When it comes to individual aspirations, the more innovative would invariably seek working for innovative companies. There is more to these global giants than making a mere commitment towards innovation. One of the commonest myths being that companies with a high spend on R&D is the leading innovators. Statistics indicate that Apple is ranked a modest sixteenth in R&D spend, however it tops the chart as an innovative company and this stands testimony to the fact that there is more to innovation than mere budgets and capital spent on R&D.
IDENTIFYING INNOVATIVE COMPANIES
It can be a trifle disconcerting to identify an innovative company if one is unaware of the indices to look for. If surveys are any index there is a consensus amongst management gurus that the top innovative companies in the world would well include:
Apple of Steve fame needs no introduction. What differentiates Apple from their competitor is the inherent ability to innovate across the board, be it software, hardware, industrial design, user design or even retail. iPhone, iPad, iPod, enough said.
Although they continue to rule the roost, barring Apple, the future could well be a challenge for Google. The logic is simple, they rose to fame and profitability riding on their ability to innovate in the ‘search’ realm and they became a dominant force in the search engine domain. However they began to lose steam when they turned to improvisation rather than innovation with their latest offering: Google plus which is but a poor cousin to the ruling social media sites and is yet to take off.
A multinational of repute 3 M continues to grow and a staggering annual sales turnover of well over $ 20 billion is standing evidence of the economic muscle that this powerhouse wields. A pioneer in introducing the 15% program, this is one organization where all employees can use 15% of their paid time to innovate and chase dreams.
Different companies would adopt different strategies when innovating. To illustrate the case in point, Samsung innovates in the technology space and their domination in NFC and larger than size OLED displays is standing testimony to the fact.
A company that was built on innovation, GE continues to be synonymous with it. The latest from the sables of this global giant is the now familiar green innovation. Working on the concept of investing not so modest US $1.5 billion in R&D they hope to enhance profits by US $20 billion by using and selling eco green products and concurrently save on personal energy and power consumption costs.
Although the list could be endless, if there are lessons to be learnt then they rest with these global giants who continue to dominate the market while leaving their competition far behind. One of the most important ‘take away’ for any learning organization aspiring to join the league of innovative companies is that to succeed companies need to innovate and not improvise. This could well be attributed to the fact that while they compete to catch up with the leaders, the giants would be busy innovating. This makes copies a poor second and the only way to move ahead of innovators is to innovate!