Navigating the corridors of a magazine that has grown as rapidly as INC. can be treacherous business. There is a bathroom today where you could have sworn there was a conference room yesterday. And the stairwell you have descended every night for years, now takes you up a flight. The ascent isn't a total loss, however, since at the top of the stairs you come face-to-face with the young woman who issues your expense checks and who, luckily for you, is able to give you directions out of the building to your car.
Although the sounds of the work are never far off, the construction crew has done an admirable job of minimizing the inconvenience.I am told there is even talk around the magazine of lobbying for a spot on the masthead for Jim Carey, the head of the CCH Builders crew and a minigrowth business in his own right.
Lately, the pages of the magazine itself have been undergoing a bit of reconstruction as well. Several months ago, Lynn Staley, INC.'s new design director, set out to brighten and upgrade the look of the magazine, starting with the features. At the same time, editors and writers were at work preparing a series of new sections. The first -- Hands On: A Manager's Notebook -- made its debut last month, and contains information designed to assist executives in meeting the day-to-day challenges of managing the resources of a small, growing company.
This issue contains two additional new sections. Face-to-Face is a monthly interview with one of this country's leading authorities on the business of growth businesses. This issue's interview, for instance, features David Birch, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher who startled both the public and the private sectors with his discoveries regarding the role growth companies play in creating new jobs in America. In INC. this month, Birch is at it again, offering provocative insights into a wide variety of subjects: the misleading statistics regarding the failure rate of new ventures; the way in which his job-generation findings have been misinterpreted by all sorts of special-interest groups -- small-business groups in particular -- for political purposes; and the startling conclusions of his research into the life cycles and development patterns of growth businesses.
Those same growth businesses are the focus of Spotlight, the other addition to INC.'s editorial lineup. This new monthly section features a series of one-page profiles of companies whose imaginative and resourceful strategies have earned them a growing share of the market -- and a place center stage in the Spotlight.
And there is more to come. Next month, there will be a modified -- and, we trust, improved -- department to open the magazine, and in June a new section that will chronicle the ways in which company founders are at work altering the very nature of the work environment itself.
In embarking on these changes, we are simply taking a page out of our own magazine, so to speak, and following the example of those companies we have written about over the years, companies that are relentless in their search for ways to serve their customers better. Like Jim Carey, we are doing our best to minimize any inconvenience or confusion the construction might cause. We hope you will ignore any muffled sounds of hammering in the background.