Apple Computer, which heads this innovation league table for the second year running, is said to have used seven types of innovation to launch the iPod, including networking (an agreement among music companies to sell songs online), business model (selling songs for a dollar each) and branding - as well as its software technology.
The other top companies are also many-faceted innovators: Toyota is best-known for manufacturing process innovation, but the Prius model is earning it a reputation as a product innovator. Global senior executives identified slow development times and lack of internal coordination as the top obstacles to innovation.
The best innovators not only break down business silos, but change reporting lines and create space for collaboration.
World's most innovative companies
Business Week/Boston Consulting Group, 24 April 2006.
Reviewed by Steve Lodge.