For the fifth year in a row Apple has been named the World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune Magazine – as well as the most innovative. Whilst it is not unusual to see Apple top the innovation charts, on this occasion beating Google into 2nd place, it is a testament to their enormous success and the impact their products have on our daily lives that this has translated consistently into general admiration.
However on many levels this is not surprising. What do people usually admire? Success for sure, super-cool designs for sure, people and organisations that ‘think differently’ for sure, and iconic individuals also help … so it is not surprising that Apple retains its ranking even though it has recently been associated with issues in its supplier companies in China. So what does this say in general about innovation and innovative companies. Well clearly if you want to be ‘admired’ it helps to be an innovation leader – Google in no.2 position needs no explanation, Amazon.com at no.3 has pioneered innovative business models for over 10 years as has Fedex at no.6. Starbucks at no.8 pioneered a new form of retail experience and business model and at no.10 Southwest Airlines re-invented airline travel. I could continue down the list with BMW at no.14 sharing some of Apple”s attributes of design and operational excellence.
In summary it is gratifying that those companies that push boundaries and lead innovation efforts in their industries and markets are being universally recognised …. And at a personal level it is great to see some of our clients in the list.