The simple metric that turned 3M into an innovation powerhouse

The multifaceted manufacturer's innovation-as-normal culture is by choice, not by chance.

by Elvin Turner

3M is not a sexy company. Not unless glue, Covid-19 facemasks, abrasives and asthma inhalers are your thing. 

Yet for investors, 3M is an innovation pin-up. Its steady and consistent approach to delivering profitable creativity has seen it thrive for over 100 years with more than 60,000 products in its portfolio.

The likes of Google, Amazon and Netflix may lead the media’s “most-creative” company rankings; but much of their secret sauce is based on recipes that 3M quietly cooked up decades earlier.

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