When Forbes Magazine began its search for the World’s Most Innovative Companies, they looked across industries and under the hoods of some of today’s leading organizations. Humming behind the walls of 30 year-old Intuit, ranked No. 57 on the 2012 Most Innovative list, they found a network of start-ups seeking to solve the next big, important customer problem.
“In the last few years Cook and CEO Brad Smith have recast a big tech firm, with $4.1 billion in revenue and $17 billion in market valuation, in the image of a startup: fast-moving, embracing uncertainty, continually learning. And it’s worked,” reported Forbes editor Bruce Upbin. From office hours with Intuit co-founder Scott Cook to Intuit’s army of Innovation Catalysts, an inside look at Intuit’s innovation culture is featured in the Forbes September 24, 2012 issue and online today.
In a sidebar piece, “Four Ways Intuit Keeps New Ideas Flowing,” Forbes’ Upbin outlines four principles that CEO Brad Smith shared with him. Upbin also spoke with Caroline Donahue, Intuit’s chief sales and marketing officer, about the company.
Intuit is making its second appearance on FORBES’ annual list of the world’s 100 most innovative companies, moving up 27 spots to 57. The Forbes World Most Innovative Companies list compiles the top companies in the world to determine the most innovative. The top five on the list include Salesforce.com, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Amazon.com, Red Hat and Baidu.com.
For the past nine years, Harvard Business School professor and master of disruptive innovation Clayton M. Christensen, along with colleagues Jeff Dyer, a professor at Brigham Young University, and Hal B. Gregersen, a professor of leadership at INSEAD, have been studying the world’s most innovative companies. Through their research and work with Forbes, they identify and rank the most innovative companies based on an “Innovation Premium.” This “Innovation Premium” takes into account a company’s research and development pipeline and financial performance.
The list’s method is unique in that it does not ask executives to vote on which companies they think are most innovative – which is viewed by the authors as being a popularity contest based on past performance. Rather, the ranking was calculated based on company’s income from existing businesses, plus anticipated growth from those businesses, to discover the net present value of those cash flows. According to their website, that means their methodology “relies on investors—voting with their wallets—to identify the companies they expect to be innovative today and in the future.”
The results were published in the online version of the magazine on Sept. 5. Results will be in the print edition out Sept. 24.