Innovation is the key to success in any business; this has been proven repeatedly, most notably by 3M. 3M is a company founded on the principle of innovation. It has continued to be successful thanks to its willingness to experiment and take risks. Its history is littered with examples of disruptive technologies and new industries it has created. So let's take a closer look at what makes 3M so successful!
What is 3M all about?
The company was founded in 1902 as a mining venture. However, it quickly experimented with other products and soon became known for its adhesive tape; this led to the creation of the now-ubiquitous Post-It Note in 1974. Since then, the company has continued to create new and innovative products that have changed the world. Some of its other notable products include:
- Filtrete air filters
These are just a few examples of the many products that have impacted the world. But how has this company been so successful in creating these technologies?
3M's Culture of Innovation
The answer lies in their culture of innovation; they have encouraged 3M employees to experiment and take risks from the beginning; this has led to many breakthrough products over the years. Here are some of the things that they do to foster innovation:
Encourage open innovation.
3M is a company that encourages open innovation. They believe that good ideas can come from anywhere, encouraging their employees to share their ideas with others. 3M has a program called the "15% Solution," which allows employees to spend 15% of their work time on projects unrelated to their job. This program has led to developing some of 3M's most successful products, including Post-It notes and Scotch tape. By encouraging open innovation, 3M has created a culture of creativity and innovation within the company.
Host ideation sessions with members of all departments.
3M is a company that believes in the power of diversity. They believe that different perspectives are vital in coming up with good ideas. Therefore, they host ideation sessions where employees from all departments can share their thoughts and ideas. 3M is committed to creating an environment where all employees feel valued and respected. They believe that ideation sessions are an essential part of that commitment. By bringing together employees from all departments, 3M creates a space for open dialogue and creativity. As a result, 3M can generate new ideas and solutions they may never have thought of before. 3M is a company that understands the importance of diversity. They are reaping the benefits of their commitment to inclusion.
Allow team members to take risks in a protected environment.
At 3M, they know that not every idea will be a winner. But they encourage their employees to take risks nonetheless; this allows them to fail safely and learn from their mistakes. 3M has a long history of innovation. They believe that this culture of risk-taking is essential to their continued success. By creating a protected environment where team members feel comfortable taking risks, 3M can encourage creativity and generate new ideas. And while not every idea will be a winner, 3M knows that the occasional failure is necessary for continued success.
Rewarding and encouraging creativity.
3M is a company that believes that they should reward creativity, so they have several programs in place to encourage it. For example, 3M offers grants and scholarships to employees who come up with new ideas that can benefit the company. 3M also sponsors employee innovation awards at 3M's annual Innovation Celebration. In addition, 3M provides training and resources to help employees turn their creative ideas into realities. As a result of these efforts, 3M ranks consistently as one of the most innovative companies in the world. And it's no wonder - with such a solid commitment to encouraging creativity, 3M is sure to continue leading the way in innovation for years to come.
Implementing and nurturing all ten imperatives in Robert's Rules of Innovation.
3M is a company that is well-known for its innovative products. They have a long history of creating new and valuable items, from sticky notes to Post-It notes to solar panels. 3M employs a set of guidelines known as Robert's Rules of Innovation to ensure that they are constantly innovating. These rules cover everything from encouraging employees to come up with new ideas to programs of investing in research and development.
These are just a few things they do to foster innovation. But, as you can see, they have a firm commitment to it; this is one of the main reasons they have successfully created disruptive technologies and new industries.
How can you apply these lessons to your own business?
If you want to encourage creativity and innovation in your own business, there are a few things you can do:
- Encourage creativity and innovation in all employees.
- Host ideation sessions with members of all departments.
- Allow team members to take risks in a protected environment.
- Reward creativity and innovation.
- Implement and nurture all ten imperatives in Robert's Rules of Innovation.
By following these steps, you can create an environment conducive to innovation and creativity. And who knows - maybe your company will be the next one to create a new industry.