Innovation: “Hunkered down is the new normal!” Potentially stagnant economies and deer-in-the-headlights CEOs lead many companies to sort of ‘shelter in place.’ Hamel reminds us that we owe much to innovation, such as: Prosperity (just consider all the tech advances in recent decades); Happiness (we were born to create and get pleasure from it); Future (whether climate change or global competition, innovation is at the heart of our survival). Hamel provides a list of the most innovative companies. Topping both Fast Company’s and BusinessWeek’s lists are three companies—Apple, Google, and Amazon. Then he specifies several other groups of companies.
• Rockets—companies propelled by quirky business models…Hulu, Spotify, and Gilt Groupe. Hamel notes that in 2006 Starbucks and IKEA were innovator rock stars, but today both are part of the establishment.
• Laureates—companies that innovate routinely, like GE, Intel, Novartis, Microsoft and others. Laureates are great at maximizing R&D.
• Artistes—companies squarely inside the creativity business like IDEO and Grey New York.
• Cyborgs—companies like Google and Amazon that were “built to innovate.”
• Born-Again Innovators—companies like P&G and IBM. Hard to believe after all this time IBM has continued to be the leader in patents for 18 years.