Our/Your reaction to BCG’s report, “The Most Innovative Companies – Breaking Through is Hard to do”

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BCG Most Innovative Companies

BCG’s “Top 10” Most Innovative Companies:

1.  Apple

2.  Google

3.  Samsung

4.  Microsoft

5.  IBM

6.  Amazon

7.  Tesla Motors

8.  Toyota Motors

9.  Facebook

10.  Sony

What’s Our Reaction To This “Top 10”?:

First, we congratulate the four authors for delivering two excellent reports.  There is a wealth of information contained in them.  Thank you.

But, there are 4 companies that would not make our “Top 10”:  Microsoft, IBM, Toyota and Sony.   When you look at some of the details, you start to understand how this can happen.

It’s great to see Tesla Motors in the “Top 10.”  We’re not supportive of Apple remaining at #1.

1.  The definition of innovation.

Is it reasonable to think that 1,500 executives will have a common understanding of what innovation means?  Based on our experience, it’s unreasonable.  If you ask 100 associates in the same organization “What does innovation means?”, you’ll have 100 different definitions.

2. The metrics used to define an innovative company.

Who defined the metrics?  Was it the authors?  Were the 1,500 executives asked to critique these metrics?

3.  The executives surveyed.

BCG surveyed 1,500 executives but they came from different functional areas (innovation, finance, IT, operations and technology/R&D) and from at least 5 different levels of management:

  • At the “C” level, representation (% of those surveyed) was CIO, 10.1%; CFO, 9.1%; CTO, 7.3%; COO, 6.1%; CEO, 5.3%; and CInO, 2.3%.

We see CIO’s, CFO’s and CTO’s as enablers, not drivers, of innovation.

  • Managers and directors represented 30% of those surveyed.

When it comes to innovation, our experience is managers and directors are rarely on the same page as “C” level executives.

4.  Does past performance have an impact on current performance?

We think it does and IBM, Microsoft, Toyota and Sony could be good examples.

What’s Your Reaction To This “Top 10”?

We’d love to hear your thoughts and look forward to reading them.


BCG (Boston Consulting Group), October, 2014.

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