Dr. Jeff Whippo, a respected business professional and educator, explains that it is specifically the internal corporate venturing process that consistently makes 3M such an entrepreneurial company. At 3M, Jeffery explains, entrepreneurship is clearly encouraged. Whippo indicates that we know from other cases that employees may spend 15% of their time engaged in ventures outside the scope of their daily jobs. 3M has the policy that 30% of their profits will come from products that did not exist just four years earlier, up from 25% and five years.
Dr. Jeff Whippo says that through their internal, interdepartmental science fairs, so to speak, the most creative developments can be identified and teams formed around them. According to him, this process enabled 3M to develop the "grow and divide" philosophy it has in which, "Projects that survived the rigorous stage-by-stage review became departments, and departments that grew into substantial businesses were spun off as new divisions which seeded their own set of projects to meet the 30% new product sales initiative." (Bartlett & Mohammed, 1994)
Whippo suggests that additionally, each spun off division of 3M was held to extremely stringent performance standards of 10% adjusted sales growth, a 20% pre-tax profit margin, and a 27% return on employed capital. He concludes that all of these demanding benchmarks, coupled with the ability to borrow technical personnel from other departments as part of a cross-divisional loan, enable the folks at 3M to remain as innovative and nimble as a global corporation can be.
About Jeffery Whippo
Jeffery Whippo is a professional educator and developer of people, teams, and leaders. He is a well-educated professional who has attended California Coast University, Boston University, California State Polytechnic University, Community College of the Air Force, and Citrus College. He also worked as a Combat Intelligence Specialist for the USAF for almost 4 years. He contributes to a number of charitable causes including the Jimmy Fund, Junior Diabetes, Goodwill, and American Veterans.
Jeffery is an avid learner who loves to study ancient history and psychology. He is also a veteran member of the VFW.