The Global Innovation Value Pyramid

By: Chris Miller

Six of the top ten in the Forbes list of Most Innovative Companies are based in the USA. None can operate for even a day without their international partnerships. They are completely dependent on a network of suppliers, many of them much smaller companies that you and I have never heard of, to deliver almost everything they make. The innovativeness of these big Forbes Award winning companies like Amazon and BioMarin Pharmaceuticals is a combination of their unique offer and their ability to quickly put together global cooperatives with amazing quality and consistency.

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There are over 25 million companies of substance in this world. Most of these are little fish in the global innovation pond. They do little innovations every day at the base of the global economic pyramid that we will never hear about. Their targeted efforts enable their customers with newer, cheaper and ever better materials and capabilities. As these improvements ratchet up the value chain they yield award winning innovative goods and services at the top of the pyramid.

Most of the people who read this little newsletter are innovation coaches, process managers, educators and consultants. As we do our work let’s think about the 50 little companies we pass on the way to work at the multi-nationals. They are, in fact, international competitors. Many can and many do use sophisticated innovation tools. All can use a little nudge from the process community from time-to-time. Think about your own business model and how you might be able to help them.

P.S. There is a much higher percentage of the economy at the bottom of the innovation value pyramid than at the top.

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