I listened to rather than read this biography of Jack Welch’s leadership of GE, and the version I listened to was an abridged version.
As someone who’s not a fan of working in big businesses I wasn’t sure how useful I’d find this one. But actually, I really enjoyed listening to it, and will be taking it out again in the car with me on the next long journey.
Jack Welch ran GE for decades, and in that time totally changed the business. Often doing persuing strategies that the rest of the market thought were crazy.
What I particularly enjoyed about the book is understanding how change needs to happen one step at a time. For example, whilst trying to focus the business Welch decided that GE would exit any market where they were not the biggest or second biggest player. This worked really well, and the company profited and grew. Several years later it became apparent that the businesses within GE had defined their marketplaces so that they would always be 1st or 2nd – thus missing out on the sales opportunities to the wider market. So a new strategy had to be bought in, and the management educated again.
This story reeks of patience! Do just one thing at a time, and understand that it takes time to change, and so new activities need be given time to proove themselves.
A really good listen.