Each year I look out for Fast Company’s most innovative companies – it’s always a fascinating list not least because it is genuinely different every year. In 2017 its tempting to see its just the usual suspects with Amazon, Google, Uber, Facebook and Spotify in the top 10 but look a bit further and there are new companies I’ve never heard of and more established ones like Marriott. Last year GE was in at no 20. I take a look at where the companies are (it’s quite a US based list this year but again this varies) as well as which industries and levels of maturity are most represented. The very fact that the top 50 change on a regular basis makes this genuinely representative of innovation – and reflects that not everyone can be permanently innovative. Some companies do indeed make the list more frequently but there is a wide selection – this is the 10th year and I suspect it’s a long list when you look back over the whole lot.
The issue for me is not so much whether companies aspire to be on the list – that’s a pointless exercise, but whether they aspire to innovate as rapidly as many on the list – increasingly that’s a pre-requisite to deal with a VUCA world.