Case Study: 3m Optical System

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3M Optical System

Managing Corporate Entrepreneurship

Andy Wong ( manager of the OS business unit): how managing the formal approval process of the Authorisation for Expenditure – minimizing the risk of kill ideas- presented by his team? Informal channels: seeking support from mentors higher in the organization but this option has to be used carefully and not often. Restructure the project: carrying on within the unit.

Paul Gueheler (vice president of SSSD) is worried about OSunit. His priority is to demonstrate OS’s viability and protect its credibility. There is a second unrelated project (initial invest $5mln with a potential development of a $200mln business)

3M

2products signed the begins of 3M’fortune: waterproof sandpaper(cartavetrata) and adhesive tape To ensure innovative and creative environment set the R&D spend rate twice the average for the USA industrial companies an the 15%rule (employees can devote up to 15% of their time to nonprogram activities. Structure and culture facilitate the linking and leveraging of knowledge an dexpertise

New Priorities:
”do more faster with less”, managers encouraged to create defensible product market positions. “Pacing Program”
Recognized the importance to defend the innovation based entrepreneurship -> tolerance towards well intention failure. Balance between discipline and flexibility.

OS
Microlouver technology in search of a market
Best application in the automotive but the sensitive market did not value this product(loosing money. Unique capability of the unit: microreplication create microscopic structures in plastic to produce for istance louvered light control film. Hire technical specialist in this field. Wong expanded his responsibilities taking on also the manufacturing part. Problem: people too focused on conceptual vision rather than on operating realities. Possible solution: development of a 3year manufacturing strategy, and between 87-90 costs were reduced by 50% and quality...
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