Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

How America's Most Profitable Companies Sustain an Innovative Advantage

May 07, 2013 by Jeff James, Vice President & General Manager, Disney Institute

Fortune has released the list for which it is best known, the Fortune 500. 2013’s rankings for the America’s most profitable companies saw Wal-Mart retake the top spot followed by a consortium of energy companies; Berkshire Hathaway rounded out the top five.

Some of the country’s most profitable companies are, not surprisingly, also some of the most admired in creativity and innovation. Nike, Apple, Amazon.com, Google, and Facebook are just a few organizations on the Fortune 500 list that regularly push their innovative limits to deliver modern marvels into the hands of consumers.

So what is it about these companies that allows them to sustain their competitive edge?

For starters, there is process behind their technique. That process can be, “a messy, exhausting process culled from myriad options and countless failures,” says Fast Company writer Austin Carr about Nike’s innovative process.

There is also an extreme attention to detail. Take for example, “The Button Test,” a game designed by YouTube designer Marc Hemeon which tests users’ ability to identify websites based on radio buttons’ shape and coloring. Marc’s design is a culmination of color, size, and style that builds the identity of a brand into a web page based on the tiniest on intricacies that affect the way a user will consume content.

Finally, do not underestimate the benefits of a cohesive culture: tangible benefits, such as talent retention, and less tangible benefits, like the sort of collaboration that comes from close-knit teams.

What are your thoughts on this years Fortune 500? The most admired companies in innovation?

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Posted in Business Excellence | Tagged Employee Engagement, Employee Retention, Collaborative Culture, Team Building, Communication Skills, Creativity in Business, Jeff James | 0 Comments

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