Corporations: Up from Scratch

President Bert S. Cross of the 3M Co. — nee Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing — called up a vice president to ask a question: "Say, just how many divisions do we have now?" The answer is 21, and the otherwise precise president should be forgiven for not knowing, because his company has been going and growing like sixty. Sales have tripled since 1955, and last week Cross announced that volume for this year's first nine months jumped 10%, to a record $664 million.

Profitable Leaps. This bewilderingly diversified and remarkably creative company has become a darling of Wall Street by poking...

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