A lot of executives ask me what it takes to become one of IndustryWeek's 100 Best-Managed Companies. Most aren't satisfied with my two-word answer: hard work. Surely there must be some common strategy, they say, some secret recipe that allows one company to excel while its competitors lag behind. Unfortunately, there isn't. Our 100 Best followed 100 different paths to excellence over differing competitive landscapes. Yet while I can't give you an easy-to-follow road map to success, I can offer some tips on how to avoid all the hard work that becoming (and remaining) a Best-Managed Company entails. Here's how to make sure your company never appears on our list of the elite 100:
John R. Brandt is publisher and editor-in-chief of IndustryWeek.