2010 BCG Innovation Survey

It’s April again, and that means it’s time for the annual Boston Consulting Group’s innovation survey.  The report has a lot of valuable information, but I’ll start with their ranking of the most innovative global companies:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Microsoft
  4. IBM
  5. Toyota
  6. Amazon.com
  7. LG Electronics
  8. BYD Company
  9. General Electric
  10. Sony
  11. Samsung
  12. Intel
  13. Ford

Respondents’ votes counted for 80% of the weighted rankings, shareholder returns 10%, revenue and margin growth 5% each.

Apple and Google have held the top two spots for four years now. BYD Company is the surprise newcomer on the list, a Chinese company that makes automobiles and rechargeable batteries.  LG moved from 27th in 2009 up to 7th. Ford moved from 31st to 13th.

Now for the more provocative part of the report, which is subtitled “a new world order” because BCG believes that RDEs (rapidly developing economies) “are in the ascendancy and appear poised to put a major dent in the major economies’ self image and position” (p. 18).  The projected growth in China, India, and Brazil, as well as other countries, is far greater than that projected for the mature economies. How are they building innovation competitiveness?

  • investing in public education, particularly in STEM areas
  • large, permanent R&D tax credits
  • immigration policy that favors entrepreneurs and preferred expertise (and is starting to attract returning expatriates from Europe and the U.S.)

Business leadership in these countries is also committed to innovation. Eighty two percent of respondents in Brazil, India, and China (BIC) said innovation was in the top three priorities (92 percent in China!) versus 68 percent of respondents from mature economies. Eighty five percent of BIC respondents plan to increase innovation spending in 2010, versus 53 percent from mature economies.

The take-home message? “Becoming better at innovation is probably the single most important thing you can do this year.” (p. 20)

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