Jack Welch’s Approach to Breaking Down Silos Still Works

Harvard Business Review

Working across organizational boundaries was a new way of thinking 25 years ago —one that was largely championed by Jack Welch, then CEO of GE. Welch was convinced that the speed of globalization and technological innovation in the 21 st century would require companies to work very differently – with shorter decision cycles, more employee engagement, and stronger collaboration than had previously been required to compete.

Vision, Values, and Mission: Well Lived Trumps Well Written

The Practical Leader

Read more about that in my blog post “ Beware the Vision and Mission Statement Trap of Wordsmithing Hell “ We’ve developed three key questions to cut through the wordsmithing and “vernacular engineering debate” on definitions of Vision, Values, and Purpose/Mission.

Likability in Leadership—Necessary for Some, a Liability to Others

Great Leadership By Dan

Jobs brought a highly distinctive design vision that keyed-in on user experience and an eye for engineering excellence that few could match. Guest post from Cassandra Frangos : We had a handy rule of thumb for hiring in my first job in management consulting.

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17 Leadership Role Models Who Get Results That Last

Let's Grow Leaders

Edwards Deming, engineer and management consultant. “He clearly articulated the importance of building a management system that was effective and continually improving. Social engineering was developed in response to racial inequities in the justice system.

12 “Out-of-the-Box” Ways to Use a 9 Box Matrix

Great Leadership By Dan

A long, long time ago, back in the days when Jack Welch was leading GE, organizations starting using a “9 box” performance and potential matrix for succession planning and leadership development. Another despised variation, often favored by the engineers and scientists. Despite its critics, the 9 box lives on. And it should – in its purest, simplest form, it works.

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Entrepreneur, CEO or Both? | N2Growth Blog

N2Growth Blog

Over the years I have come across many self-appointed CEOs that struggle with leadership, team-building, creating a healthy culture, reading a balance sheet, understanding capital formation or financial engineering, have poor communication skills, have never built a sales force, authored a business plan, or lack any number of other requisite operational abilities. Jack Welch the former head of GE built a reputation as one of the great chief executives of this era.

Jeff Wolf and Seven Disciplines of a Leader

Your Voice of Encouragement

Many outstanding individual performers – whether it’s in sales, engineering or accounting – are often promoted to supervisor or manager because of their technical expertise. When I was first put in a position of supervising others, I received no formal training in leadership.

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Recommendations For Your Business Books Summer Reading List

Eric Jacobson

Not surprisingly, many well-known leadership book authors made the list, such as authors: Drucker Kotter Maxwell Welch Interestingly, the discussion thread, particularly within the Linked 2 Leadership group of LinkedIn, generated debate about the value and quality of some of the book recommendations.

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10 Ways to Involve Leaders in Leadership Development Programs

Great Leadership By Dan

Most of us have heard of the concept of "leader's teaching leaders" - Noel Tichy commercialized the concept in his 2002 book, The Leadership Engine. Jack Welch was known for the amount of time he spent in Crotinville sparing with high-potential managers in "the pit". Here's 10 practical ways to get leaders involved in leadership development programs: 1. Make sure you have executive sponsorship for any and all leadership programs.

Possibility Maximizer: LinkUp Monthly Jobs Report

Sales Wolf Blog

The Resource:    LinkUp Monthly Jobs Report What It Is:   LinkUp is a job search engine that finds and displays employment openings directly from the career section of employer websites for companies of all sizes.

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Best Leadership Books To Read In 2015

Eric Jacobson

Not surprisingly, many well-known leadership book authors made the list, such as authors: Drucker Kotter Maxwell Welch Interestingly, the discussion thread, particularly within the Linked 2 Leadership group of LinkedIn, generated debate about the value and quality of some of the book recommendations.

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The Rainmaker Fab Five Blog Picks of the Week

Sales Wolf Blog

 Ever the engineer at heart, Tom has come up with a series of "equations" to follow that will help implement these strategies regardless of what industry or line of business you work in.

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Nice Guys Can Finish First

Marshall Goldsmith

And not many people remember that Jack Welch has a PhD in chemical engineering. The higher up you go – the more important your people skills become! by Marshall Goldsmith. Imagine a world where technical skills, educational pedigrees, even professional achievements and track records no longer matter. Everyone is blessed with equal brains and talent.

What Leadership Book Will Be On Your 2014 Reading List?

Eric Jacobson

Not surprisingly, many well-known leadership book authors made the list, such as authors: Drucker Kotter Maxwell Welch Interestingly, the discussion thread, particularly within the Linked 2 Leadership group of LinkedIn, generated debate about the value and quality of some of the book recommendations.

People Skills

Marshall Goldsmith

Jack Welch has a Ph.D. in engineering, but I doubt if any problems he encountered in his last 30 years at General Electric were even remotely related to these skills. There’s a fine line between being competitive and overly competitive, between winning when it counts and when no one’s counting-and successful people cross that line with alarming frequency. by Marshall Goldsmith.

Family Matters | N2Growth Blog

N2Growth Blog

Trying to re-engineer an entire life in a few short years down the home stretch is a tough row to hoe. If I recall correctly, Jack Welch wrote that you can only have one priority, you need to pick which it will be.

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People Skills

Marshall Goldsmith

Jack Welch has a Ph.D. in engineering, but I doubt if any problems he encountered in his last 30 years at General Electric were even remotely related to these skills. The reason I devote so much energy to identifying interpersonal challenges in successful people is because the higher you go, the more your problems are behavioral. At the higher levels, all the leading players are technically skilled, smart, and up-to-date on the technical aspects of their job.

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Did You Read Any Of These Leadership Books This Summer?

Eric Jacobson

Not surprisingly, many well-known leadership book authors made the list, such as authors: Drucker Kotter Maxwell Welch Interestingly, the discussion thread, particularly within the Linked 2 Leadership group of LinkedIn, generated debate about the value and quality of some of the book recommendations.

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Make Data a Cornerstone of Your Team

Harvard Business Review

Five years ago, Jack Welch famously stated that there are three fundamental ways to motivate employees: financial rewards, recognition, and a clear mission. Unlike Welch’s 41-year tenure at GE, today’s employees are expected to hold an average of 10 jobs before the age of 40.

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How Companies Escape the Traps of the Past

Harvard Business Review

Former GE boss Jack Welch was a master at using symbolic bets to coach GE to have the culture he wanted to achieve his strategic goals, to be #1 or 2 in every market they were in. ” In his characteristic style, Welch blasted the Elfun Society at their leadership conference.

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Who Killed the GE Model?

Harvard Business Review

The model was honed by Jack Welch in the 1980s and 1990s, with new portfolio restructuring strategies and a headlong expansion into finance. These strategies eroded GE’s competitive advantage in everything from consumer electronics and home appliances to trains and aircraft engines. GE, and Jack Welch in particular, were heroes of business schools. afp/stringer/Getty Images. Who killed GE? Of course, GE is not dead, and it may well revive and flourish as a company.

Mary Barra Brings Teaming to General Motors

Harvard Business Review

When Dan Akerson became CEO in 2010, he brought a bit of daylight into the hallowed halls, breaking down siloes to urge collaboration between departments that had long stopped talking to each other — engineering and parts buyers, product development and purchasing, to name some especially critical relationships. Jump to last year and Barra again demonstrated her appreciation for teamwork by challenging 250 designers and engineers to a paper sailboat race.

The Coherent Conglomerate

Harvard Business Review

Within two years after becoming chief executive of General Electric in 1981, Jack Welch completed one of his most far-reaching initiatives: reducing the number of GE business units from about 150 to 15. In effect, Welch set out to focus the company on the businesses where it had the potential for greatness, and to jettison everything else.

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There Is No Career Ladder

Harvard Business Review

In that period at General Electric, for example, engineers hired right out of school went through a career development process which included managerial training. Jack Welch laid off thousands, "de-layering," as some people called it. Reaching the apex of the career ladder by gradually getting promoted to the top is a thing of the past. From my experience as a career coach, career ladders in most organizations have not existed for at least fifteen years.

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How GE Stays Young

Harvard Business Review

Under CEO Jack Welch in the 1980s and 1990s, they adopted operational efficiency approaches (“ Workout ,” “Six Sigma,” and “Lean”) that reinforced their success and that many companies emulated. In 2009, GE’s transportation unit developed a new sodium battery for a hybrid engine for locomotives. Participants from 56 countries submitted nearly 700 bracket designs, and the winner was an engineer from Indonesia who reduced the weight of the bracket by 84%.

You Probably Can’t Tell the Difference Between a Bot and a Person

Harvard Business Review

Katrina Brooker describes this process and many other inside details in her anatomy of the firm, which is made up of former engineers and start-up founders and is seen as the golden ticket for any fledgling company in Silicon Valley. This includes having an in-house recruiting firm to locate the best engineering talent for the start-ups it funds, a huge boon in a wildly competitive job market.

Is Your Company Ready for the Circular Economy?

Harvard Business Review

Then I met three people — a Dutch CEO, a Welch education expert and a German scientist — who saw things in a very different way. Renault has a 230 million Euro remanufacturing business with engines and gear boxes.

Why Your Company Culture Should Match Your Brand

Harvard Business Review

Rarely do people point to encouraging employees to disagree with their managers, as Amazon does, or firing top performers, as Jack Welch did at GE. Each of these companies has aligned and integrated its culture and brand to create a powerful engine of competitive advantage and growth.

CEOs Should Get Out of the Saddle Before They’re Pushed Out

Harvard Business Review

Yes there are exceptions — Steve Jobs and Jack Welch leap to mind. After leaving GE, as the President and CEO of Aircraft Engines for three years, he spent five years as CEO of 3M, then left to become CEO of Boeing from 2005 to date. When is the best time for a CEO to leave the top spot? I can’t help but think of the Mel Brooks film Blazing Saddles — a satirical comedy of what happens when a new sheriff comes to town.

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An Insider’s Account of the Yahoo-Alibaba Deal

Harvard Business Review

search engine company Inktomi in 2002. Wulf noted that Ma studied Jack Welch’s approach and was inspired by GE’s decentralized decision-making. Like Welch, Ma wanted his executives to be free to do whatever was needed to make their units the best businesses in their fields.

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