Pages 6 (1341 words)
The vital source to success in any company is the flow of new ideas; good ideas have to be turned into realistic, affordable solutions that people want. This process is called innovation . However , every company has its own innovation way, depending on what are the company’s products, and how the company would use its recourses and business functions effectively .
3M company has an entrepreneurship advantage due to its unique way of encouraging and generating new ideas. Its products include: adhesives, sheets, metal abrasive strips, dental products, electronic materials, medical products, and car care products.
It has more than 50 buildings, the most prominent of which is the Innovation Center, which manages the research and development, and offers 3M products that have been taken to the market.
- 1- Discuss the main factors that make 3M an innovative organization. Which business functions have contributed to these factors?
- 1-The company now manufactures and markets more than 50,000 different products for industrial, commercial, health care and consumer markets in more than 200 countries worldwide: (Marketing Management).
- 2- 3M is able to spot and respond to market opportunities. They identify consumer needs, and then develop appropriate products: (Marketing Management ).
- 3- The company builds strong capabilities in developing technologies: (Research & Development Management).
- 4- Freedom to explore new ideas within an environment that tolerates mistakes, understands and manages the risks involved: (Operation Management & Marketing Management).
- 5- Product innovation involves prioritization, trials, and risk assessment (e.g, failures). The key is to minimize the organizational and financial risks: (Accounting & Financial Management).
- 6- 3M relies on effective processes to deliver consistent results by managing innovation. The challenge is to improve these processes continually without stifling people’s creativity: (Operation Management).
- 7-3M has no particularly favorite method of generating ideas, much depends on a manager’ a style. 3M believes that the most critical thing is to be proactive. Ideas rarely just pop into people’s heads; they have to be encouraged and developed. (Research & Development Management).
- 8- Commercializing ideas including prioritizing ideas, making a prototype, manufacturing the product, and marketing the product: (Marketing Management).
- 9- Accelerating innovation :3M has over 30 different technologies. Its success is partly due to the fact that its sole purpose is to find new ideas to grow sales, it is focused on stretch targets, it has no constraints or boundaries, and it works as a small flexible, highly motivated team.
- 10- Maintaining the momentum :3M has received many accolades for innovation. The company is now focused on maintaining this momentum in increasingly tough markets to match its success of the last century. (Marketing Management)
- 2-Discuss the importance of the commercialization process for innovative organizations such as 3M?
Successful commercialization is of great importance to innovative firms, and the recent literature has increasingly acknowledged that networks make a contribution, not only to research and development, but also to commercialization. However, research on networks facilitating the commercialization of innovations is scattered across divergent disciplines. A single company is rarely capable of generating successful diffusion in the commercialization of an innovation; success often requires cooperation between individual actors and organizations, and support from stakeholders. Consequently, the network aspect of commercialization is crucial.
The following two paragraphs-quotes- explain the importance of commercialization process for innovative organizations :
- 1- “Commercialization at the firm level as an essential part of the system of innovation approach. Knowledge commercialization (exploitation) is generally described as an actor’s deliberate commercializing of knowledge assets to another independent actor, involving a contractual obligation for compensation in monetary or non-monetary terms (Lichtenthaler 2005; Boyens 1998; Ford and Ryan 1981). Commercialization sources like customers, partners, suppliers and knowledge institutions are, due to their small size and limited financial resources, of vital importance for SMEs in order to integrate, combine and apply knowledge to generate commercially viable offerings. Increasingly, this is also the case for other economic actors due to intense market dynamics, which forces firms to adopt the open process of innovation and be more flexible and adaptable to interact with external actors. In this respect, analysis of the commercialization sources of innovative SMEs can increase understanding of efficient innovation strategies.”
- 2- “commercial use of intellectual property which is one of the main factors in the innovative strategies in developed countries, whose decision is reflected in the international competition of intellectual production. It is necessary to create new economic structure in the sphere of intellectual activity through commercialization of their results, which is conditionally possible to call innovative business. Thus, in an innovative economy, the intellectual property represents competitive and hi-tech production, intellectual products are in demand in the internal and world markets. “
- 3- The case describes the multi-layer films as an innovative application at 3M. Pick another innovative application or product of a different organization and discuss the reasons for the product to be innovative?
Global Innovation, Coca-cola Style
As an innovation at Coca-Cola, some of the questions they ponder with Coca Cola team from day to day: “Can we design a way to get plastics out of our oceans?” We think about this quite a bit. Another question is, “Can we design new ways to make it easier for more people to recycle? A third question is, Can we design plastics that don’t use any petroleum?
- 1- Coca Cola is empowering farmers in India; they sell a mango juice called Mazza. For them, the good news is that most Indians love it. The bad news is that when they do projections, they see that there may not be enough mango supply to keep up with the demand. For that they are working with 30,000 small farmers who nowadays grow three times more mangos than they could before. This is good for the farmers, it’s good for the GDP of India, and it’s good for Coca Cola. This is an example of a serious problem and the need for flexibility and agility .
- 2-For Chinese Consumers, on the other hand, people like to drink their juice freshly-squeezed. The challenge with this is that at home, a lot of people don’t have refrigerators . Here’s how Coca Cola addressed this issue. They designed a product called Minute Maid Pulpy with pulp ” chunks of fruit ” inside of it that can be stored with or without refrigeration.
- 3- in Africa The biggest problem with doing business in Africa is infrastructure. Even for a huge company like Coca-Cola, it’s not easy to get their products on the streets and onto shelves, so that the average consumer can just grab a Coke. To that end, they designed a new business model, jointly with people who can help carry Coca Cola products down streets. In Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, they use donkeys, boats , etc. and this creates a new business for these people.
- 4 -In Mexico there are no clean, organized stores that offer a beautiful shopping experience. Coca Cola’s solution was to start working with the store owners to design a modular shelving system that provides a “retail experience”. Coca Cola thus became not just a supplier or a faceless company, but partners.
- 5 – In the U.S., Coca-Cola has designed a form of plastic dubbed a “plant bottle”, which is made out of 30 per cent sugar cane extracts; all the parts of the sugar cane that would normally be thrown away, thus reducing waste and pollution.
In conclusion, we have discussed innovation of products and what to do with the knowledge that innovation leads to a company’s success. The answers of the questions explain the innovation factors and how they are connected to the business functions. We also discussed commercialization and how it’s affected and related to innovation. This gave us a whole picture about how successful companies must work and how to empower innovation at their organizations .
- 1-Article title : The Annals of Regional Science- From innovation to commercialization through networks and agglomerations. – Patricia van Hemert
- 2- Article title: Commercialization Of Intellectual Property In Innovative economy. -Assoc. Prof. Ph./D. Ramil Timerkhanov/Assoc. Prof. Ph. D. Azat Valeev-Kazan-(Volga region) Federal University, Institute of Management, Economics and Finance, Russia.
- 3- Article title : ” GLOBAL INNOVATION, COCA-COLA STYLE” david butler .