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The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance by James Heskett

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8. Culture and Innovation

What does culture have to do with success or failure in the design of strategies based on innovation? We could do worse than to turn to 3M, an organization that has been decades ahead of its time.

In the age of Internet innovation and the dramatic innovations brought to us by Google, Apple, and others, we’ve nearly forgotten about pioneers such as 3M. It quietly continues to turn out new abrasives, adhesives, medical supplies, and other products based on ideas spawned in its laboratories. In fact, 3M has undoubtedly had a strong influence on today’s most publicized innovators. For example, its practice of allocating 15% of a scientist’s time to devote to projects of personal interest likely influenced Google’s allocation ...

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