Innovation propels 3M

Wednesday, 10 November 2010 00:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The latest global survey on the Global Innovation 1000 study has placed 3M at the third position out of 400 companies in 10 industries studied. Apple and Google bagged first and second place respectively.  

Every year, readers of the annual Global Innovation 1000 study — which tracks the companies that spend the most on innovation — ask Booz and Company’s annual study, which companies are in fact the most innovative. So this year, it was decided to query innovation executives for their perspective on this question.

As part of the survey exploring the relationship between innovation capabilities, corporate strategy, and financial performance, Booz and Company asked more than 450 innovation leaders in more than 400 companies and 10 industries to name the three companies they considered to be the most innovative in the world.

The survey participants’ collective opinion suggests that their views are very much in line with popular perception. Apple far and away leads the Top 10, capturing 79 per cent of the vote; it is followed by Google, with 49 per cent; 3M is in third place, with 20 per cent.

Apple is an exceptional example of survey observation that success in innovation is determined not by how much money you spend, but rather by how you spend it. The company has a long history of bringing innovative and stylish products to market, from the first Apple personal computer in 1976 to the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad today.

Third-place 3M has been seen as a highly innovative company for many years, and its five-year TSR of almost 50 per cent shows that it continues to spend its R&D money in the right places.  Only three of the companies on the ‘10 Most Innovative’ list — Toyota, Microsoft, and Samsung — also appear among this year’s top 10 spenders, reiterating the lack of correlation between R&D spending and innovation results.