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Talent Leads to Innovation—In Switzerland and Around the World

Mark Marich

Back in the summer months, Switzerland came out on top of INSEAD’s 2013 Global Innovation Index that measures an country’s innovation capacity. It should stand to reason then that Switzerland does well in terms of attracting and developing the human capital necessary to drive that innovation. In its new Global Talent Competitiveness Index, INSEAD again points to Switzerland as the place to be. 

Talent is the V8 engine of competitiveness and innovation for today’s globally connected mobile economy. Those that have mastered the development of skills inside their countries and lowered the barriers to entry for foreign talent are creating vibrant and sustainable economies. Those that haven’t are facing a wide array of challenges, from skills shortages to high joblessness.

The GTCI measures countries, using 48 variables, split into two groups. The outputs are vocational and technical skills for jobs in fields such as health and engineering; and global knowledge skills, which encompasses a range of positions, including entrepreneurs, researchers, managers and other professionals. The second group addresses how countries enable, attract, grow and retain talent to foster these output skills.

Not surprisingly, the new ‘Talent' index closely resembles the 'Innovation’ index with eight of the ten repeating: 


  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. Denmark
  4. Sweden
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Netherlands
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Finland
  9. United States
  10. Iceland


  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Netherlands
  5. United States
  6. Finland
  7. Hong Kong (China)
  8. Singapore
  9. Denmark
  10. Ireland

The message is clear — if you want innovation, focus on the policies that develop and attract talent.

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