There are many ways to measure success in business - profits, capitalisation, sales, fame - but the admiration of a company by its peers, while an unusual yardstick, can be an effective method of assessing how well things are going beneath the surface.
Rivals are often best-placed to judge how companies are coping with the ups and downs of their sector.
That is why the Management Today Most Admired Company Awards - now in their 10th year - were born. Michael Brown, principal lecturer at Nottingham Business School, who formulated the idea in his MBA dissertation and has done the research for the awards from the start, concedes that we are still some way from cracking the DNA code of success. Even given the growing use of data in this digital age, there is little scientific or predictable about it.