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The top ten list why GE provides a blueprint on how to successfully digitally transform

Posted April 27, 2014 in Driving Digital Transformation, The Challenge of Digital Transformation by Jeffrey Ries. The original post appears to have been taken down, the cached version is here.

“The host of The Late Show, David Letterman, has been providing America with smiles since 1982. He recently announced that he will retire sometime in 2015 and Stephen Colbert will be taking over the reins. The show’s most famous segment is easily The Top Ten List which usually covers humorous topics such as “Top Ten Signs Your Kid Had A Bad First Day At School” or “Top Ten Rejected James Bond Gadgets” or based on current events. In an ode to David Letterman’s last few months sitting atop the throne of the “The Late Show” and our last case in Digital Innovation and Transformation, I have worked with the writer’s of The Late Show to create a top 10 list on why General Electric will be successful in the digital transformation age and provides a blueprint for other companies to also make the transition..  

Drum roll please….

#10: Identification of changing landscape: 

In 2011, GE invested $1 billion in the “Industrial Internet” which it referred to as the convergence of big iron and big data. Recognizing the coming shift, GE was prepared to lead its company into the future. GE identified that data from its products could be used to increase efficiency, minimize waste, and allow people operating machinery to make better informed decisions.

#9: Support from senior leadership: 

In order to … Continue reading

HBR: Digital Lessons from a 122 Year Old Company

Originally posted April 30, 2014 in Driving Digital Transformation, The Challenge of Digital Transformation by Kristin, on The original post appears to have been taken down, the cached version is here.

“This semester we’ve had the opportunity to look at a number of established firms that have attempted a digital transformation. Of all of the established firms that we’ve studied, few have taken as big of a bet on ‘digital’ as General Electric. I was surprised to see that a 122 year old industrial equipment firm has invested over $1 billion in building digital capabilities and new business models for its Industrial Internet initiative. However, after learning about the progress GE has made in the Industrial Internet Initiative, I became more convinced that GE has taken many of the right steps toward enduring success in its digital transformation. Four key themes I identified from GE’s initiative also provide critical lessons for other established firms who are undergoing digital transformation.

Leadership from the top

One of the most critical success factors in driving change at such a large organization is that it is supported at the very top. Jeff Immelt recognizes the changing landscape and the growing importance of software and services across GE’s businesses. Instead of focusing solely on the massive “core” hardware business, Immelt embraces the industrial internet as an opportunity – believing that GE’s huge installed base of (literally) billions of machines gives his company a right to win in the space.

Immelt has set a vision … Continue reading


The Seven Pillars of Leadership

On a superficial level, leadership development training can be broken down into two steps: breaking bad habits and replacing them with good habits. Essentially, leadership is habitual. It has to be provided consistently and it has to be lived every day. It has to be an integral part of your being. Nothing less will be effective in the long run. Here are seven habits that make great pillars for any leader.*


It is important to have a belief that everything is going to work out great. Employees will follow an optimistic leader a lot further than they will follow a pessimist.

Direction and Planning

You must know where your organisation is going and how to get it there. Whether you are leading a small department or a major corporation, you must have a destination and a plan to lead effectively.


The best plan is worthless without the resources to get it done. Give your employees the tools they require for success.


Leadership is more than telling people what to do. It is important to listen to your employees to help solve current problems or nip potential problems in the bud. Your employees are your greatest resource. Don’t take them lightly.

Cooperation, NOT Confrontation

When employees do something wrong, don’t ever confront them in public. Talk to them in private in a spirit of cooperation.

Leadership by Example

The best leaders lead by example. Employees like to know that their leaders aren’t asking them to do … Continue reading


Five Beliefs that Inhibit the Formation of Leadership

Our leadership development courses can help you find and develop leaders from within your company. We have helped numerous Perth businesses do just that. We have found that one of the main obstacles for neophyte leaders is that they often have beliefs that keep them from developing as leaders. Here are five beliefs that must be deprogrammed from anyone who wants to be a leader.

“I Don’t Get the Opportunities I Deserve.”

This comes from the inaccurate perception that opportunities are something that one must wait to be given. True leaders find opportunities every day. Every interaction is an opportunity to produce and help the organisation.

“Someone Always Holds Me Back.”

This places blame for a lack of success on outside forces instead of taking personal responsibility for failures. Leaders share credit and take responsibility for failure. Ultimately, leaders use negative outcomes as learning experiences and come back swinging.

“I Am Overworked.”

In today’s business climate, people have heavy workloads. It can seem like there isn’t enough time, but most people would benefit from better time management. Leaders get things done quickly and efficiently, then move on to the next task.

“I’ll Work Harder When I Get Paid More.”

The correct order in any company is to work harder first and then get rewarded by a raise. In business, returns are usually dependent upon production. Leaders work hard all of the time and trust that their results will bring rewards.

“I Don’t Have Any Special Talents.”

There are other … Continue reading


Study Indicates that a Promotive Voice is More Effective than a Prohibitive Voice

When we are conducting leadership development programs or providing executive coaching to Perth managers and executives, we focus on being “results-oriented.” We have seen a lot of organisations that were so focused on finding fault that they couldn’t properly focus on creativity and innovation.

Recently, we found an article in the Harvard Business Journal that agrees with one important facet of our approach. The article was titled, “Looking for Problems Makes Us Tired.” The main takeaway of the study was that a prohibitive voice creates fatigue among management and employees while a promotive voice doesn’t.

We find this to be a central issue in many managers. A promotive voice represents ideas for improvement while a prohibitive voice represents concern and criticism. It takes a lot of energy to constantly monitor processes and employees for mistakes. This energy could be used more effectively in creating more efficient systems and empowering individuals to achieve and make decisions.

Ultimately, the prohibitive voice focuses on what can go wrong, while the promotive voice focuses on what can go right. We don’t by any means advocate negligence, but we do think the focus should be on results and on achieving both individual and organisational peak performance.

Executive Coaching

Our executive coaching and Coaching Skills for Managers course has helped thousands of managers improve their performance.

We use a four-quadrant approach to fully develop leaders and executives professionally and personally. The four quadrants represent the subjective, intersubjective, objective and interobjective perspectives. If any issue … Continue reading

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