Going behind the outside-in of imagination at GE.

In the past few months I have become interested in GE and how it is managing innovation. Often you read a number of negative reports on GE but is this just the big guy being picked upon by more nimble observers that have a limited insight into what is going on behind the walls of GE?

What is under the innovation bonnet at GE?

There does seems an awful lot going on in GE around innovation on what we can observe from outside looking in. Of course you would expect this in an organization the size of GE employing 300,000 people across 100 countries and generating $150 billion dollars in revenue.

In Jeffrey Immelts (Chair and CEO) own words “the toughest years of my life were 2008 to 2009”.To drop 31 billion dollars in revenue in two years is tough to manage through, and to see net earnings drop by nearly $6 billion dollars in this period to where it
is today, of $11.6 billion dollars, must have been  very hard.

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The power and promise within innovation: shifting up our gears

Are the rules around innovation changing? Are we spotting the changes in the drivers and current deterrents of innovation? What are the present day perceptions around the innovation challenges?

GE released their first-of-its-kind “Global Innovation Barometer” at the end of January 2011. It is focusing on identifying the changing landscape for innovation in the 21st century. It suggests innovation will be a catalyst for improving multiple areas of citizen’s lives in the next ten years.

In many ways it paints a very optimist future for innovation. Innovation, the survey predicts, will create jobs, improve lives, address more human needs, find better ways to collaborate and learn, and simply create good in people’s lives with the promise of prosperity.

I wonder a little differently: are we not placing too bigger a burden on innovations shoulders?”

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