3m's Conundrum of Efficiency and Creativity Essay

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Introduction 3M is an innovative and creative company that flourished since 1930 with the invention of masking tape and again in the 1950’s with Scotchgard the fabric protector. Then during a glue that was invented that was considered a failure in the 1970’s someone came up with the idea of taking that glue solution and using it on the back of paper to hold the paper to anything. So the invention of the post-it came out and the business really took off. in the 2000 the newly appointed CEO James McNerney implemented the Six Sigma management style. He did this because he felt the company was stale and not growing as much as he felt. This new management style is “designed to identify problems in work processes, and then use…show more content…
Six Sigma has not produced such large scale products for 3M.
Answering the Questions
1. Relative advantage of Six Sigma o Time efficient & Cost effective - eliminate the extra ideas and create the “right idea the first time” o Customer loyalty o Reduction of incidents o Lower costs for providing goods and services
- Relative disadvantage Six Sigma o Creativity and innovation decreases due to the lack of opportunity to come up with ideas. o Complicated process to learn and keep going o Risk of failure / fear of the unknown
2. Using Six Sigma 3M’s programmed decisions are well thought out and researched. On the other hand, their non-programmed decisions could be better because they lack the ingenuity and inputs of employees that drive new ideas. So I have to believe that because of the rigidness of the management style does not allow for the employees to create new products and bring forth the new ideas.
3. While I am all for putting processes in place and improving effectiveness and eliminating waist, I have never been a fan of the Six Sigma process. I feel the Six Sigma, just as the expert believe, takes away the creative processes and does not allow enough flexibility for research and development. “Society and business are always changing. Consumers develop needs for new products and preferences for new styles. Businesses look for new technologies that give them
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