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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

For over 100 years 3M has consistently produced exceptional market performance built in large part through its culture of innovation. But past success does not guarantee continued growth or survival. Corporate culture can be a potent competitive advantage, but it can also hold companies back if they are not adaptive to the marketplace or aligned with strategy and business needs. This chapter presents a case study of culture change at 3M that demonstrates that leaders can leverage existing culture, but also must have the courage and foresight to boldly determine when and where changes in culture are necessary for a corporation to continue to survive and thrive. In 2006, 3M faced just such a challenge. How could a long-lived organization continue to adapt its culture and make much needed changes to remain innovative and effective in a global economy?

Keywords: 3M, elephants as organizations, employee engagement, human resources, leadership development, organizational adaptation, organizational change, organizational culture, organizational innovation

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