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SummaryThis case gives us an overview about corporate entrepreneurship emphasizing the value and importance of growth through innovation.

3M,s legacy started in 1902 with the innovation of its most successful product the flexible sand paper. It today has a marketing mix of 60000 products including product from diverse product lines like adhesive tapes, office equipment, medical supplies, electric equipment, CDs etc. 3Ms growth is charted in this case through a series of strategic thrusts that the company has adopted over time that has lead them to the pinnacle of innovation and success. The first strategic thrust was getting close to customers and understanding their needs, which lead them to innovate and come up with the flexible sand paper. The second thrust was to seek niche markets no matter how small and allow them to charge a premium price for its products like coming up with Three-M-ite Abrasive and water proof sand paper. The company really started to diversify in the 1920s when 3Ms entered the tape market and reached the third strategic thrust of developing radically innovative products in a niche market that they already had a toe hold in. During the 1990s the global market place started to flourish and 3M was able to keep abreast with the changing pace of technology, innovation and competition. They also realized that the niche markets they considered small were in reality big with the global market place coming up. Thus over the course of time 3M realized the importance of their maverick inventors who were very attached o their product ideas and pushed them to be seen even after bureaucracy pulling them down. It followed the tradition it strated in 1920 to devote 15% of employees time to innovation and took to heart the motto failure is not punished, but success is rewarded. 3Ms best invention was the post-it note, which initially faced ridicule and was only recognized after the inventor made it indispensible to the working of the company. The forth-strategic thrust was to pursue product development and innovation at every level in the organization through research. For this 3M established four sector labs with a view that they would be more responsive to the market place. The fifth strategic thrust was to get the different parts of the company to work together and most importantly share knowledge. The last thrust was to encourage achievement through reward. Thus 3M generates a quarter of its annual revenues from products less than 5 years old. And it encourages its employees to spend 15% of their time pursuing their innovative ideas. Thus this has lead 3M to successfully practice corporate entrepreneurship for the past century.