«PrevBuilding your research reputation NextView from the Top: Bruno Marguet - Vice President Strategy, Alstom»

What does innovation mean to 3M and how does it impact your business strategy?

We are constantly working to identify the unarticulated needs of our customers, applying 3M science to life’s challenges.

We are a science-based company, and investment in research and development is one of our primary strategies. We currently invest around 5.6% of sales in R&D, and are increasing that investment to around 6%.

At the same time, we are constantly investing to build strength-on-strength in all areas of our business, from manufacturing to marketing. We are also strengthening and focusing our portfolio, and transforming our business systems and processes to drive efficiency and productivity.

How do you encourage and instill a culture of innovation within your organization?

We drive innovation by creating an environment where smart and creative people can thrive. This includes making sure our people have the resources they need to succeed. Equally important, we make sure our people have the freedom to take risks and learn from mistakes, which is essential to coming up with new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Collaboration is another core value that is critical to igniting innovation; we work closely with our customers, and with each other. Our spirit of collaboration extends to our 46 technology platforms, which range from adhesives and abrasives, to ceramics and light management. We leverage those technologies across all our businesses and subsidiaries to create unique and relevant products for customers.

What is it like to lead one of the world’s top 100 most innovative companies?

There is no other company quite like 3M, as our fundamental strengths allow us to invent, manufacture, and successfully market our products throughout our global network. Along with our entire team, I go to work every day committed to build on our achievements and take our company to greater heights. There are always opportunities to make us even stronger, and we are capitalizing on those.

What do you consider to be your most innovative assets?

We have many powerful assets: our 46 technology platforms, the 100,000-plus patents we have received, our state-of-the-art research labs and manufacturing plants around the world.

Our most valuable asset, however, is our people: the nearly 90,000 3Mers who leverage those resources to make people’s lives safer, healthier and more prosperous in 200 countries. Our people are at the center of everything we do, and always will be.