General Electric is a great case study for how a large corporation can change their company culture and strategy to become more innovative.
In this exclusive interview with Linkedin (video above), CEO Jeff Immelt talks through some of the changes the company is in the process of implementing to adjust to the needs of the future.
I highly recommend you give it a watch.
Some of the noteworthy things discussed in the interview:
On speeding up decision making in a large company:
We may be a century-old company, but we need to move quickly, take risks, fail fast and behave like a startup to keep winning. I joined GE 34 years ago, and until recently our management could make every decision in the headquarters. Those days are over. We have to embrace decentralization and use technology to help our people to stay connected and allow more automated decision-making so you can look at an app and see what’s going on inside the company.
On the skills needed by the new generation of employees:
If you are joining the company in your 20s, unlike when I joined, you’re going to learn to code. It doesn’t matter whether you are in sales, finance or operations. You may not end up being a programmer, but you will know how to code. We are also changing the plumbing inside the company to connect everyone and make the culture change possible. This is existential and we’re committed to this.
On scrapping the annual performance review system:
We are also changing the way we evaluate our people. We’re trying to end anything that was annual or quarterly and make everything more real-time. We wanted to make the feedback process more like how we give each other advice in the real world. Instead of an annual review, we have an app PD @ GE where our people are getting continuous insights from their colleagues that they can use to get better every day.
If a company as large and old as GE can become more innovative, how can yours?