Innovation Index – is it relevant to 99% of businesses?
Politically, many countries and global firms are involved in some form of Global Innovation Index, but does this really tell us what is happening, or who the innovative organisations really are?
Produced as a joint venture by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and The Manufacturing Institute (MI) the Global Innovation Index is a global measuring recording the level of innovation of a country. This Innovation Index takes the following data:
- included government and fiscal policy, education policy and the innovation environment.
- included patents, technology transfer, and other R&D results; business performance, such as labour productivity and total shareholder returns; and the impact of innovation on business migration and economic growth.
With the worlds top 10 countries being:
Rank Country Overall Innovation Inputs Innovation Performance
2 South Korea
6 Hong Kong
8 United States
This list is in itself interesting, as Iceland is all but bankrupt and Ireland not far behind it in significant financial troubles. Is this list meaningful in any way? China & India are the fastest growing economies, with both developing their own innovative solutions to social situations, but neither are listed highly?
Top Innovation Firms:
The Top 50 Innovative Companies in the World – Apple is number one for the fourth year in a row
Position – company – known for (innovation in)
1 APPLE -Products
2 GOOGLE – Customer Experience
3 TOYOTA MOTOR – Processes
4 GENERAL ELECTRIC – Processes
5 MICROSOFT – Products
6 TATA GROUP – Products
7 NINTENDO – Products
8 PROCTER & GAMBLE – Processes
9 SONY – Products
10 NOKIA – Products
11 AMAZON.COM – Customer Experience
12 IBM – Processes
13 RESEARCH IN MOTION – Products
14 BMW – Customer Experience
15 HEWLETT-PACKARD – Processes, Business Models, and Customer Experience
16 HONDA MOTOR – Products
17 WALT DISNEY – Customer Experience
18 GENERAL MOTORS – Products
19 RELIANCE INDUSTRIES – Business Models
20 BOEING – Products
What is interesting about this list and the whole of the top 50as listed by Business Week/Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is that these are all large international firms. But is this really where the innovation is? In the top 50 include RIM, EBay, Facebook, Amazon, but would these firms have been listed in their first couple of years of operation? No – because the nature of these measure requires them to have a significant impact on the market. But if you look at the innovation of these firms, the big innovations were the ones that got them to market in the first place. So looking at any measure like this can only be done historically, after years of innovation and success. What about the myriad of small firms bought by 3i, Google & Microsoft etc to add to their offers? Would they have been identified an innovative by any of the “conventional” measures?
Are these national & international innovation indexes meaningful to most people in business?
What ordinary organisations need is an Innovation Index that means something at a day to day operational level, something that shows progress and change towards the needs and business aspirations of that organisation.
The Creatrix from the Richard Byrd Company in MN is a great tool which recognised the changing skills and culture required to improve innovation in a given organisation. For example the type of culture and innovative approaches need to be different for a start-up as to a process improvement project or phase.
Having a high or low innovation index can be equally bad – the real answer lies in what phase of development/ growth your organisation is at and what your strategic and business plan requires you to deliver? It is vital to align the need with the innovative capacity of an organisations people, as needed at the time.
Any firm looking to be innovative needs to look at its culture, management style and systems. Relying on innovation teams for product or service development is no longer enough. Innovation can originate anywhere in an organisation, and if as an organisation we want to remain competitive we need to ensure that we have innovation at all levels of our organisation, and that all of our people are involved in innovation throughout our operations.
Organisations that have used the Creatrix Innovation Inventory include:
3M, Advantec, Agriliance, AMA, AMEX, AMIDEAST, Andcor, Appleton, ARC Automotive, Atos Worldline, BancInsure, Capella, Capstone, Cargill, Carlson, CHW, Cincinnati TEC, College of St. Catherine, Corporate Psychologists, CPSI, Creativity Central, , Data Card, Dow Jones, Dupont, Fraser Group, General Mills, Goodyear, John Deere, Johnson & Johnson, KDV, Laing O’Rourke, Lebanon-Ministry of Finance, Medtronic, Merck, Money Gram, Morgan, Nestle, NHS, Roche, Schroeder, Siemens, Siemens DE Power, Stella, Yum Group
Contact us to find out how to measure the Innovation Index of your organisation, and what to do when you have that index!