At the same time, science and technology continue to be seen as increasingly important underpinnings of innovation, enabling four attributes that many executives identify as critical: an emphasis on speed, well-run (and very often lean) R&D processes, the use of technological platforms, and the systematic exploration of adjacent markets.
The importance of these four attributes - and of science and technology in general - is not new. Looking back over our surveys of the last ten years, we see that the companies that made the list of the 50 most innovative companies in at least nine out of ten of them - Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Toyota, BMW, Amazon, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, Cisco Systems, Nike, Sony, Intel, Procter & Gamble, and Walmart - are all strongly associated with many of those capabilities.
The importance of these attributes can also be seen in this year’s list. Apple and Google again hold the top two spots. Tesla Motors, which has been moving up the list at the speed of one of its Model S sedans, reached number three. Fast-tech companies, tech-savvy automakers, and a company that exemplifies scientific expertise combined with lean R&D in the pharmaceutical industry round out the top ten.
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