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Technology innovation at 3M and Carrier

A couple of years ago, Forbes magazine laid out 9 rules for successful business innovation and the first one says that innovation is not a single event but a process. One single discovery or invention is not going to be enough to call it innovation, it is vital to ask the right questions in order to achieve a solution that actively transforms an entire company or industry. That is why innovation challenges are so important.

As Wikipedia put it, an innovation challenge is a method or process of the industrial process, product or business development. It is a form of social engineering, which focuses on the creation and elaboration of the best and most sustainable ideas, coming from the best innovators. However, sometimes the best minds for certain projects do not necessarily work inside one’s company and, because of that, it is advisable to listen to external points of view.

Let’s take a look at these innovation business success stories from two well-known companies that used innovation challenges to come up with groundbreaking products that we still use today.