a) What had been 3M's traditional approach to innovation?
b) Critique the Lead User research methodology.
Traditional way to innovation at 3M
Product development teams at 3M generally used to rely on more traditional methods to seek for marketing input.
Their traditional team comprised technical individuals, who
Ensure the particular product under development could be efficiently made
Provided feedback about 3M’s manufacturing capabilities
The way they used to gather data to gain marketing insights include
1) Sales representative interacting with physicians or registered nurses
2) Convening a group of nurses from across the nation to obtain reactions to proposed products
3) Obtaining customer evaluations of currently marketed products
4) site visitings to observe physicians and nurses at work, with the intention to identify potential needs
5) data on risk factors for diseases
Lead user research methodology
“Lead user research” method involved four stages:
1. Project planning
2. Trends/needs identification
3. Preliminary concept generation
4. Final concept generation
“Lead user research” team consisted of individuals with a wide breadth of expertise and backgrounds, including antimicrobial pharmacology, chemistry, dermatology, biology, veterinary science, and even Broadway make-up artistry.
As these individuals are the leading ones in their own industries, what essentially made this method a successful one