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Seventh Annual Hay Group Study Identifies Best Companies for Leadership

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Seventh Annual Hay Group Study Identifies Best Companies for Leadership New Delhi, May 9th, 2012: Hay Group, the global management consulting firm, today released its seventh annual Best Companies for Leadership Study, identifying the global Top 20 and Asia's Top 10 best companies for leadership and examining how those companies nurture talent and foster innovation in their ranks. This year, General Electric topped the global list, followed by Procter & Gamble, IBM, Microsoft and Coca-Cola. Here in Asia, Samsung Group, Toyota Motors and Unilever led the ranking (Figure 1).

Top 10 Best Companies for Leadership in Asia (2011)

1. Samsung Group
2. Toyota Motors
3. Unilever
4. Nestle
5. Tata Group
6. IBM
7. Sony Corporation
8. Proctor & Gamble
9. The Coca-Cola Company

According to Hay Group's study, the Best Companies for Leadership (BCL) create workplace environments and processes that enable innovation to thrive. In fact, nearly all of the Asia Top 10 companies (90 percent) reported that their leaders regularly celebrate innovation, compared to just 59 percent of other companies. In addition, 84 percent of the Asia Top 10 companies reported that ideas from subsidiaries are just as likely to be implemented as those from headquarters, compared to only 63 percent of other companies.

"In Asia, there is a keen hunger to capitalize on the abundant business opportunities. The Best Companies for Leadership recognize that innovation is key to their future growth and sustainability in a fiercely competitive global market," said Mr Mohinish Sinha, Leadership & Talent practice leader, Hay Group ASEAN, India, and Pacific & Africa and co-author of the BCL Asia report. "Many companies prize innovation, but the Best Companies for Leadership approach it in a disciplined way by building agile organizations, promoting collaboration, and celebrating successes."

Innovation revolution

When it comes to innovation, Hay Group's study also found that the Asia Top 10 are driven by future customer needs and not just serving the current ones. In fact, 90 percent of them report that employees – not just managers and leaders – constantly discuss customers' future needs, compared to just 56% of other Asia companies. When faced with difficulties, Asia's Top 10 are willing to postpone short-term profits in order to continue investing in innovation (71 percent) and treat negative feedback and performance difficulties as learning opportunities (77 percent), compared to 53 percent and 56 percent respectively in other companies.

"The ability to translate future trends into new product offerings has kept Asia's best ahead of their competition. The willingness to bite the bullet now by putting off short-term gains so as to continue innovation investment is their hallmark. In fact, Asia's Top 10 (71 percent) do better in this aspect than even their global top 20 peers (65 percent). Coupled with their organizational resilience, this enables them to bounce back quickly from set-backs, and the Asia top 10 are a force to be reckoned with," observed Ms Vanessa Cen, Leadership & Talent practice leader in Hay Group North-East Asia and co-author of the BCL Asia report.

Global best practices

However, the co-leaders of the study warned that Asian companies should not rest on their laurels as they have much to learn from the Global Top 20 companies in the following areas:

• Develop an organizational structure that enables quick communication. This is fundamental to organizational agility, its decision-making frameworks, and responsiveness to market changes.

• The Asian tradition of directive leadership will not work to foster innovation. Everyone must be expected to lead, even if they have no formal position of authority, and Asian bosses must learn to delegate their authority and decision-making power.

• Create personally meaningful work. Having an innovation strategy is no guarantee of success, and the most innovative companies are interested in discretionary effort. Therefore, strategies must be decoded vertically and horizontally so that personal interests are aligned with corporate and inter-departmental goals.

"In an uncertain business environment of rapid and irrevocable change, innovation is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity. Building discipline around innovation has become just as, if not more important, than innovation itself. And innovating leadership is perhaps the most critical step to survival," noted the co-leaders.

Hay Group's Asia report, Leadership reloaded: Innovating in the next decade, is available on

For more information on Hay Group's Best Companies for Leadership, please visit the microsite at, or join the conversation on Twitter at!/HayGroupIndia.

About Hay Group's Best Companies for Leadership Study
Hay Group has researched the Best Companies for Leadership since 2005. This year's survey includes responses from nearly 7,000 individuals at more than 2,300 organizations worldwide. The survey was based on the organization's response to an online questionnaire and peer nominations. Respondents that completed the survey were from 103 countries, with 11 percent from North America, 35 percent from Europe, two percent from the Middle East, 21 percent from Asia/Pacific/Africa and 31 percent from Latin America. To see the Top 20 list from 2005 through 2011, please visit the Best Companies for Leadership microsite at

About Hay Group
Hay Group is a global consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. We develop talent, organize people to be more effective, and motivate them to perform at their best. With 85 offices in 48 countries, we work with over 7,000 clients across the world. Our clients are from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors, across every major industry and represent diverse business challenges. Our focus is on making change happen and helping people and organizations realize their potential.

For further details, please contact:

Nidhi Mehra Kapoor
Mob: +919818331654

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