Google parent Alphabet comes in sixth, let down by relatively poorer use of Use of Corporate Assets, while General Electric takes the number seven spot, faltering slightly on Financial Soundness concerns. Southwest Airlines comes eighth, due in part to low Global Competitiveness and poor Social Responsibility, while social media giant Facebook and technology firm Microsoft complete the top ten.
The Digital Economy
The survey for this year's benchmark report was also focused on identifying how companies are reacting to a number of key market trends. One area that the research found to be of particular importance to WMACs is the digital economy, cited as “critical” or “very important” focus areas for 89% of companies. The digital economy is stated as having had a “positive” or “somewhat positive” effect on 75% of the WMACs surveyed.
“It’s not surprising that the World’s Most Admired Companies are taking a proactive approach when it comes to preparing leaders and employees to respond to new opportunities the digital economy will bring,” says Mel Stark, a Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry Hay Group. “The Most Admired realise that responding to this revolution isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ – it’s critical to the survival of their organisation.”
The digital economy doesn’t come without some form of transformation, with around 70% of respondents noting that their organisational culture will need to change to execute digital strategies. Many of the companies surveyed (56%) note that they currently lack the skills and capabilities required to execute their digital strategy. The research further finds that companies are taking decision at the right level (78%), while also (68%) allowing employees to take risks without fear of adverse consequence for failure.
Mark Royal a Senior Director at Korn Ferry Hay Group, remarks, “The World’s Most Admired Companies recognise that encouraging cross-company collaboration and empowering employees to make decisions and take risks are crucial to succeeding in the digital world. These exemplary companies also know that new structures and ways of working, open boundaries, and connected ecosystems are essential to being able to continuously adapt to the opportunities offered by the digital economy.”