From sandpaper to bioelectronic ears, 3M has come a long way. 3M is a prime example of how employees can turn a dying business into a multibillion-dollar company. 3M encourages employees to create new products and explore new ideas. This management tactic allows 3M to produce over 60,000 new products each year, successfully keeping up with our constantly changing, fast-paced economy. In the last 99 years it has been in business 3M, has become a well known as a worldwide business.
Employing more than 90,000 employees, it made $19 billion in sales in the year 2000. 52% of which were made outside the USA. It has seventeen technology centers worldwide, with manufacturing sites in thirty-nine countries. 3M makes the difficulty of globalization seem like a piece of chocolate cake. 3M”s success is based on its 90,000 intrapreneurs. It recognized that employees were not merely simple workers, but talented entrepreneurs who needed only to be encouraged and appreciated.
A business can keep its entrepreneurial spirit alive by, first and foremost, encouraging its employees to be innovative. It should also provide incentives like money, raises, vacations, promotions, etc. Businesses need to show appreciation and make its employees feel like they are valuable assets to the company. Employees are a company”s gold mine. They are a company”s most important stakeholders. They can make or break a business. A business needs only to please its employees and in turn, these gold minds will gleam and become great entrepreneurs.
Though entrepreneurship is valuable, can a too diverse production cause a stumbling block for a company? If a business does not have the capital to support multiple products, it is not encourage able. Yet it should not put a total halt on new ideas and products, but create closely related products instead to begin with. 3M did not jump from sandpaper manufacturing to creating programmable disks. They started off with regular sandpaper then created environmentally safe waterproof sandpaper.
However, if a company has the capital to produce new things and support new ideas, it is highly advisable to be involved in diverse industries. A company needs to keep up with the times. Product and service demands change with time. If a company only knows one business and is not widely diverse, it has higher chances of failure. Will diverse industries prevent a corporation from having expertise in all the areas? How could it not have experts? The employees are the inventors!
After creating new ideas and products a company should always follow up on its products from production through marketing. This is very important in order to detect any signs of defects and safety issues quickly. This will also keep the company aware of how their product is doing out on the market and what they can do to improve their products. It will also give the company an insight into what the market wants. Now that we have a grasp on the importance of intrapreneuring, could 3M survive without it? I don”t know. How often do you buy sandpaper?
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