3M (NYSE:MMM) is earning its way back into investors' good graces -- in the past year alone, it has returned 34% to investors. But this is still far from a growth stock's performance, something CEO Inge Thulin would like 3M to be. 

A shift in focus to R&D is beginning to pay off with higher organic growth; over the next few years the company will have to see organic growth pick up further. Key bets on energy, aerospace, and displays will play a major role in the company's growth trajectory, and General Electric (NYSE:GE) has already provided an example for 3M to follow. 

GE's industrial organic growth was 8% in the first quarter in many of the same markets for which 3M is building products. The two companies are providing technology that makes the future of drilling and oil transportation possible, as well as key products for the aerospace industry. 

Motley Fool specialist Travis Hoium covers these keys to 3M's growth in the video below. 

Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of 3M and General Electric Company. The Motley Fool recommends 3M. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.