If you’ve ever worked for a boss that was openly enthusiastic about what they did, then you know how infectious that becomes for the entire company. These individuals can set the course for helping the organization separate itself from the pack by passionately ignoring the status quo and the naysayers who protect it. While not crazy, leaders like these are most certainly fanatical about changing an industry and perhaps even a culture mindset.
Evocative is taking on non-biodegradable and toxic polystyrene by mixing agricultural products with a fungus. It is already working with Dell and Steelcase on packaging materials, and with Ford on bumpers and side doors. But can it compete when it has to grow a product instead of churning it out from a factory?
After decades' worth of vision research, Minnesota-based conglomerate 3M has tuned up its Visual Attention Service, an algorithm that can scan all types of content to determine exactly where the average human eye is most likely to be drawn.
When you think of the name 3M, you usually think of Post-it notes and packing tape, but recently at the Milan Furniture Fair, the company made their first foray into the world of high-end design. The exhibition, Infinite Innovation, is meant to show 3M’s foundational innovations, that stand behind everything from interaction design to architectural interiors. "Of course, it’s safer for us in the long run to control the whole product. But we're already innovating, people just don't know it's us," said John Olfelt, a 3M architect and project manager.
In 1974, 3M scientist Art Fry came up with a clever invention. He thought if he could apply an adhesive (dreamed up by colleague Spencer Silver several years earlier) to the back of a piece of paper, he could create the perfect bookmark, one that kept place in his church hymnal. He called it the Post-It Note.
Harris Interactive polled close to 30,000 folks to find out what companies have the best reputations in corporate America. A yet-to-be-released part of that study tested the public on which companies had the most innovative products and services. Harris provided Fast Company with the list. Here are three of the top five, stacked against our own list of innovators.