It's Google Under the Label of the Top 25 Innovative Companies

Bruce Nussbaum

I've been busy working on this week's issue of BusinessWeek--The World's Most Innovative Companies that lists Apple (of course), BMW, Samsung, Toyota, Honda (yeah, three car companies, how about that?), Intel and others in the Top 25 (you can see the Top 100 online. But my favorite part was helping design the cover, which is a takeoff on a whiteboard during a brainstorming session.

For those folks getting their magazine in the mail, the label covers one of the Top 25 that has an arrow pointing to "Free time to experiment." The company it is covering up is--Google--which surges to # 2 from # 8 last year. Closing in on Apple.

More interesting stuff: both Sony and Dell fell in the ranking sharply. In 2005, Dell was # 6 and this year it is # 14. Sony went from # 5 to #13.

IDEO is the only innovation/design consultancy to hit the Top 25. It rank # 15 in 2006, rising from # 18 last year.

The regional lists are interesting too. Infosys is # 10 in the Asia-Pacific region and Porsche and RyanAir come up on the European list.

Innovation metrics is on the minds of everyone these days. Check out these tables and charts for insights on what companies are doing and why.

And if you are up to it, take the Innovation Challenge Quiz.

But no where to be seen are such innovation/design-driven companies as Motorola, Nike, Philips or the biotechs. What's up with that? I asked The Boston Consulting Group that did the survey of 1,070 senior managers in 63 countries that question. The answer? This is a survey of people over the internet between February and April. The respondents, like all respondents to all surveys, act on deep knowledge and on what's in the news at the moment. During those months when the BW/BCG survey was out there, Motorola, Nike, Philips, etc. were not on the minds of global senior managers. Or--not. Maybe something else is working.

But for those companies on the Top 25 and Top 100 lists, there is a general feel of authenticity to their ranking, I think. What do you think?

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