Awesome Farm (n): a company or organization or place where excellence is practiced and taught. The best way of identifying these places is years and years after the fact when you notice that the people who were there are currently all being awesome. This is a favorite topic of mine:
My favorite test for whether a company is excellent company or not is whether the people who were a part of it go on to do extraordinary things. Think of the Paypal mafia. It’s not clear to me that GO passes this test.
In the (re)insurance business, there are two Paypal mafias that come to mind: AIG’s actuarial department in the 80s and F&G Re. The top ranks of my business have over the last 20 years been massively over-represented by people with one of these two lines on their resume.
It’s possible to be awesome without being an awesome farm, of course. There’s something else in the water at these places, though. Maybe everyone else is just lucky.