At 3M, A Struggle Between Efficiency And Creativity

That old chestnut of lack of diversity raises its ugly head again.It appears that 3M may have been losing its legendary creative edge as a result of a (successful) drive to improve efficiency through the Siz Sigma process. The new chairman, Buckley says, “Perhaps one of the mistakes that we made as a company—it’s one of the dangers of Six Sigma—is that when you value sameness more than you value creativity, I think you potentially undermine the heart and soul of a company like 3M.” His answer is to reduce the control in creative areas, getting rid of a one size fits all approach.As ever, parcellation is the key to successful innovation. We need islands in which innovation can take hold and grow, unthreatened by the grey masses.
Universities should listen.
Created:Wed, 06 Jun 2007 18:51:42 GMT

Posted: June 6, 2007, 12:51 pm

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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