Danaher takes it name from a tributary of the South Fork Flat Head River in western Montana. In the early 1980s, this was the setting for the fishing trip where Steven and Mitchell Rales envisioned a new kind of manufacturing company—one dedicated to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. The root “Dana” is an ancient Celtic word meaning “swift flowing,” an apt descriptor for the nimble mindset and rapid flow of innovation that have defined Danaher for decades.
The company had its origins as a real estate investment trust (DMG, Inc., founded in 1969 and renamed Diversified Mortgage Investors, Inc. in 1978). But after adopting a new name in 1984, refocusing on manufacturing and being exposed to kaizen, the Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement, Danaher began to take shape.