The top ten innovation friendly companies, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group report:
This according to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group and the National Association of Manufacturers. The study ranked 110 countries on a variety of factors including tax policies, education systems, infrastructure, and number of patents issued.
Of course, the devil is in the details. One of the variables is “R&D tax credit” (which I agree with); another is “Taxation level” (which I’m more skeptical about…do lower taxes result in more innovation? The answer depends on your political leanings). And some of the factors are not defined, like “Trade policy” (which trade policies do they count as “innovation favorable”?) “IP policy” (ditto) and “Immigration policy” (ditto). But they have captured a broad range of factors, from “Workforce quality” to “Infrastructure quality.”
Based on interviews with 1,000 executives, they came up with a list of the top strategies for generating innovation. Two of them are collaborative initiatives that I advocate in my book GROUP GENIUS: (1) Use outside sources of ideas, and (2) partner with suppliers for new ideas. These executives said that the single most critical factor was finding a skilled, educated work force. Many of the executives were critical of today’s schools. The number one recommendation of the report was “Strengthen the work force” by improving education. Regardless of the details, we can all agree on that.