Companies need to become competitively unpredictable if they want to stay relevant during these fast-paced times of business, innovation and change. Creating a strong and sustainable innovation culture is key for this to happen.
Those are two of the key messages in my next book and as I start working on the case section of the book, it would be great to get your input on large(r) companies – or divisions / business units within companies – that meet these criteria:
• a strong desire and willingness to experiment on how they innovate and bring products and services to market
• an empowered workforce that has been trained in the skills needed to make innovation happen
• an ability to inspire others and drive relevant change in their industry
As a discussion starter, I can share my current list of top 10 companies that I think fit these criteria. I did not include early stage start-ups on my list as my focus is on large(r) companies and since I also believe that big companies will kick start-up company butt in the coming years : – )
Here is my list of companies (in no particular order):
1. Tesla Motors – for changing an industry (or perhaps creating a new one)
2. Telefonica – interesting new take on innovation with a strong focus on execution
3. P&G – their Corporate Platforms setup seems interesting although I have some difficulties learning more about how it works and what the payoff is
4. Natura – lots of companies try to embrace open innovation; Natura wants to take it to a whole new level
5. General Mills – one of the pioneers of open innovation continues to challenge the innovation playbook
6. Premium Ingredients – the platform of a serial entrepreneur within the food industry
7. Square – mobile payments will change lots of industries and Square is leading this change
8. Discovery – it is rare that I see so many signs of a strong innovative culture as I did when I interacted with this South African company
9. Amazon – how many industries have Bezos and his people disrupted? What’s next?
10. Chobani – the talk of the dairy industry for their bold and different approaches on yoghurt
What other companies do you think fit the criteria mentioned above? It would be great if you can add some comments or links that helps enforce your recommendations.