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3M’s innovation process sample essay

1. How has 3M’s innovation process evolved since the company was founded? Why, if at all, does 3M known as a “hothouse” of innovation, need to regain its historic closeness to the customer? First, they discover their first product by accident.

Technician bypass purchasing agents in order to better understand product needs. Walked into factories and workplaces and talk directly to workers. Then, one developer discovered some success ignoring company order. Causing the attitude. It is better to seek forgiveness than to ask for permission. A “get-out-of the way” attitude on attitude on the part of management towards product developers.

The entire team did not face any risk if the product failed. Their love for discovery drive for innovation.
15% time to explore new ideas.
Dual ladder
Cross-pollination or bootlegging
Place a heavy emphasis on R&D.

In the 1990s as the innovation was stagnating, most of the innovations were extension of existing product lines, management came up with a protocol that 30% of 3M’s revenue should come from innovative products that did not exist four years ago.

To identify market needs and trends, fit customer’s need, to sell their products, Customers are their target and to make profit from.

2. How does the Lead User research process differ from and complement other traditional market research methods? Traditional: quantifiable and log data. Rear view mirror.

LU research: qualitative data from people, with new questions leading to new concepts, a new cycle of questions that begged further answers. Looking for “wild-eye” lead users A variety of lead users were found with expertise about different relevant attribute.

3. Has the Medical-Surgical team applied the Lead user research process successfully? Why or why not?

Came up with three products fit custom’s need.
Create a new way doing market research.


4. What should the Medical-Surgical Lead user team recommend to Dunlop: the three new product concepts or a new business strategy? What are the risks to the new Lead User process at 3M? What are the risks to the Medical-Surgical business unit?

Plant a few seeds.
Draw the managers into making the intellectual leap themselves. Let them become the revolutionaries.

Three products: two represent straightforward linear extension of existing 3M product lines. Other one represent a departure from past activities. Open door to new business opportunity.

The focus on finding wild-eye customers make him uncomfortable. Specific example are more convinciable.
Old fashioned.
Pass interest from products to the strategy.

Company reject their idea.
Plan failed.

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