The World’s Most Innovative Companies
A special report by BusinessWeek and Boston Consulting Group reveals practices of world’s most innovative companies. Apple, Google, Toyota Motor, General Electric and Microsoft top five annual ranking.
The leaders of companies on this year’s BusinessWeek-bcg list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies recognize that developing breakthrough products, revamping operational processes, and coming up with new business models doesn’t happen overnight. Instead of relying on gimmicks or incremental line extensions, they’re working to build organizations that are capable of sustained innovation. They understand that requires taking risks and investing for the long term. And they focus on the things that really matter, such as hiring the most talented employees and providing them with the environment they need to thrive. “You can make it really complicated or really simple,” says Arthur D. Levinson, chairman and chief executive of Genentech Inc., the world’s foremost biotechnology company.
If you want an innovative environment, hire innovative people, listen to them tell you what they want, and do it.
To determine Business Week’s 2007 list, the Boston Consulting Group asked nearly 2,500 executives worldwide to vote for the most pioneering companies doing business today. Not surprisingly, Apple and Google once again prevailed.
Bur what makes these 50 companies innovative? The following list summarises the reasons for the first ten.
- List’s first-place innovator for the third year in a row, Apple is a master of product and store design. Now that it’s invading the cell-phone market, will it continue its winning streak?
- It didn’t invent search advertising but lifted it to its current heights. Google’s famously chaotic innovation process has plunged it into everything from radio ads to online office software.
- Toyota Motor
- Toyota’s dominance in hybrids could lead to the fi rst plug-in electric auto in the next four years. Now the No. 1 carmaker, its continuous improvement process is copied worldwide.
- General Electric
- CEO Jeff Immelt’s push for “imagination breakthroughs,” or growth opportunities of $50 million to $100 million, are increasingly leading GE into emerging markets and green tech.
- To some, Microsoft is more fast follower than leading innovator. Still, the software giant’s massive R&D budget generates creations that help ensure Windows’ and Offi ce’s hegemony.
- Procter & Gamble
- After years of scouting for new products outside its walls, P&G has mapped the innovation strengths of global regions. CEO A.G. Lafl ey is pushing for more disruptive new ideas.
- Walt Disney
- CEO Bob Iger is refueling Disney’s creative culture, quashing bureaucracy. Moves such as putting ABC shows on iTunes and acquiring Pixar helped move Disney up our list.
- Last year the tech services behemoth held an online brainstorm with 150,000 people to dream up new ideas. It hosts annual symposia with outsiders to collaborate on forecasting.
- This traditional tech hardware maker is devoting more resources to software. To turn its PlayStation 3 console from living-room box to virtual gateway, it created a 3D online world.
The legendary Post-it Note is just one of 3M’s many creations, which include everything from dental fillings to roofing shingles. Next on its list: diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.