Innovation at 3m Corporation

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mohamedkhashabah
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Q1. How has 3M’s innovation process evolved since the foundation of the company? Why, if at all, does 3M known as a “hothouse” of innovation, need to regain its historic closeness to the customer?

The hard start of 3M’s in 1902 with digging for corundum then discovering it is low-grade and worthless, moving to sandpaper business and discovering that the abrasives they import to use refuse to stick to the paper pushed the company early to the research road trying to fix the problems they are facing, one of the young technician figured out the problem and fixed the sandpaper and created the waterproof sandpaper for first time in the world that has a big meaning to 3M’s which leaded the company to be one of the biggest global innovation companies in the world. The company used the innovation since then by old research and development traditional method by identify the problem through visit or questionnaire to the clients and research the solution for the problem under vision of engineering to ensure the project efficiently made, not facing any risk if the product failed and also provide a feedback, The product developers used to visit the factories and workplaces to talk to the workers to get ideas for products it start as in 1920 when one of 3M’s lab visited a car body shop and discovered a problem while removing newspapers glued to the car body and start a research ended by creating a masking tab to the world.
After all the success through R&D, 3M allowed the staff to spend 15 % of their time to discover new ideas around the world especially that by 90th the management came up with a protocol that 30 % of 3M’s sales figures should be linked to products that doesn’t exist 4 years before producing it which leaded the company to known as “hothouse” of innovation in the world, the new management challenge as well as the disadvantage of the old traditional method…...

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