In 1970 a 3M chemist, developed a new glue that was not very adhesive. Eventually, other 3M colleagues started using bookmarks made with the unsticky adhesive and were soon asking for more product “samples”. As usage quickly spread within the 3M Product Development Laboratory, it became clear that these unsticky notes were a very useful office product. The Post-it® Note was born.
Stan Treanor took over the business from his father in 1976 and built sales from $23 million to $119 million by 1981. Then in 1981 the oil crunch hit West Texas and Stan managed the company as it shrunk back to $30 million in less than a year and a half - and made money doing it. The case examines how Stan accomplished this rather unusual feat and what he learned from managing in adversity.
When Alain Godard, Director General of Rhone-Poulenc's agricultural chemical business, saw the 1993 annual profit projection reduced halfway through the year to about 30% of the original forecast, he concluded that he must act quickly to address the problems underlying the sector's continuing poor performance.