This week we celebrate design’s financial performance with the publication of our annual Top 100 consultancy trawl, ranking groups according to their fee-earnings. Do you think big business and creativity can go hand in hand?

‘Yes, provided there is creativity. Creativity has nothing to do with being big or small – it’s having the talent to deliver creativity or not.’

David Davies, Managing Director of Design, FutureBrand

‘Do you take a few scientists and invent the atomic bomb, or build an army of conscripts? An early chief scientist at Microsoft, Nathan Mhyrvold, believed one great programmer was worth 10 000 average ones. Our work is increasingly about ideas, rather than manpower, armies are not the most fertile environment for invention.’

Tom Roope, Co-Director, Tomato Interactive

‘There is contradictory evidence as to whether big business and creativity make good bedfellows. Business seems to value creative services such as design highly, judging by the sums spent on it. But mention “creativity” in most board rooms and you’ll be thrown out faster than a pig at a barmitzvah.’

Richard Watson, Founder, Global Innovation Network

‘Creativity needs a sympathetic culture to flourish, whereas size breeds politics and process. The two are not natural partners. But the scale of global business demands substantial creative partners. These are an emerging force, with a simple belief. Creativity leaps where process plods.’

Mary Lewis, Creative Director, Lewis Moberly

‘In an ideal world, big business and creativity should always go hand in hand. Visionary companies such as 3M or Apple have always operated at a “creative” level in all layers of their business. When all else becomes a commodity, creativity and vision are things you can’t put a price on and are very hard for competitors to mimic.’

Alasdair Scott, Interactive Director, AMX

‘Yes, I think they already do. Look at the Italian and Japanese markets and you can see that clearly (also interesting is their reliance on British design talent). Great design is big business. It works in other countries, why not ours?

Julian Grice, Managing Director, The Team Brand Communication Consultants

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