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Business leaders are blinded by industry boundaries
April 22, 2019 | Financial Times | Rita McGrath.

Why is it so hard for executives to anticipate the major shifts that can determine the destiny of their organisations? Andy Grove called these moments “strategic inflection points”. For some, he wrote, “That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”

Industry leaders would do well to focus on productive opportunities, even when they lie outside a fairly well-bounded industry. Want to survive a strategic inflection point? Stop focusing on traditional metrics and find new customer needs that your organisation can uniquely address.

Why do business leaders so often miss these shifts? Successful companies such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Nokia did not heed the early signs of a move to app-based smartphones. Video rental chain Blockbuster failed to acquire Netflix when it had the chance, in 2000.

Senior people rise to the top by mastering management of the KPIs in that sector. This, in turn, shapes how they look at the world. The problem is a strategic inflection point can occur and render the reference points they have developed obsolete. Take traditional retail. Its key metrics have to do with limited real estate, such as sales per square metre. Introduce the internet and those measures are useless. And yet traditional systems, rewards and measures are all built around them.....British economist Edith Penrose grasped this crucial link, she asked, “What is an industry?” In her studies, executives did not confine themselves to single industries, they expanded into any market where their business might find profitable growth.

Consider the energy sector: Historically, most power generators and utilities were heavily regulated...The sector’s suppliers likewise expected steady demand and a quiet life....that business has been rocked by slow-moving shifts many players talked about, but did not act upon. The rise of distributed energy generation, the maturing of renewable technology, increased conservation and new rules have eroded the traditional model. Many failed to heed the warnings. In 2015, General Electric spent about $10bn to acquire Alstom’s power business. Finance chief Jeff Bornstein crowed at the time that it could be GE’s best acquisition ever. Blinded by traditional metrics, GE doubled down on fossil-fuel-fired turbines just as renewables were becoming cost competitive.

Consider razor blades: Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand of razors had long enjoyed a competitive advantage. For decades, the company had invested in developing premium products, charged premium prices, invested heavily in marketing and used its clout to get those razors into every traditional retail outlet. A new breed of online rivals such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s have upended that model, reselling outsourced razors that were “good enough” and cheaper, online via a subscription model that attracted younger, economically pressured customers...... Rather than fork out for elaborate marketing, the upstarts enlisted YouTube and Facebook influencers to get the word out.
Andy_Grove  BlackBerry  blindsided  Blockbuster  brands  cost-consciousness  customer_insights  Dollar_Shave_Club  executive_management  GE  Gillette  good_enough  Harry's  industries  industry_boundaries  inflection_points  Intel  irrelevance  KPIs  metrics  millennials  movingonup  myopic  obsolescence  out-of-the-box  P&G  power_generation  retailers  reward_systems  sales_per_square_foot  shifting_tastes  slowly_moving  warning_signs 
april 2019 by jerryking
GE: industrial stalwart contemplates a general overhaul
OCTOBER 5, 2018 | Financial Times | by Ed Crooks in New York.

“GE Power is at death’s door,” says Scott Davis, an analyst at Melius Research. “It’s going to require a massive change in strategy to fix it.”

The Alstom deal is far from being GE’s only strategic mis-step. But it is emblematic of two of the company’s flaws: a weakness for dealmaking, and an inability to respond effectively to a changing market. Together, those failings go a long way to explaining why one of the greatest names in American business, an original member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at its creation in 1896, has lost more than 80 per cent of its market capitalisation since 2000......while GE’s leaders were focused on a deal that might have been perfect 10 or 20 years ago, they were underestimating the scale of the changes hitting the electricity industry. As the costs of wind and solar power have plunged, they have become competitive against the gas-fired and coal-fired power plants that are GE and Alstom’s forte. It is a mistake that companies often make at times of structural change, says Kingsmill Bond of the Carbon Tracker Initiative: “They confused the current size of the market with the future growth of the market.”.....As the scale of the problem emerged, Mr Flannery moved to cut costs. Last December he announced 12,000 jobs would go from the power division. But reducing headcount is slow work in Europe, especially in France, where Mr Immelt had pledged to create a net 1,000 additional jobs by the end of 2018......The urgency of the crisis creates opportunities to make radical changes. A group of investors including hedge fund manager Sir Christopher Hohn of the Children’s Investment Fund on Friday published a letter to Mr Culp, urging him to scale back investment in gas and coal power and embrace clean energy.....Giving up on selling new turbines to concentrate on the more lucrative services business would be a momentous step, but Mr Davis says that like General Motors during the 2008 financial crisis, the business is in urgent need of a radical rethink.
Alstom  CEOs  change  cost-cutting  deal-making  DJIA  energy  GE  Jack_Welch  Jeffrey_Immelt  shifting_tastes  Siemens  structural_change  John_Flannery  exits 
october 2018 by jerryking
The GE-free Dow is the index our age deserves | Financial Times
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson 8 HOURS AGO

The avatar of American agglomeration is now slimming down to its aviation, healthcare and power businesses. Yet if you ask anyone who grew up around American kitchens or hardware stores what GE makes, they will probably mention fridges and lightbulbs. As its new chief, John Flannery, struggles to reverse the third steep slide in GE’s shares since the start of the century, one challenge he faces is that its brand is freighted with misconceptions. 
...The Dow tracks a mere 30 stocks, compared to the S&P’s 500; the points moves get increasingly meaningless as markets rise, and with no Facebook, Amazon, Netflix or Google it is missing most of the market-moving Faangs.
.......What earned GE its special place in the American imagination is that, in its conglomerate prime, it provided a similar guide to the US’s industrial evolution as it diversified from jet engines to television shows to finance. Even now, the company is as much a bet on healthcare.... as Walgreens,
........the Dow is as much a branding triumph as a GE fridge, and the story it tells best about the US economy is how it has come to be driven by brands........The market-movers of 1896 had solid, descriptive and quietly flag-waving names like Standard Rope & Twine, Pacific Mail Steamship and the North American Company. Today’s biggest businesses, like Apple, Alphabet and Amazon, are not defined by history, geography or even what they do. Instead, they stand as testaments to the rise of intangible assets at the expense of tangible goods — as does the survival of a well-marketed industrial average in a country where services are 80 per cent of GDP. 

The Dow no longer tells us much about American industry. But it still tells us plenty about America.
benchmarks  brands  conglomerates  DJIA  exits  FAANG  GE  indignities  intangibles  misconceptions  symbolism  indices  healthcare 
june 2018 by jerryking
GE’s flow of financial information has become fantastically muddled - Too little information
Jan 27th 2018

Jan 27th 2018

The curse of rotten information can strike companies, too. That seems to be the case with General Electric (GE), which has had a vertiginous fall. Its shares, cashflow and forecast profits have dropped by about 50% since 2015. .....GE’s boss, John Flannery, an insider who took office in August, must clear up the mess made by his predecessor, Jeff Immelt.....Is the conglomerate formerly known as the world’s best-run firm a victim of weak demand for gas turbines, a low oil price, lavish digital initiatives, timing lags in client payments, morbidity rates, bad deals, cost overruns or a 20-year squeeze in industrial-equipment margins because of Chinese competition? You can imagine GE’s 12-man board blinking at this list, like Pentagon generals huddled around maps of the Gulf of Tonkin which they are too embarrassed to admit they do not understand......Schumpeter’s theory is that GE’s flow of financial information has become fantastically muddled. There is lots of it about.....[does great granularity necessarily lead to greater insight].... it offers volume and ambiguity instead of brevity and clarity. It is impossible—certainly for outsiders, probably for the board, and possibly for Mr Flannery—to answer central questions. How much cashflow does GE sustainably make and where? How much capital does it employ and where? What liabilities must be serviced before shareholders get their profits?....GE's public accounting system reveals eight problems.
(1) No consistent measure of performance.....18 definitions of group profits and cashflow....there is a large gap between most measures of profits and free cashflow.
(2) GE’s seven operating divisions (power, for example, or aviation) are allowed to use a flattering definition of profit that excludes billions of dollars of supposedly one-off costs. Their total profits are almost twice as big as the firm’s.
(3) GE does not assess itself on a geographical basis. Does China yield solid returns on capital? Has Saudi Arabia been a good bet? No one seems to know.
(4) GE pays little attention to the total capital it employs, which has ballooned by about 50% over the past decade (excluding its financial arm). Its managers rarely talk about it and have set no targets. It is unclear which parts of the firm soak up disproportionate resources relative to profits, diluting returns.
(5), it is hard to know if GE’s leverage is sustainable. Its net debts are 2.6 times its gross operating profits, again excluding its financial arm. That is high relative to its peers—for Siemens and Honeywell the ratio is about one.
(6) the strength of GE’s financial arm is unclear. The new insurance loss will lower its tangible equity to 8% of assets. This is well below the comfort level.
(7) it is hard to calibrate the risk this poses to GE shareholders. GE likes to hint that its industrial and financial arms are run separately. But they are umbilically connected by a mesh of cross-guarantees, factoring arrangements and other transactions.
(8) is GE sure that its industrial balance-sheet accurately measures its capital employed and its liabilities? Some 46% of assets are intangible, which are hard to pin down financially: for example, goodwill and “contract” assets where GE has booked profits but not been paid yet.

Time for some command and control

GE’s situation is like that of the global bank conglomerates post-financial crisis. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and HSBC did not entirely trust their own numbers and lacked a framework for assessing which bits of their sprawl created value for shareholders. Today, after much toil, the people running these firms know whether, say, loans in California or trading in India make sense.

This does not happen naturally. If neglected, financial reporting becomes a hostage to internal politics, with different constituencies claiming they bring in sales, while arguing that costs and capital are someone else’s problem. Flannery is a numbers guy who seeks to slim GE to its profitable essence. But he is trapped in a financial construct that makes it hard to pursue that mission intelligently. Until he re-engineers how GE measures itself, he will be stumbling about in the murk.
measurements  metrics  GE  financial_metrics  financial_performance  level_of_comfort  John_Flannery  Jeffrey_Immelt  cash_flows  ROCE  information_overload  financial_reporting  calibration 
february 2018 by jerryking
GE and Siemens: power pioneers flying too far from the sun
November 12, 2017 | FT | by Ed Crooks in New York and Patrick McGee in Frankfurt.

Rivals GE and Siemens both face difficult challenges ahead with the threats emanating in the 21st century from the renewable energy revolution that risks rendering obsolete their century-old strengths in supplying equipment for the electricity industry.....As the costs of solar and wind power have plunged, making them cheaper than fossil fuel generation in many parts of the world, the traditional model of the industry has changed. Capital spending on the new technologies has soared. Battery storage is also starting to be a cost-effective solution for supporting the grid, challenging the market for “peaker” gas turbines that are used when demand is at its highest. Yet both groups have taken positions in renewable energy but have stumbled along the way.

The result is that GE and Siemens are being forced to drive down costs dramatically in their core power businesses. Siemens is looking to cut thousands of jobs in its power and gas unit....while both groups face a turbulent environment, the immediate outlook is considerably brighter at Siemens, which appears to be better positioned to adjust to the disruption sweeping through the energy industry....GE’s 2017 has been a disaster.....GE's CEO, John Flannery, has already moved fast to signal his intentions: clearing out many top executives, grounding corporate jets, stopping the cars provided to senior managers, cutting back the network of global research centres and promising to sell peripheral and underperforming businesses worth up to $20bn....GE's sales of aeroderivative gas turbines, used to support grids at times of peak load, were half the planned numbers, while sales of packages for improving the performance of gas-fired plants were just a third of projections.....“All major vendors got the market [i.e. for gas turbines] wrong,” ...The next big worry is servicing for turbines — once a gold mine but one that is bound to decline as new orders fall. With turbines being sold at no margin or sometimes at a loss, competition for servicing contracts is heating up, further eroding margins.

For the foreseeable future, the gas turbine market is likely to remain difficult,...“The question is whether this is just a cyclical problem, or whether there is something structural in the industry that is really starting to cause problems.”

There is good reason to think that it is structural, given the plunge in solar and wind costs. ... “a combination of rooftop solar and battery storage could make economic sense in India, African countries and other places where they don’t have well-developed power grids”......According to the IEA, in 2016 $316bn was invested in renewable energy worldwide last year, almost three times as much as the $117bn in fossil fuel power generation.....If Mr Flannery founders, then breaking up GE might come to seem like the only option left to investors. It would not magically dispel the problems of the business, and would be difficult because of the group’s complex tax position and liabilities, including insurance claims dating from before GE pulled out of the industry in 2004-2006.

To avoid a break-up, GE might follow the template Siemens created in 2014 for a more decentralised structure. Mr Kaeser calls it a “fleet of ships” model, with divisions becoming semi-autonomous and separately listed. Siemens’ largest division, its medical equipment unit, is scheduled to list next year.

“The time of old-fashioned conglomerates is over,” he says. “They are definitely not going to survive.”
CEOs  Siemens  GE  industrial_age  founders  19th_century  decentralization  conglomerates  renewable  obsolescence  solar  batteries  cost-cutting  turnarounds  divestitures  wind_power  under-performing  power_grid  electric_power 
november 2017 by jerryking
The High Cost of Raising Prices - WSJ
By Andy Kessler
July 30, 2017

The more prices rise, the more customers bolt. It’s like running up a down escalator and never getting to the top. With the stock market hitting highs just about every day, investors need to be wary of companies that raise prices to make their numbers. These stocks make for spectacular sell-offs on even the slightest earnings miss......I had a friend who worked at General Electric for decades. He told me that in strategy sessions with his management, Jack Welch would constantly berate them, saying, “Any idiot can raise prices.” Except he used a stronger word than idiot to coax them into squeezing out costs, adding features, improving services and generally delighting customers. Contrast this with Berkshire Hathaway . Vice Chairman Charlie Munger found that with See’s Candies “we could raise prices 10% a year and no one cared. Learning that changed Berkshire.” .........There’s a long list of price bumpers. Walk down any supermarket aisle. Kellogg’s prices constantly snap, crackle and mostly pop. Procter & Gamble toothpaste sizes shrink faster than my cavity count, always less for the same price. Now private-equity firms are circling P&G. Same for Nestlé . Expect rising beer and liquor prices soon....Empires are lost on rising prices. Until recently, rather than innovate in mobile or cloud computing, Microsoft kept raising the price of its Windows operating system to computer manufacturers. Tablets and phones ate their lunch. Fees rose at eBay until Amazon took its growth away. .........Increasing prices attracts others to attack your market. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos warns: “Your margin is my opportunity.”....Competition solves much of this problem. Investors love protected businesses, but eventually relentless price increases kill them all. Consumers are the kangaroo at the bar in the old cartoon: The bartender says, “Say, we don’t get a lot of kangaroos in here.” The kangaroo replies, “No, and with these prices, I can see why!” Call me a kangaroo, but I prefer to invest in companies that lower prices and offer more.
Andy_Kessler  pricing  price_hikes  drawbacks  margins  Charlie_Munger  CPG  shareholder_activism  P&G  Nestlé  Kellogg  Jack_Welch  GE  large_companies  cost-cutting  Amazon  Jeff_Bezos  staying_hungry  delighting_customers  high-cost 
july 2017 by jerryking
The Economy Needs Amazons, but It Mostly Has GEs
the country as a whole badly needs some rules-defying risk-taking. For business, that means a bit more Amazon in the boardroom and a bit less GE....The purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon introduced a level of volatility and turmoil (at least singularly to the retail sector) which had been absent from the market for a long time....The rest of the market remained placid. And months of historically low volatility has begun to look like dangerous complacency....... another, potentially more troubling explanation: stagnation. Muted markets may be an inevitable product of steady, sluggish growth, low and predictable interest rates, declining business startups and failures, and decreased competition. In other words, the problem is, there aren’t enough Amazons disrupting the stock market and the economy.....Jeffrey Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, he has prioritized expansion and innovation ahead of profit. In its early years, free cash flow—cash from operations minus CAPEX—hovered around zero. Mr. Bezos approaches new products like a VC. Many will flop (like the Fire smartphone), but some will be home runs (e.g. AWS). Amazon launched Prime, which offers free delivery in exchange for an annual fee, in 2005. John Blackledge, notes Amazon has repeatedly innovated in ways that make Prime even more valuable to subscribers.......Amazon is now profitable, yet cash retention remains secondary to building great products and delighting and retaining customers.

....If Amazon is one extreme in how companies invest, General ElectricCo. is the other. It has long been fastidious about capital and cash deployment......CEO Jack Welch perfected this approach in the 1990s.. it continued under Jeffrey Immelt. Last week, Mr. Immelt said he would retire, after 16 years struggling to restore growth. In part, that reflected how financial engineering had inflated profits under Mr. Welch. Yet Mr. Immelt ’s investment decisions too often chased the conventional wisdom on Wall Street and in Washington. ...........growth is hard for any company that dominates its markets as much as GE does. GE’s size also attracts debilitating political scrutiny. ....In response to new regulations and pressure from Wall Street, Mr. Immelt largely dismantled the business...........Investors still want GE to return cash to shareholders, and it has obliged,.....while good for shareholders in the short run, this is no recipe for growth in the long run. GE’s cash flow is shrinking despite the company’s focus on preserving it, while Amazon’s is growing despite that company’s readiness to spend it.......North American boardrooms desparately needs some rules-defying risk-taking. For business, that means a bit more Amazon in the boardroom and a bit less GE

[ See John Authers article which references Vix]

The "Minsky Moment" occurs when investors realize that they have paid far too much for the credits that have bought, no buyers can be found, and the system collapses. Aka Wile E. Coyote running-off-a-cliff....The greatest dangers to us are not from things we perceive to be high-risk, because we generally treat them carefully. Trouble arises from that which we perceive to be low-risk.
digital_economy  Amazon  GE  Amazon_Prime  risk-taking  volatility  Greg_Ip  stagnation  cash_flows  long-term  growth  start_ups  complacency  instability  conventional_wisdom  Jeffrey_Immelt  Jack_Welch  conglomerates  delighting_customers  capital_allocation  Jeff_Bezos  financial_engineering  rule_breaking 
june 2017 by jerryking
Conglomerates Didn’t Die. They Look Like Amazon. - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK JUNE 19, 2017

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods re-opens the debate about conglomerates which supposed to be dead, a relic of a bygone era of corporate America as investors supposedly want smaller, nimbler, more focused companies......Amazon is just one of several digital-economy conglomerates. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is another. Facebook is quickly becoming a conglomerate, too...... today’s tech-enabled conglomerates, are spending, and often losing, tens of billions of dollars annually on all sorts of projects and acquisitions that may or may not turn out to be successful. But investors are seemingly willing to give these new behemoths a free pass in the name of growth and innovation — until they aren’t.

If there is any lesson from the last breed of industrial conglomerates, it is that there is a natural life cycle to most of them....When it comes to Amazon (or Alphabet, or any of the new conglomerates), the question is whether there is something fundamentally different about these businesses given their grounding in digital information — especially as they expand into complex brick-and-mortar operations like upscale supermarkets.

In an age of big data and artificial intelligence, are businesses that look disparate really similar? And can one company’s leadership really oversee so many different businesses? When does it become too big to manage?...a recent article in the Yale Law Journal made a compelling case that Amazon has built perhaps the ultimate economic mousetrap — one impervious to the natural life cycle of a conglomerate, but one that might ultimately prove to be anticompetitive.

The author, Lina M. Khan, a Yale Law student who has written about antitrust law and competition policy, argued that Amazon had created a “platform market” and can use its size and scale to subsidize its entrance into new businesses through predatory pricing.....The economics of platform markets create incentives for a company to pursue growth over profits,.....Amazon’s role as both a distributor and cloud provider for many of its competitors gives it an unfair advantage. “This dual role also enables a platform to exploit information collected on companies using its services to undermine them as competitors,”.....Jeff Bezos, is clear. The man who is assembling the 21st century’s most fearsome new conglomerate once explained his view of competition this way: “Your margin is my opportunity.”
conglomerates  Andrew_Sorkin  Jeff_Bezos  Amazon  GE  Jeff_Immelt  unfair_advantages  Whole_Foods  Silicon_Valley  digital_economy  Alphabet  Facebook  lessons_learned  Yale  Charles_Munger  antitrust  competition  Berkshire_Hathaway  platforms  predatory_practices  diversification  FTC  margins  staying_hungry  life_cycle  Lina_Khan  competition_policy 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Decline of the Baronial C.E.O. - The New York Times
By NELSON D. SCHWARTZJUNE 17, 2017

General Electric is just the latest storied name in corporate America to show its leader the door. Ford’s chief executive, Mark Fields, had been in the job for less than three years when he was fired in late May. Two weeks earlier, Mario Longhi of U.S. Steel abruptly stepped down. With these departures, the American era of the baronial chief executive, sitting atop an industrial dominion with all the attendant privileges, is drawing to a close.....Jeffrey Immelt tried to change G.E., yet couldn’t react quickly enough to the forces affecting companies like his......[(Amazon + Whole Foods) shows how] the digital age has upended the competitive landscape, pitting companies in vastly different industries against one another.

These include the rising power of activist investors, who buy up stakes in companies and then demand changes. Activists are now hunting much bigger game, demanding double-digit annual earnings growth in a stagnant economy. Or else.....Boards, too, have changed, evolving from country-club-like collections of the same familiar faces into a much more diverse and demanding constituency.....for most of the Fortune 500, the unquestioned power and perks, the imperviousness to criticism from the likes of shareholders, and the outsize public profile that once automatically came with the corner office have gone the way of the typewriter and the Dictaphone.....[today] ...wading into bitterly partisan public debates offers little upside for corporate leaders, and risks damage to their company’s reputation.

As a result, while companies in many ways have more economic and political power than ever, “chief executives now shy away from weighing in on the policy level or broader societal issues,” Mr. Sharer said. “They’re more focused on running their companies.”......Mr. Immelt’s exit leaves a void at the intersection of business and public policy,.....“If you start fooling around in Washington with the Business Roundtable or writing op-eds, activist investors will ask what you’re doing,”....[GE] became a natural target for activist investors. One of those was Nelson Peltz, a onetime corporate raider who relied on Michael R. Milken’s junk bonds for financing back in the 1980s.
CEOs  GE  executive_management  shareholder_activism  digital_disruption  Jeffrey_Immelt  disruption  technological_change  decline  Vijay_Govindarajan  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
june 2017 by jerryking
GE’s CEO choice pushes the boundaries – Breakingviews
12 June 2017 By Rob Cox

Despite the worldwide upheaval confronting chieftains of multinational companies, Flannery has been dealt a better hand. Immelt took over a GE addicted to finance, willing to prostitute the stellar credit ratings of its world-class manufacturing and engineering capabilities for a quick buck. Over his tenure, which started ominously on Sept. 11, 2001, Immelt did wean the company off $260 billion of financial assets, but only after the crisis forced his hand. He also divested appliances, plastics and media.

For all this reimagining of GE, which included moving the headquarters to Boston and a plunge into the industrial internet, Immelt has been dogged by a poorly performing stock. GE returned $143 billion in dividends to shareholders under his stewardship, but the shares also have tumbled by some 30 percent.

Although Flannery most recently has been running the company’s subscale healthcare division, he has pranced across GE’s landscape. His corporate bio begins in evaluating risk for leveraged buyouts. Since then, it has been a global grand tour, running businesses across Asia and in India and Argentina. This is evidence of how GE’s growth resides in places where thirst for power, transportation, energy and healthcare – all of which GE’s products aim to sate – will be in greater demand, even as Immelt professed last year that protectionist tendencies worldwide means “companies must navigate the world on their own.”
GE  John_Flannery  appointments  CEOs  Jeffrey_Immelt  dislocations  multinationals 
june 2017 by jerryking
Meet the New CEO of General Electric: John Flannery - WSJ
By Joann S. Lublin and Kate Linebaugh
Updated June 12, 2017
GE  CEOs  appointments  John_Flannery 
june 2017 by jerryking
Thomas Friedman’s Guide to Hanging On in the ‘Age of Accelerations’ - Bloomberg
by Paul Barrett
November 11, 2016,

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28)....the wisdom of pausing.... take time “to just sit and think”— a good reminder for the overcommitted.....Friedman's “core argument,” is his description of our disruptive times. By “accelerations,” he means the increases in computing power, which are enabling breakthroughs from 3D printing to self-driving cars. Meanwhile, globalization is creating vast wealth for those who capitalize on innovation and impoverishment for populations who don’t. All of this sped-up economic activity contributes to rising carbon levels, feeding the climate change that threatens civilization.....Friedman relishes catchphrases like “the Big Shift,” borrowed in this case from the HBR. He deploys B-school jargon to explain it, but the definition boils down to companies making the move from relying exclusively on in-house brainpower, patents, and data to exploiting “flows” of knowledge from anywhere in the world.... Friedman makes the case for changed policies to respond to the accelerations he chronicles.
accelerated_lifecycles  sustained_inquiry  Tom_Friedman  books  slack_time  reflections  3-D  globalization  impoverishment  climate_change  in-house  talent_flows  information_flows  GE  prizes  bounties  innovation  contests  contemplation  patents  data  brainpower  jargon  thinking  timeouts  power_of_the_pause 
january 2017 by jerryking
For Non-Tech Companies, if You Can’t Build It, Buy a Start-Up - The New York Times
By LESLIE PICKER JAN. 2, 2017

Last year, the number of technology companies sold to non-tech companies surpassed those acquired by tech companies for the first time since the internet era began, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Excluding private equity buyers, 682 tech companies were purchased by a company in an industry other than technology, while 655 were acquired by tech companies....Non-tech chief executives have been found mingling at technology conferences, trying to spot their next potential target. ....One major shift as to why non-tech executives are becoming more active in tech deal making is that they have become more comfortable with the technology itself.....The next challenge for many of these companies might be in integrating their tech start-ups with the main business.

When traditional companies acquired small technology companies, they typically would place them in a “digital division” separate from the rest of the company.

That too needs to change, according to Aryeh Bourkoff, the founder and chief executive of the investment bank LionTree.

“Technology should not be a division of a company, it should be integrated into every division,” he said.
start_ups  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  GE  Honeywell  post-deal_integration  Fortune_500  large_companies  brands 
january 2017 by jerryking
G.E., the 124-Year-Old Software Start-Up - The New York Times
By STEVE LOHRAUG. 27, 2016
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software  predictive_maintenance  paranoia  Jeffrey_Immelt  GE  analytics  Industrial_Internet 
august 2016 by jerryking
Beth Comstock of General Electric: Granting Permission to Innovate - The New York Times
By ADAM BRYANT JUNE 17, 2016

Early on, I wasn’t confident, and I’m sure that showed. I probably asked a lot of questions that started with, “Would you …? Could you …? Might you think about …?”

There was probably a tentativeness about me. But I also remember being very impatient about wanting things to go faster in my career, and wanting people to move faster.

I’ve also had to learn to ask for help, rather than waiting until everything is perfectly done. Sometimes you feel like you can’t put an idea out there until you’ve looked at it from every angle, as opposed to saying, “Here’s a seed of an idea, help me make it better.” In those early days, I was afraid to put something out there if it wasn’t totally baked and perfect.

Being part of collaborative teams, I’ve come to appreciate the power of them a lot more than I did early on. When you get the teamwork right, it’s like magic because everybody has a role. You’re different, but you come together and you have a mission.

Those are the things I really love about work. When it hasn’t worked, it’s because the team hasn’t been right. The dynamics aren’t right.
CEOs  GE  innovation  women  Beth_Comstock  leadership  teams  asking_for_help  personal_chemistry 
june 2016 by jerryking
Q&A: General Electric's Chief Marketing Officer on Storytelling in the Digital Industrial Era | Adweek
Linda Boff says it's GE's "DNA" to adopt new media platforms early. General Electric may be 125 years old, but when it comes to innovative social media campaigns, it's often light-years ahead of most…
GE  Digital  Marketing  Advertising  CMOs  storytelling 
october 2015 by jerryking
GE, Cisco flex major muscle in trend toward 'Industrial Internet' - The Globe and Mail
DAVID MILSTEAD
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 05, 2015

What GE did, says William Blair & Co. analyst Nicholas Heymann, is write software to collect data from its equipment – from locomotives to jet engines – and develop algorithms that help its customers make better plans, like a railway predicting where to add capacity based on port traffic, or where an airline should develop a hub for travel in 2020....Cisco, the global leader in the routers that allow computer networks to communicate, has spent $1-billion setting up six global “Internet of Everything” data centres and committed $100-million to an innovation fund. It’s promoting app development in developer communities and is working to create technical standards for the industry. It’s deployed Internet of Things offerings at several major customers, including Shell and Harley-Davidson,
sensors  Industrial_Internet  GE  Cisco  algorithms  predictive_analytics 
june 2015 by jerryking
The Sensor-Rich, Data-Scooping Future - NYTimes.com
APRIL 26, 2015 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Sensor-rich lights, to be found eventually in offices and homes, are for a company that will sell knowledge of behavior as much as physical objects....The Internet will be almost fused with the physical world. The way Google now looks at online clicks to figure out what ad to next put in front of you will become the way companies gain once-hidden insights into the patterns of nature and society.

G.E., Google and others expect that knowing and manipulating these patterns is the heart of a new era of global efficiency, centered on machines that learn and predict what is likely to happen next.

“The core thing Google is doing is machine learning,” Eric Schmidt....The great data science companies of our sensor-packed world will have experts in arcane reaches of statistics, computer science, networking, visualization and database systems, among other fields. Graduates in those areas are already in high demand.

Nor is data analysis just a question of computing skills; data access is also critically important. As a general rule, the larger and richer a data set a company has, the better its predictions become. ....an emerging area of computer analysis known as “deep learning” will blow away older fields.

While both Facebook and Google have snapped up deep-learning specialists, Mr. Howard said, “they have far too much invested in traditional computing paradigms. They are the equivalent of Kodak in photography.” Echoing Mr. Chui’s point about specialization, he said he thought the new methods demanded understanding of specific fields to work well.

It is of course possible that both things are true: Big companies like Google and Amazon will have lots of commodity data analysis, and specialists will find niches. That means for most of us, the answer to the future will be in knowing how to ask the right kinds of questions.
sensors  GE  GE_Capital  Quentin_Hardy  data  data_driven  data_scientists  massive_data_sets  machine_learning  automated_reasoning  predictions  predictive_analytics  predictive_modeling  layer_mastery  core_competencies  Enlitic  deep_learning  niches  patterns  analog  insights  latent  hidden  questions  Google  Amazon  aftermath  physical_world  specialization  consumer_behavior  cyberphysical  arcane_knowledge  artificial_intelligence  test_beds 
april 2015 by jerryking
The Lessons for Finance in the GE Capital Retreat - NYTimes.com
APRIL 10, 2015 | NYT |By PETER EAVIS.

More than 10 years ago, the kinds of investors who seek out weak companies were circulating presentations on Wall Street that argued that General Electric’s enormous lending business was a ticking time bomb.

The financial crisis of 2008 proved those skeptics right, and on Friday, they appeared to have the final laugh. General Electric announced that it was selling most of the loans inside its financial division, GE Capital, leaving a G.E. that will be dominated by industrial businesses.
GE_Capital  GE  exits  financial_services  short_selling  weaknesses 
april 2015 by jerryking
Why strategy is dead in the water - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Nov. 16 2014

Old line discussions of "strategy" assumed that one's competitors today will be one's competitors forever. It also assumed that companies can control distribution and send out targeted marketing messages to prospects and customers. These days, competition can come at you from all directions – witness, for example, the many companies with which Amazon.com, once just a book seller, competes. Distribution is wild and woolly, and in an era of social media, companies no longer control the messages about their offerings.

“Control and predictability have been greatly diminished,”
Here are seven factors that prevent you from being classically strategic:

1. Incrementalism has been disrupted
2. Outcomes are unpredictable.
3. The past is no longer a predictor.
4. Competitive lines have been dissolved.
5. Information is abundant (i.e. the commoditization_of_information)
6. It hard to forecast value.
7. Fast trumps long-term.
fast-paced  commoditization_of_information  strategy  Michael_Porter  Harvey_Schachter  long-term  unpredictability  GE  IBM  data  information_overload  incrementalism  Amazon  kaleidoscopic 
november 2014 by jerryking
G.E. Opens Its Big Data Platform - NYTimes.com
By QUENTIN HARDY OCTOBER 9, 2014

Next year, G.E. plans to connect this big data product, called Predix, to machines made by other companies. It is also establishing a means for companies to build and deploy their own customized software applications on Predix. Part of that approach involves using G.E.’s own modeling software, which helps a customer understand ahead of time whether making the software is justified by anticipated cost savings.

If successful, the GE analysis platform will likely touch tens of millions of devices around the globe. Already, Cisco has agreed to put Predix software inside its networking products, starting with a specialized computer router for harsh environments like oil fields. Intel has developed a reference architecture that integrates Intel processors with the GE software.

Softbank, Verizon and Vodaphone have agreed to provide means of wireless connectivity to devices with the software. GE already has a deal like that with AT&T, which means the system could be used across much of the globe.
GE  massive_data_sets  sensors  Industrial_Internet  platforms 
october 2014 by jerryking
What Cars Did for Today's World, Data May Do for Tomorrow's - NYTimes.com
August 10, 2014 | NYT | Quentin Hardy.

General Electric plans to announce Monday that it has created a “data lake” method of analyzing sensor information from industrial machinery in places like railroads, airlines, hospitals and utilities. G.E. has been putting sensors on everything it can for a couple of years, and now it is out to read all that information quickly.

The company, working with an outfit called Pivotal, said that in the last three months it has looked at information from 3.4 million miles of flights by 24 airlines using G.E. jet engines. G.E. said it figured out things like possible defects 2,000 times as fast as it could before.....Databricks, that uses new kinds of software for fast data analysis on a rental basis. Databricks plugs into the one million-plus computer servers inside the global system of Amazon Web Services, and will soon work inside similar-size megacomputing systems from Google and Microsoft....If this growing ecosystem of digital collection, shipment and processing is the new version of cars and highways, what are the unexpected things, the suburbs and fast-food joints that grew from cars and roads?

In these early days, businesses like Uber and Airbnb look like challengers to taxi fleets and hotels. They do it without assets like cars and rooms, instead coordinating data streams about the location of people, cars, and bedrooms. G.E. makes engines, but increasingly it coordinates data about the performance of engines and the location of ground crews. Facebook uses sensor data like location information from smartphones
Quentin_Hardy  data  data_driven  AWS  asset-light  massive_data_sets  resource_allocation  match-making  platforms  resource_management  orchestration  ecosystems  GE  sensors  unexpected  unforeseen  Databricks  Uber  Airbnb  data_coordination  instrumentation_monitoring  efficiencies 
august 2014 by jerryking
A Makeover for Maps - NYTimes.com
January 6, 2014| NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Eric Rodenbeck is rethinking how data is presented.

“It doesn’t work if it’s not moving,” said Mr. Rodenbeck, the head of Stamen Design, a San Francisco studio that Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all used for help in turning fast-paced digital information into easily understood images. “It doesn’t work if you can’t touch it.”....Nowadays, devices and people are unceasingly uploading all kinds of information about the economy, locations, weather and even what sweater makes them happy. With this flood of data, some believe traditional ways of displaying information do not work well anymore. So there is a demand for Mr. Rodenbeck’s sort of creative thinking about the humble pie chart....charts of fast-changing data reports can provide a clearer idea of the information gathered. The animated changes may be shapes on a map growing and shrinking, colors of bar charts changing or positions of lines rising or fading.
animation  charts  ClearStory  Communicating_&_Connecting  data  design  fast-changing  fast-paced  GE  infographics  mapping  visualization 
january 2014 by jerryking
Start-Ups Are Mining Hyperlocal Information for Global Insights - NYTimes.com
November 10, 2013 | WSJ | By QUENTIN HARDY

By analyzing the photos of prices and the placement of everyday items like piles of tomatoes and bottles of shampoo and matching that to other data, Premise is building a real-time inflation index to sell to companies and Wall Street traders, who are hungry for insightful data.... Collecting data from all sorts of odd places and analyzing it much faster than was possible even a couple of years ago has become one of the hottest areas of the technology industry. The idea is simple: With all that processing power and a little creativity, researchers should be able to find novel patterns and relationships among different kinds of information.

For the last few years, insiders have been calling this sort of analysis Big Data. Now Big Data is evolving, becoming more “hyper” and including all sorts of sources. Start-ups like Premise and ClearStory Data, as well as larger companies like General Electric, are getting into the act....General Electric, for example, which has over 200 sensors in a single jet engine, has worked with Accenture to build a business analyzing aircraft performance the moment the jet lands. G.E. also has software that looks at data collected from 100 places on a turbine every second, and combines it with power demand, weather forecasts and labor costs to plot maintenance schedules.
start_ups  data  data_driven  data_mining  data_scientists  inflation  indices  massive_data_sets  hyperlocal  Premise  Accenture  GE  ClearStory  real-time  insights  Quentin_Hardy  pattern_recognition  photography  sensors  maintenance  industrial_Internet  small_data 
november 2013 by jerryking
Why Big Ag Likes Big Data - NYTimes.com
October 2, 2013, 3:02 pm 1 Comment
Why Big Ag Likes Big Data
By QUENTIN HARDY
massive_data_sets  agriculture  agribusiness  farming  data_mining  databases  GE  Climate_Corporation  Monsanto 
october 2013 by jerryking
When Complexity Is Free - NYTimes.com
September 14, 2013 | NYT | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
When everything and everyone becomes connected, and complexity is free and innovation is both dirt-cheap and can come from anywhere, the world of work changes.
Tom_Friedman  GE  Industrial_Internet  interconnections  massive_data_sets  crowdsourcing  business_models  complexity  3-D  contests  prognostics  innovation 
september 2013 by jerryking
What’s an Idea Worth? - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
Published: July 29, 2013 (think about this for WaudWare)

Companies like G.E., Nike and Apple learned early on that the real money was in the creative ideas that can transform simple physical products far beyond their generic or commodity value....we have no idea how to measure the financial value of ideas and the people who come up with them.
fees_&_commissions  invoicing  intangibles  billing  transformational  GE  Nike  Apple  fees  goodwill  professional_service_firms  branding  metrics  time-management  productivity  knowledge_economy  creativity  pricing  value_creation  ideas 
august 2013 by jerryking
Advanced Manufacturing: The New Industrial Revolution - WSJ.com
June 10, 2013 | WSJ | By JOHN KOTEN.

A Revolution in the Making
Digital technology is transforming manufacturing, making it leaner and smarter—and raising the prospect of an American industrial revival
3-D  Nike  GE  manufacturers  Industrial_Internet  massive_data_sets 
june 2013 by jerryking
Should GE Go Into the Hospital Biz?
November 20, 2002 | WSJ.com | By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR

We're talking a $400 billion industry slated to grow inexorably, thanks to aging baby boomers with large resources to spend on their hypochondria and an incentive system that encourages them not to skimp on anything that might make them feel better. Yet hospitals still operate on a piecework, cottage-industry model. Giant strides could be made just by eliminating handwritten clinical data and the bountiful errors flowing therefrom. This ought to be a big opportunity for Jeff Immelt.

GE loves to talk about building up service complements to its manufacturing business....Hospitals are local businesses so the scale required to be dominant in a local market doesn't mean buying a significant position in the whole industry coast to coast.
Holman_Jenkins  GE  hospitals  Jeffrey_Immelt 
march 2013 by jerryking
Sensing the Future Before It Occurs
William Ruh (General Electric), interviewed by Michael Fitzgerald

December 20, 2012
GE  Industrial_Internet 
january 2013 by jerryking
Manufacturing: The new maker rules
Nov 24th 2012 | The Economist

Yet 3D printing is just one of many production technologies and trends which are transforming the way companies will be able to make things in the future. The old rules of manufacturing, such as “you must seek economies of scale” and “you must reduce unit-labour costs”, are being cast aside. New machines can print every item differently. More flexible robots are getting cheaper and better at doing all the boring and dirty stuff.
3-D  manufacturers  McKinsey  GE  services  economies_of_scale 
november 2012 by jerryking
G.E. Looks to Industry for the Next Digital Disruption - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR
Published: November 23, 2012

G.E. resides in a different world from the consumer Internet. But the major technologies that animate Google and Facebook are also vital ingredients in the industrial Internet — tools from artificial intelligence, like machine-learning software, and vast streams of new data. In industry, the data flood comes mainly from smaller, more powerful and cheaper sensors on the equipment.

Smarter machines, for example, can alert their human handlers when they will need maintenance, before a breakdown. It is the equivalent of preventive and personalized care for equipment, with less downtime and more output.... Today, G.E. is putting sensors on everything, be it a gas turbine or a hospital bed. The mission of the engineers in San Ramon is to design the software for gathering data, and the clever algorithms for sifting through it for cost savings and productivity gains. Across the industries it covers, G.E. estimates such efficiency opportunities at as much as $150 billion.

Some industrial Internet projects are already under way. First Wind, an owner and operator of 16 wind farms in America, is a G.E. customer for wind turbines. It has been experimenting with upgrades that add more sensors, controls and optimization software.

The new sensors measure temperature, wind speeds, location and pitch of the blades. They collect three to five times as much data as the sensors on turbines of a few years ago, said Paul Gaynor, chief executive of First Wind. The data is collected and analyzed by G.E. software, and the operation of each turbine can be tweaked for efficiency. For example, in very high winds, turbines across an entire farm are routinely shut down to prevent damage from rotating too fast. But more refined measurement of wind speeds might mean only a portion of the turbines need to be shut down. In wintry conditions, turbines can detect when they are icing up, and speed up or change pitch to knock off the ice.

Upgrades on 123 turbines on two wind farms have so far delivered a 3 percent increase in energy output, about 120 megawatt hours per turbine a year. That translates to $1.2 million in additional revenue a year from those two farms, Mr. Gaynor said.

“It’s not earthshaking, but it is meaningful,” he said. “These are real commercial investments for us that make economic sense now.” ...
breakdowns  GE  Industrial_Internet  disruption  Steve_Lohr  sensors  artificial_intelligence  machine_learning  digital_disruption  downtime 
november 2012 by jerryking
Jeffrey Immelt has a cure for Canada's 'resource curse' - The Globe and Mail
SHAWN McCARTHY - GLOBAL ENERGY REPORTER

TORONTO — From Saturday's Globe and Mail (Correction included)

Published Friday, Mar. 30 2012
============================
the oil exporter curse, which pushed up the exchange rate, making it cheaper to import finished goods than produce them. a country’s once thriving [fill in the blank e.g. textile industry] becomes a pale shadow of itself.
Jeffrey_Immelt  GE  Canada  natural_resources  commodities  resource_curse 
june 2012 by jerryking
Look to Giants, Not Start-Ups, for Innovation
From the Wall Street Journal
Informed Reader
November 20, 2007; Page B8

When people think of radical innovations, they usually think of start-ups that shake an industry from the ground up. Some sectors are hobbled with "intractable, industry-wide problems" that only a large company can solve, says Mr. Grove, the co-founder of Intel. Mr. Grove, who has been researching the phenomenon with Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Robert Burgelman, calls this "cross-boundary disruption." Crucially, the industry on the other side of the boundary is "stagnant and populated with companies that cling to doing business the way they always have."
Andy_Grove  Apple  brands  breakthroughs  cross-boundary  disruption  industry_boundaries  innovation  large_companies  moonshots  Fortune_500  GE  stagnation  start_ups  Wal-Mart 
june 2012 by jerryking
Women, Welch Clash at Forum
May 4, 2012 | WSJ | By JOHN BUSSEY.

He had this advice for women who want to get ahead: Grab tough assignments to prove yourself, get line experience, and embrace serious performance reviews and the coaching inherent in them.

"Without a rigorous appraisal system, without you knowing where you stand...and how you can improve, none of these 'help' programs that were up there are going to be worth much to you," he said. Mr. Welch said later that the appraisal "is the best way to attack bias" because the facts go into the document, which both parties have to sign.
Jack_Welch  GE  work_life_balance  rigour  gender_gap  movingonup  executive_management  performance  performance_reviews 
may 2012 by jerryking
The creative future
Aug 1, 2005 | Business Week pg. 72 | By Bruce Nussbaum, Robert Berner and Diane Brady of BusinessWeek
design  P&G  GE  Swiffer  Jeffrey_Immelt 
may 2012 by jerryking
Dialing For Growth
OCTOBER 30, 2006 | BusinessWeek |By Jack and Suzy Welch
Jack and Suzy Welch

A red flag here, however. Visiting companies to watch them in action can be great, but the exercise is pointless unless your own people are ready to embrace outside ideas. If they're not, some adjustment to your culture is probably necessary. To do that, you've got to kill any not-invented-here syndrome floating around your organization and replace it with a new value of open-mindedness. You can jump-start that process by using praise, money, and promotions to celebrate employees who find outside ideas and bring them back home. Before you know it, you'll find yourself deluged with good ideas from every quarter.
Jack_Welch  GE  advice  growth  not-invented-here  benchmarking  research  research_methods  learning_journeys 
april 2012 by jerryking
GE Ramps Up Investment in Personalized Medicine - Health Blog - WSJ
April 4, 2012 | WSJ | By Kate Linebaugh.

The conglomerate is buying — for an undisclosed sum — SeqWright, a Houston company that provides contract genomic sequencing...Seeking to find new areas of growth in health care, GE is trying to move from sales of imaging machines, which are used to find cancers, into areas of biotechnology that help doctors treat them.

As pharmaceutical companies develop targeted treatments for different diseases, doctors need to know more about the particular biological traits of different cancers to figure out the most effective therapies.

That is where GE hopes to come in, developing technologies to better identify the genetic profile of cancers and other illnesses. The Fairfield, Conn., company said last year that it would spend $1 billion over five years to research and develop advanced cancer-diagnostic technology and molecular-imaging capabilities and to produce biopharmaceuticals.
GE  personalized_medicine 
april 2012 by jerryking
GE looks to claim 'big data' foothold
Nov. 17, 2011 | The Financial Times | Jeremy Lemer.

GE's role as a maker of intelligent products and its deep experience in sectors such as aviation and energy will give it a powerful advantage when designing useful algorithms and selling analytical software.
GE  massive_data_sets  Industrial_Internet  software 
march 2012 by jerryking
GE Chief Charts His Own Strategy - WSJ.com
September 23, 2003 | WSJ | By CAROL HYMOWITZ.

"We're living in a world of more volatility, higher environmental risks and slower growth," says Mr. Immelt. "Companies that depend just on acquisitions to get growth will be left behind. The only way to get growth is to differentiate oneself with new products and services."
Carol_Hymowitz  GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  slow_growth  new_products  risks  volatility  differentiation 
march 2012 by jerryking
Once a Millstone, GE Capital Is Now a Profit Center - NYTimes.com
January 20, 2012, 12:08 pmInvestment Banking
Once a Millstone, GE Capital Is Now a Profit Center
By BEN PROTESS
GE 
january 2012 by jerryking
G.E. Wants Software for the 'Industrial Internet' - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR | November 21, 2011,
G.E. announced last Thursday that it was opening a new global software center in Northern California, with plans to hire 400 software engineers to develop code for what the company calls the “industrial Internet.”...The mission of the software center in San Ramon, Calif., will be to design the layer of software that makes the idea of intelligent machines a reality. In fact, G.E. already employs 5,000 software engineers worldwide, but they are working mostly on the close-to-the-metal programs that animate its machinery... The center will be building software for pulling the data from GE machines and then analyzing it for insights that reduce costs and improve efficiency and safety.
GE  Industrial_Internet  software 
december 2011 by jerryking
The Internet Gets Physical
By STEVE LOHR
Published: December 17, 2011

The next wave of computing does not step away from the consumer Internet so much as build on it for different uses (posing some of the same sorts of privacy and civil liberties concerns). Software techniques like pattern recognition and machine learning used in Internet searches, online advertising and smartphone apps are also ingredients in making smart devices to manage energy consumption, health care and traffic.
Industrial_Internet  sentiment_analysis  sensors  IBM  GE  Steve_Lohr 
december 2011 by jerryking
Harvard Business Review Group News | LinkedIn
August 30, 2011 | HBR | RON ASHKENAS (managing partner of Schaffer Consulting and a co-author of The GE Work-Out and The Boundaryless Organization. His latest book is Simply Effective.The Art of Asking Questions
1:39 PM Tuesday
HBR  questions  asking_the_right_questions  GE  books 
december 2011 by jerryking
How GE Teaches Teams to Lead Change
January 009 | HBR | by Steven Prokesch.

Idea in Brief

Management development programs that focus on teaching and inspiring individuals to apply new approaches have a fundamental flaw: If other members of an individual’s team have not taken the course, they may resist efforts to change.

The antidote to this problem is training intact management teams.

When managers go through a program together, they emerge with a consensus view of the opportunities and problems and how best to attack them. The result: faster and more effective change.
HBR  GE  teaching  teams  change  change_management  shared_consciousness  shared_experiences  Jeffrey_Immelt  training  leadership_development  innovation  growth 
november 2011 by jerryking
U.S. needs to try harder on the global stage - The Globe and Mail
CHRYSTIA FREELAND | Columnist profile
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Oct. 20, 2011

I had breakfast this week with Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive officer of GE, and the main dish on the menu was tough love. In an Americans can still win in the global economy – but that they need to fight harder...The competition Mr. Immelt and Ms. Clinton want U.S. companies to win is the battle for dominance in the global marketplace and for the chequebook of the growing global middle class....As a cautionary counterexample, he cited Japan. “When I was a young guy, when I first started with GE, Jack Welch sent us all to Japan because in those days Japan was gonna crush us,” he said. “And we learned a lot about Japan when we were there. But over the subsequent 30 years, the Japanese companies all fell behind. And the reason why they fell behind is because they didn’t globalize. They didn’t have to go out and sing for their dinner in every corner of the world. That’s not the case with GE. It’s not the case with other American multinationals.”...Smart businesses have figured out how to globalize. We don’t yet know if countries can do the same.
globalization  GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  Chrystia_Freeland  multinationals  exporting  national_identity  tough_love  global_economy 
october 2011 by jerryking
China Venture Is Good for GE but Is It Good for U.S.? - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

China Venture Is Good for GE but Is It Good for U.S.?

By JOHN BUSSEY
GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  China  avionics  aerospace  aviation  joint_ventures  technology_transfers 
september 2011 by jerryking
How GE gets information into staffers’ smartphones | Articles
When GE wanted to inform people about its business in health
care management, it could have trotted out a new Web page and e-mailed
announcements to staff, inviting itchy-fingered employees to hit the
delete button. Instead, it created a game for smartphones, targeting
both employees and the general public.
GE  smartphones  games 
september 2011 by jerryking
U.S. Companies Race to Catch Up in African Markets - WSJ.com
JUNE 6, 2011 | WSJ | By JAMES R. HAGERTY And WILL CONNORS.
US. companies' game of catch-up shows the perils of waking up late to
the next big frontier market, Africa. The continent's economy is
forecast to grow to $2.6 trillion in 2020 from $1.6 trillion in 2008,
fueled by booms in mining, agriculture and development of ports, roads
and other infrastructure, according to McKinsey Global Institute. The
middle class is growing, and total household spending now exceeds that
of India.
Cummins  Africa  China  U.S.  frontier_markets  GE  Google  ADM  Wal-Mart  Harley-Davidson  Caterpillar 
june 2011 by jerryking
Water's Scarcity Spells Opportunity for Entrepreneurs - NYTimes.com
By ERICA GIES
March 21, 2011
2030 Water Resources Group = an association of the World Bank, major
industrial water users and the consulting firm McKinsey.
Hydrovolts, a start-up company in Seattle, has developed a portable
turbine that generates energy from water flowing in irrigation canals.
BlackGold Biofuels, from Philadelphia, takes fats, oils and grease out
of wastewater to create biodiesel. WaterSmart Software = software helps
residential users track their consumption to save water and money.
Imagine H2O competition
the Artemis Project, a specialist consulting practice based in San
Francisco
water  scarcity  start_ups  XPV  venture_capital  vc  entrepreneur  water_footprints  fats  wastewater-treatment  contests  GE  Veolia 
march 2011 by jerryking
Holman Jenkins: GE's Nuclear Power Business and the Japanese Earthquake - WSJ.com
* MARCH 19, 2011 | | By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR. What GE Was
Thinking in 2011. Into the time machine to see how a major company coped
with its black swans. .
memoranda  satire  GE  Japan  Holman_Jenkins  nuclear  black_swan 
march 2011 by jerryking
For one U.S. CEO, China’s rise should not be feared but exploited - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 21, 2011 | Globe and Mail | by CHRYSTIA FREELAND.

The China challenge, in Mr. Immelt's view, is about much more than a manipulated exchange rate and "cheap labour." "It is the adaptability, it is the speed with which they move, it is the unanimity of purpose, it is the productivity of thought," he said, adding that when he visits his interlocutors at the Ministry of Railways in Beijing, the mandarins are at work on Sunday....Mr. Immelt thinks he knows what America needs to do to thrive in this changed world. "If you want to be a great country, which the U.S. has every right to want to be, you have got to be thinking about being a better exporter," he said. "Our only destiny can be as a high-tech exporter, that creates jobs, high-paying jobs … Export-led growth is the key to national success."
==================================
See Tom Friedman's reference to "This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries)."
Chrystia_Freeland  China_rising  GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  China  Hu_Jintao  exporting  adaptability  speed  unanimity  mission-driven  purpose 
january 2011 by jerryking
Obama Sends Pro-Business Signal With Adviser Choice - NYTimes.com
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and ANAHAD O’CONNOR
Published: January 21, 2011
Jeffrey_Immelt  Obama  GE  pro-business 
january 2011 by jerryking
China Squeezes Foreigners for Share of Global Riches - WSJ.com
DECEMBER 29, 2010 | WSJ | By SHAI OSTER, NORIHIKO SHIROUZU
And PAUL GLADER. China's big government-backed companies now have
enormous financial resources and growing political clout, making them
attractive partners outside China. In addition, the Chinese market has
become so important to the success of multinational companies that
Beijing has the ability to drive harder bargains.

But such deals also carry risk. Several earlier joint ventures inside
China have soured over concerns that Chinese partners, after gaining
access to Western technology and know-how, have gone on to become potent
new rivals to their partners.
Beijing  China  deception  economic_clout  GE  joint_ventures  multinationals  political_clout  predatory_practices  rivalries  SOEs 
december 2010 by jerryking
U.S. business leaders finally getting that international feeling
Dec. 10, 2010 | G&M | CHRYSTIA FREELAND...After a century
when succeeding in the U.S. was the surest route to commercial success,
the country’s best businessmen and women have realized that the way to
win is to go global....in the U.S. just 10 % of Fortune 500 chiefs were
foreigners. Now that the American century is over, however, U.S. biz
leaders are catching on fast. A sign of the times was the recent
decision by Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, to move to Paris for
3 to 6 mths. next year...Like Blackstone, GE is moving its chiefs to
where the action is: Last month John Rice, a GE vice-chairman, was
reassigned to Hong Kong, where he will oversee non-U.S. sales, mktg.
& operations....the shift of U.S. capital and American capitalists
outside the country will further polarize an already bitter national
debate. By 2012, Americans won’t just be arguing about tax breaks for
millionaires, they’ll be targeting the millionaires who spend six months
a year in Paris or Hong Kong.
globalization  Chrystia_Freeland  Blackstone  Fortune_500  parochialism  GE  Stephen_Schwarzman  CEOs  leadership  cosmopolitan 
december 2010 by jerryking
GE's Immelt Targets Elderly Japan - WSJ.com
JUNE 1, 2010 |WSJ| By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI. Targeting Japan's
growing elderly population, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt pushed the country
Monday to invest in health-care IT systems & devices that make home
treatment easier. Immelt, who was in Tokyo speaking at GE's
"Healthymagination" conference, said health care is a growing business
in both developed & emerging markets but the Japanese could play a
leading role in several trends taking place in the industry. "So if I
were to write a business plan for you, it would be to dominate
health-care IT and home health-care devices," ... "Those are places in
health care you can actually lead." Fielding a question about how to
re-energize a Japan beset with deflation, an aging population & the
rise of Asian neighbors, Immelt said the high rate of Internet
connectivity makes the country fertile ground to develop Web-based
information technology systems that combine electronics medical records
with the tools for clinical decision making.
GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  Japan  elderly  healthcare  health_informatics 
november 2010 by jerryking
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