Fortune has released it’s annual list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, and it is no surprise to see Apple holding the No. 1 spot for the eighth year in a row.
What can we learn from this list of the top companies in the world? The top five attributes used to rank these companies offer some insights:
- People management
- Use of corporate assets
- Social responsibility
- Quality of management (leadership)
The Fortune video mentions how critical “reputation” is, and I consider that a major attribute of your brand. This now applies to all companies and even CPA firms as every potential employee and customer will search the web for the story (reputation and brand) behind the organization.
I think it boils down to ROI = ROP x ROL X ROC. That’s Return on Investment = Return on People times Return on Leadership times Return on Culture. With innovation topping the list, we may need to add ROIn (Return on Innovation). Multiplication is purposefully used because each of these amplifies the others.
In fact, research cited in the book Information Masters shows the following ROI ratios (Return / Cost):
- Culture: 20X
- People: 10X
- Leadership: 10X
- Processes: 7.5X
- Organization (structure): 5X
- Information (data): 1.5X
- Technology: .12X (yes, those are decimals)
See our blog post ROI = ROP and RONI: It’s Really About Your People.
So to be come a “most admired company,” you have to work on your company / firm’s brand reputation, and that starts from the inside-out — or as business author Stan Slap once said: “You can’t sell it outside if you can’t sell it inside.”
It all starts with your people, leadership, and culture — those “soft,” squishy things with which many leaders struggle.
What do you think is the key to becoming a most admired company?