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Three traits the most resilient companies have in common

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MSCI’s recent report examines the talent management practices adopted by the most resilient companies in the world.

The research centre first identified 202 MSCI ACWI Index companies that were recognised for innovation in the preceding three years by Fast Company, Forbes, the Boston Consulting Group, and/or the MIT Technology Review. Of the 202, 80% of these high innovation companies were clustered in 17 industries.

Key takeaways

The chart shows the percentage of companies with 1 or 2 out of 2 possible best practices in each category. Data covers the 17 high innovation industries only. None of the companies had both possible best practices in Leadership Training & Degree Programs. There were 161 companies in the Innovators group and 596 in the All Others group.

  • Over the long term, the most resilient companies are able to anticipate, adapt to shifting circumstances and innovate, whether the issue is changing customer preferences, new regulations, or resource scarcity.
  • The recognised innovators in high intensity industries were roughly 1.5x as likely as their peers to have featured strong employee engagement initiatives, good non-pay benefits, diverse leadership and programs to facilitate workforce diversity.
  • The recognised innovators in high innovation industries had an average of 2.5 women on the board vs. 1.9 for their peers. About a quarter of these companies also had a persistent critical mass of three or more female directors for three years in a row, almost double the percentage of their peers (13.3%).
  • MSCI identified another seven companies in high innovation industries and 18 companies in other industries, which displayed the same key talent management ingredients common to innovative firms, as potential sleeper innovators.

Statistics: Diversity

Average number of female directors per company in 2017 (High innovation industries)

The percentage of companies in each group that had three of more female directors for three years in a row (2014-2016).

Potential Sleeper Innovators, High Innovation Industries

These companies had at least six out of eight possible best talent management practices plus at least three female directors as of April 27, 2018.

The significance of diversity and engagement, as told by MSCI

Diversity may reflect a culture that is open minded and comfortable with differences. The company will focus on accessing and retaining the best talent available, and eager to cultivate creativity and diversity of ideas.

Engagement initiatives may reflect a culture of adaptability and continuous improvement in which management is clear about the need to stay on top of new information and changing circumstances.

It may also reflect an atmosphere in which employees feel encouraged and empowered to voice their thoughts and ideas.



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