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3m in 2006

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3M in 2006

Prior to reading the 3M case, I was unaware of this historic corporation that dominates a wide range of markets today. I have heard and purchased products such as Post-it Note, Scotch Tape, and Scotch-Brite; however, I did not know all these products and many more belong to 3M Company. 3M was initiated in 1902 by five businessmen in Minnesota and its first product was the development of sandpaper. William McKnight was the leading figure and CEO of 3M who revolutionized the company and led it to its initial success. He and other prominent figures at that time evolved the company culture into a unique innovative organization. 3M was the first company to utilize various strategies that differentiated them from other organizations at the time. For instance, they applied product diversification, which was done by creating brand extensions, production modifications, or creating brand new products. A large number of ground-breaking products were created by, “leveraging existing technology and applying it to new areas”. (p. C437) This strategy was not common in other industries during that time period. This unique culture assisted 3M by allowing the company to reach out to markets their competitors could not have access too. This advantage gave 3M the opportunity to acquire a wide range of new consumers across different market sectors. It placed them as the top dog in supplying daily essentials for individuals, families, manufacturers, and suppliers. Another strategy that extremely benefitted the company, and was later used to institutionalize the innovative culture among employees was the ‘15% rule’. This rule consisted of “technical people spending up to 15% of their own workweeks on projects that might benefit the consumer, without having to justify the project to their managers”. (p. C437) Allowing technical people to have an extra time to experiment…...

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