What makes the best run companies? According to the folks at Claremont Graduate University's Drucker Institute, who analyzed 752 U.S. firms to figure out the best-managed companies in America, it all comes down to five factors:

  1. customer satisfaction
  2. employee engagement and development
  3. innovation
  4. social responsibility, and
  5. financial strength

Their results: Mostly tech companies, with the top two according to their methodology switching places from a year ago. 

The number-1 company is Apple, where design, financial strength (the period they looked at ended just before Apple's stock collapse this fall), and increased social responsibility put it at the top of the list. 

Ranking second on the list--but falling from number-1 last year--was Amazon.

Once you get out of the top 10, the industries vary more, including "a trash hauler, a liquor giant, [and] a maker of hip replacements," as summarized by The Wall Street Journal.

Here are the top 10 companies according to the Drucker Institute. Their rank last year is in parenthesis:

1.    Apple (2nd last year)
2.    Amazon.com (1st last year)
3.    Microsoft (tied for 6th last year)
4.    Nvidia (10th last year)
5.    Intel (14th last year)
6.    Alphabet (3rd last year)
7.    Accenture PLC (12th last year)
8.    Johnson & Johnson (4th last year)
9.    Procter & Gamble (6th last year)
10.    International Business Machines (5th last year)

Here's what else I'm reading today:

Michelle Obama swears she disagrees with Sheryl Sandberg

The internet went crazy over the weekend, thanks to Michelle Obama swearing on stage during a speech in Brooklyn on Saturday--but the bigger story is the context in which she swore. "It's not always enough to lean in," Obama said, while critiquing Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's famous mantra. "Because that shit doesn't work all the time."

Want to know if a man is happy? Looks like this is the question to ask

The men's grooming company Harry's teamed up with a British psychologist to survey 5,000 American men and figure out what parts of their life best predict whether they'll say they're happy or not. Turns out, the number one factor was job satisfaction according to this survey, by a factor of three to one over thing like whether they were healthy, in happy relationships, or had close friendships. As the official summary put it: "Men at work are men at peace: Everything else flows down from satisfying employment."
--Bill Murphy Jr., Inc.

Facebook: the company that people are definitely starting to leave

Facebook used to be known as the company that no one leaves. Over the past two months, however, ex-Facebook employees have been getting a lot of phone calls from their former colleagues asking for references or job openings. It's probably due to the, uh, turbulent year Facebook has had so far: multiple scandals and sharp drops in stock price. "There's new things coming out every day," says one former Facebook executive. "It's a quite somber atmosphere right now at the company."

Inc.'s Company of the Year is coming soon...

In the meantime, get to know Patagonia, one of the contenders for the title. Business is booming for the outdoor retailer--the company booked around $1 billion in revenue in 2017--even as Patagonia gets ever more unabashedly political in its messaging. Last year, the company sued the Trump administration. Its latest move takes aim at his corporate tax cuts.
--Lindsay Blakely, Inc.

Raising cash while female? Here's some good news

More women are starting companies, finding success, and giving back specifically to other women founders. Twenty-two percent of angel investors now are women. That might sound low but consider that only 9 percent of VCs are female.
--Kimberly Weisul, Inc.