During a recent discussion with for Senior Executives at Harvard Business School, Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE shared his insights on leadership, corporate culture, his current role in the company. Invited by Professor Ranjay Gulati, Chair of the HBS Advanced Management Program, the CEO of one of the world’s largest corporations gave an open and honest talk about what he considers to be some of his own mistakes and what keeps a CEO awake at night. With a market capitalization of over $200 billion, nearly 300 000 employees and interests in business segments as divergent as Industrial Production, Energy, Technology and Infrastructure, Capital Finance the list had the potential to be a long one. Continue reading
Tag Archives: GE
The Strategy Book gives a clear and concise introduction to some of the main challenges that organizations face. It has many examples from different industries and challenges the reader to ask some difficult questions about their own practices. It is a useful introduction to the subject and a good book to provoke some discussion for more experienced managers. Continue reading
BOOK REVIEW: “Jack: What I’ve Learned Leading a Great Company and Great People” by Jack Welch & John A. Byrne (2003)
No one would ever accuse Jack Welch of being short on ego. As leader General Electric for 21 years he imposed his style as one of the most charismatic business leaders of the 20th Century. He was known as being one of the world’s toughest bosses, and was dubbed Neutron Jack for his capacity to get straight to the point. Fortune magazine named him “The Manager of the Century.”
Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, has said that anyone could have run the corporation in the 1990s. Conditions were so favorable that “a dog could have run GE” he claims. Not very flattering for his predecessor, Jack Welch!
Still, leadership is certainly easier when the economic outlook is good. The real test is during an economic downturn and given the difficult past 5 years books of this sort are more than welcome.
Peter Lorange has had one of the most illustrious careers in academia. Having begun his career teaching at MIT Sloan School of Management and Wharton, he then went on to become President of BI, Oslo and then IMD, Lausanne. He retired from this last position in 2009 but instead of dedicating his time to golf he bought the GSBA, Zurich and renamed it the Lorange Institute of Business. You might conclude that he has quite a bit to say on leadership and you would be right. This is an excellent book.
Strategy, management, information systems, corporate culture, technology management
The book gives an excellent outline of some of the fundementals issues in strategic management. The book is short and generally to the point. It provides good data summaries and ideas that can be put into practice in the business world. It is also realatively easy to read. It deals quite heavily with corporate culture and has some useful ideas on the importance of technology management in strategy.
Interesting quotes from the book:
Strategic management is that set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the long-run performance of a corporation.
Companies and industries studied: Apple, Nucor, Dell, Toyota, GM, GE, Ford, Compaq, HP, IBM, disk drive industry
It is said that this was Steve Job’s favourite book and had a lot of influence on the way he ran Apple. It focuses on disruptive technology and shows why a lot of companies miss out on innovation in markets and why leaders are often ‘leapfrogged’ by challengers. Among some of the surprising theories Christensen states that companies should NOT always listen to their customers (Steve Jobs declared this many times over; so did Henry Ford). Also, it may be better for a company to invest in lower margin products rather than high margin ones.
Exhausted after the Christmas holiday?
It is always surprising to see just how tired people look after the Christmas holiday. The very idea of a holiday is that you rest. None of us do that though. We all hurry round from family to friends in a mad dash to see everyone we know and to stock up on as many calories as possible. What we should be doing is taking it easy so that we can get our strength back so that we can make it through the dark months ahead. Continue reading