Growth through ingenuity and enterprise
A 3M United Kingdom case study

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Page 6: Accelerating innovation

As part of 3M's acceleration programme worldwide, a small focused team, the Enterprise Growth Team, is working in the UK to speed up the process of getting new products to market. The team is multi-disciplinary, involving people with sales, technical, manufacturing, product development and business experience. It is focused on finding new customer-driven applications for existing 3M technologies.

3M has over 30 different technologies, from pharmaceuticals to microreplication (the creation of thousands of tiny shapes on a surface), which have been applied to a wide range of products from high performance abrasives to reflective traffic signs. The task for the Enterprise Growth Team is to identify new applications, or new product ideas, for these technologies.

To date, the Enterprise Growth Team has increased sales from novel products based on new applications using existing 3M film technology. It is now extending its approach. Its success is partly because:

  • its sole purpose is to find new ideas to grow sales
  • it is focused on stretch targets
  • it has no constraints or boundaries
  • it works as a small flexible, highly motivated team.

The team's role is to:

  • encourage idea-generation. This role is publicised within 3M so the team is seen as a central point for ingenuity/idea capture
  • prioritise ideas against standard criteria
  • commercialise products within 3 to 6 months, so as to
  • deliver targeted sales growth for the UK.

3M United Kingdom | Growth through ingenuity and enterprise