is below average on measures of social responsibility, although the company has made efforts to improve in that regard. Mr. Bezos earlier this year unveiled a climate pledge, noting that the company plans to be carbon-neutral by 2040.
Amazon has also been criticized for its treatment of workers by labor groups and lawmakers, although it raised the minimum wage for its U.S. employees to $15 an hour last year and has focused on helping workers gain new skills, even in occupations outside of Amazon.