I finally got around to reading last week’s Business Week and ran across a survey – the top 20 Innovative Companies in the World (requires subscription) – which somehow surprised me.
The Boston Consulting Group basically polled 940 executives in 68 countries to establish the list.
I was not so much surprised about finding Apple in the top spot, but I was in finding 3M in second place and Google only in 8th place after Microsoft, GE, Sony, Dell and IBM.
I know 3M used to be a model for innovation – which was widely written about in various case studies. And I may be wrong in this, but what breakthrough innovation has come out of there since the post-it-notes? Are they truly still more innovative than Google is? Or are they still riding their excellent reputation wave which they built up many years ago?
I think it’s the latter and I do believe there is a lesson to be learned here. As long as you don’t screw up, you can benefit from a good reputation for a very long time.