3M: Struggle Between Efficiency and Creativity

How CEO George Buckley is managing the yin and yang of discipline and imagination

Not too many years ago, the temple of management was General Electric (GE). Former CEO Jack Welch was the high priest, and his disciples spread the word to executive suites throughout the land. One of his most highly regarded followers, James McNerney, was quickly snatched up by 3M after falling short in the closely watched race to succeed Welch. 3M's board considered McNerney a huge prize, and the company's stock jumped nearly 20% in the days after Dec. 5, 2000, when his selection as CEO was announced. The mere mention of his name made everyone richer.

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