Planning TD's annual BEST issue is quite a bit different from planning any of the other magazine issues we publish throughout the year. There are closed-door meetings, hidden documents, and hushed conversations. Details are shared strictly on a need-to-know basis. The reason? Although the organizations that win an ATD BEST Award—the talent development industry's most rigorous and coveted recognition—are announced months in advance, the rankings are kept secret until the night of the awards ceremony in October.
During the ceremony, ATD President and CEO Tony Bingham acknowledges each winning company one by one, working his way down the list until he reveals the number 1 winner.
Given that we start working on the BEST issue in mid-June, it's easy to understand why the magazine team goes to such lengths to avoid spoiling the surprise. In fact, the freelance writers don't even know the rankings of the companies they're profiling, and our design team also stays in the dark until just days before we hand over the articles to be laid out.
By the time you read this issue, the ceremony will have happened (we mail the magazine a week later than usual to ensure you don't receive it ahead of the reveal) and the 45 winning companies fêted for their accomplishments. What you'll find in the BEST section are, at last, the rankings. But just as notable are the profiles that highlight each winning company's innovative and results-driven talent development efforts that earned the winners the honor of being among the BEST.