For diversified technology company 3M, the sky is not the limit—its innovative vision is truly without borders. This is reflected in the 50,000-plus products it has developed which touch virtually every aspect of modern life and Lars Naslund, Managing Director for the Nordic region, says the business has many more bold ideas which it will successfully turn into reality.
“3M technology is advancing every company, 3M products are enhancing every home, and 3M innovation is improving every life,” he notes. “We are a 114-year-old company transforming the twenty-first century with our business models and our products. We call our innovation scene ‘3M Science Applied to Life’ and it is about how we bring all the scientific knowledge we have and apply it to real applications, which in turn improves lives.
“We have a very clear vision about what 3M is all about and I think that vision helps me on a daily basis to prioritise my tasks. I go to work every morning and think about that vision. I think about how I can, either with my direct or indirect actions, help to advance other companies with our technologies. I think about how our products can improve peoples’ homes with smart solutions. I think about how our innovations can improve peoples’ lives. All of these things are really high on the list and therefore I try to think about how I can live that 3M vision on a daily basis.”
In October 2014, Lars was promoted from the role of Country Manager for Sweden to look after the whole of the Nordic region as the Managing Director. He was charged with building up the 26 divisions operating within the area, a difficult task given the weaker brand awareness when compared to countries such as the UK and US. “I came into the position during a rather intense period,” he recalls. “We were faced with a big challenge to implement new processes and a new global enterprise resource planning (ERP) program. We were in the midst of that process when I accepted the role.
“It was a challenge, from a more personal point of view, to learn to prioritise with so many different things going on. I was busy before, as was everybody else, but I think it just stepped up to a whole new level I had never thought about before. I knew it was going to be very tough during that first year, but now things are improving and getting somewhat easier.”