3M, the company formerly-known-as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing has an incredible innovation  (3m company stock) story that involves Richard Drew, a young engineer that joined the company around 1921.

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When joining MMM, Richard spent some time visiting the local auto shops to test various kinds of sandpaper. During (3m company stock)  his visits, he realized one of the pains at the time was the two-tone paint job since workers had to mask off parts with newspapers and homemade glue, which generated a lot of rework.

He also realized that 3M’s sandpaper was using a sticky surface to which the minerals would be applied. Then, he (3m company stock)  started to create his own tape and in around 2 years he found a recipe of glue and glycerin applied to a thin paper that produced a tape that stuck to its surface but still peeled off easily and did not damage the paint.

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Since his boss could not see the potential of his creation, he invested in and built a machine for mass production. Once his boss found out what Drew had achieved, he rewarded him for his tenacity by establishing a new managerial (3m company stock) mandate at 3M. As a result, “Scotch Masking Tape” was an instant success and immediately changed the way paint jobs of all sorts were completed.

These business innovation stories reveal a valuable lesson: it is very important to leave the door open to new  (3m company stock)  proposals and ideas so that a company can move forward. Company leaders must create a working environment that encourages new perspectives and points of view to break from tradition and obsolete practices.