Evolution of Innovation Process - Case Study Example

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The essay “Evolution of Innovation Process” seeks to evaluate 3M, which started in 1902 and moved into manufacturing sandpapers after a failed mining venture. 3M always found innovative solutions to the problems they encountered in the surrounding environment…
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Evolution of Innovation Process
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Download file to see previous pages 3M understood that innovation happened through a liberated attitude towards the employees and therefore let them function and innovate without many constraints.  The same person (the last assistant) invented Scotch ® tapes. Even Post-it ® tapes were one of his inventions. 3M’s internal processes where innovative themselves which created a congenial environment for innovation on part of the employees. It introduced a ‘Dual ladder’ policy through which senior employees with technical proficiency could rise up the organization following a parallel path and without getting involved in the management. The firm encouraged innovation through grants and also allowed the personnel to deploy 15% of their working time for innovations and ideas provided they took care of their assigned projects. Innovation through interdepartmental joint-efforts was encouraged. By the 1990s 3M had over 30 important technologies. It also had decentralized units each focusing on important product areas. It formed the Healthcare Group which spanned over divisions related to the health of which one was Medical-Surgical Markets Division. This decentralized approach was followed in the case of product teams which were free from the official bureaucracy and consisted of technical persons along with a process engineer. Most of the successes of 3M in terms of winning products have primarily emanated from their ‘understanding’ of the problems customers face and thereby introducing innovative solutions/products to address these problems. But later on, especially in the case of some health care unit products, it took a long time between product concepts to actual launch. Though these products were successes in terms of innovation and excellence yet slow launch of further new products meant the slower growth of revenue and decreased profit for the company. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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