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How 3M Modernized its Global Government Affairs Center of Excellence with FiscalNote


The global giant was able to build a data-driven mindset and align teams across the organization all in one place with FiscalNote.

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With manufacturing facilities across the United States and operations in over 70 counties, 3M is one of the largest companies in the world and ranked number 103 on the Fortune 500 list. The company not only leads the way in its industry but also sets the standard for modernized corporate government affairs. 

“The government affairs function at 3M plays a key role as the bridge between our business units and governments worldwide,” says Dr. John Pournoor, director of 3M’s Government Affairs Center of Excellence (GA-COE). “Everything my colleagues and I do in government affairs emphasizes a spirit of service. We focus on areas of greatest public value where we share mutual interests born out of the desire to contribute to solutions within the scope and expertise we have as a science-based company.” 

One of the first key tasks for Pournoor and his GA-COE co-leader Brittany Masalosalo was to adapt FiscalNote and create a structured approach to issue tracking. They did so by migrating prior structured approaches they had developed at 3M for government affairs portfolio management into FiscalNote. The entire team knows the value of delivering the right information and its associated analysis at the right time to internal and external stakeholders. 

“The strength of government affairs in any organization is certainly around providing access and reach to a well-curated network. In addition to this rich network, we need to be able to communicate in a way that's increasingly data-driven so that we can quantify the public value we bring,” he says. “Geopolitical events are creating a continual state of flux, and we have found that data-rich communication anchors our positions and helps us lead with confidence.”

Building a Data-Rich Mindset

Our own analytics and techniques combined with FiscalNote give us the ability to move quickly across the global government affairs organization.

John Pournoor, Director of 3M’s Government Affairs Center of Excellence (GA-COE)

To develop deeper roots for a data-rich global government affairs team, Omar Vargas, senior vice president and global head of government affairs for 3M, brought on FiscalNote as a core tool. His vision was to modernize 3M’s issues and stakeholder management strategies and create an easier way to collaborate and communicate globally on the public policy issues that were at the top of the company’s legislative and regulatory priorities.

“FiscalNote allows our government affairs function to become a center for data-driven action. In this field, arrays of digital tools are a new phenomenon. As recently as a decade ago, the investment of tracking legislation and monitoring updates from different government agencies around the world was quite high. Our own analytics and techniques combined with FiscalNote give us the ability to move quickly across the global government affairs organization,” says Pournoor.

Setting Up a Robust Solution

For 3M’s Government Affairs Center of Excellence, time and accuracy are essential to providing value to the many different departments across the entire organization and various lines of business. FiscalNote provides 3M a dashboard to monitor public policy issues. 

With FiscalNote’s platform, and its associated sister organizations like CQ, 3M can proactively identify fast-moving opportunities, monitor risk, collaborate, and drive alignment across its global teams. It also enables stakeholders to create a central repository of knowledge with breaking news, social media, public policy talking points, and global policy data. 3M now aggregates all the legislative and regulatory public policies that are most relevant to their internal and external stakeholders all in one place, to create campaigns, best practices, and strategies — “all with visibility to the team globally creating institutional memory,” Pournoor says. 

Aligning Teams Across the Organization

3M’s government affairs team sets the gold standard for creating internal communication and alignment and enabling other departments to make the right decisions based on the right information, policy insights, and situational awareness. 

“In every country we operate, my colleagues are bringing this same data-driven government affairs strategy forward using data-centric tools like FiscalNote,” says Dr. Pournoor.

Companies usually assign a cost to slow decision-making but at 3M, access to this information has allowed for a data-rich approach and the ability to provide direct value to internal stakeholders, to customers, and to serve governments around the world. With a few clicks in the FiscalNote platform, the 3M team can show legislative and regulatory data very quickly to stakeholders and make sense of the world of politics. 

“These tools are essential so we have our finger on the global pulse of public policy activities,” Dr. Pournoor says.

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