3M case study

Topics: Innovation, Eric von Hippel, User innovation Pages: 16 (3779 words) Published: October 1, 2014
CASE STUDY

MASTER IN INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGICAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
CREATIVITY

20 DECEMBER 2013

CREATIVITY

CASE STUDY

Table of contents
1 - Introduction ....................................................................................................................................................... 3 2 - Culture of Innovation ......................................................................................................................................... 6 3 - Pillars of 3M Innovation Process ....................................................................................................................... 8 4 - Breakthrough Innovation and Lead User approach ......................................................................................... 11 5 - Conclusions ..................................................................................................................................................... 15 6 - Bibliography .................................................................................................................................................... 16

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Introduction
The aim of this work is to address the theme of Innovation and Creativity in organizations. The chosen enterprise was 3M Company, due to the major role that innovation plays within this company. 3M Company is a case study for decades. In spite of this, we think it is always fruitful “to visit” and discuss about 3M success, culture, dynamic and innovation management. Accordingly Ernest Gundling, author of The 3M Way to Innovation: Balancing People and Profit, “Innovation is more than just a bright idea; it is an idea that gets implemented and has a real impact. In other words, somebody has to make it happen.” We can say that “We think and 3M makes reality happen”. The Nelson´s Mandela citation -“It´s impossible until is done” – could be presented as the DNA of this company.

This work is organized as followed. First we present 3M history, trying to illustrate the milestones through the times. Then its culture of innovation is analyzed. The third point of this work concerns to some rules of innovation process. We will try to stress some rules and internal procedures of 3M, their effects in its workforce, which makes 3M´s innovation policies as very successful. Last point regards to lead user process, analyzing and undertanding why this particulat innovation process had such sucess inside 3M in terms of breakthrough innovations.. This study can contribute to a deeper understanding of the message underlined in the following sentences: “Research is the transformation of money into knowledge” and “Innovation is the transformation of knowledge into money”.

3M History
This section illustrates what was and is 3M Company, which help us to understand this company in the future.
Throughout history, many great thinkers have embraced the maxim that the best way to predict the future is to create it. In this regard, 3M’s business model is to foster organic growth by

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inventing new products that previously did not exist. This business model has led not only to new products, but also the creation of new industries, such as coated abrasives, pressure sensitive tapes, nonwoven respirators and fluoromaterials. In order to foster such growth, the company recognizes the value of Research & Development (R&D) and allocates approximately six percent of its yearly revenue to R&D.

To achieve the role of one of the most innovative companies in the world, with its dimension, being present as one of the biggest 500 hundred companies, this is only possible by people and management.

Succinctly, we present 3M Company chronologically highlighting the main events: 

1902: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co was founded at the Lake Superior town of Two Harbors, Minn. Five businessmen set out to mine a mineral deposit for grinding-wheel abrasives. 3M's...

Bibliography: -
3M Institutional Information: A Century of Innovation – The 3M Story (2002)
3M Institutional Information: A Culture of Innovation – (2012)
3M Institutional Information: Uncommon Connections Innovative Solutions – (2011)
Gundling, E. (2000).The 3M way to innovation: Balancing people and profit. New York,
Kodansha International
von Hippel, E.(1988).The Sources of Innovation
von Hippel, E.(2005)
von Hippel, E. (1986) Lead users: a source of novel product concepts. Management
Science, 32, 7, 791–805.
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