We see size differently. We understand its inherent limitationson speed and on clarity of communications, among other thingsand we fight every day to create the quickness and spirit of a small company. But we appreciate the one huge advantage size offers: the ability to take big swings, big risks, and to live outside the technology envelope, to live in the future. Size allows us to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in an enormously ambitious program like the GE90, the world's highest-thrust jet engine, and the "H" turbine, the world's highest-efficiency turbine generator. Size allows us to introduce at least one new product in every segment, every year, in medical diagnostics, or to spend hundreds of millions on new plastics capacity, or to continue to invest in a business during a down cycle, or to make over 100 acquisitions a year, year after year.
Our size allows us to do this knowing that we don't have to be perfect, that we can take more risks, knowing that not all will succeed. That's because our sizefar from inhibiting innovation, the conventional stereotypeactually allows us to take more and bigger swings. We don't connect with every one, but the point is, our size allows us to miss a fewwithout missing a beat.
In a digitized world, the internal workings of companies will be exposed to the world, and bureaucracies will be seen by all for what they are: slow, self-absorbed, customer insensitiveeven silly.
Self-Confidence, Simplicity and Speed
Self-confidence in turn allows one to communicate simply and clearlywithout the business jargon, busy charts, convoluted memos and incomprehensible presentations that insecure leaders use to mask their self-doubt. Leaders who lack self-confidence use their intelligence to make things more complex. Self-confident people use it to make things simpler.
Simplicity clarifies communications and enhances the chance that everyone in the organization gets the same message. Those clear, simple messages energize people and inspire them to action; thus simplicity leads to speed, one of the key drivers of business success.
And it's about the four "types" that represent the way we evaluate and deal with our existing leaders. Type I: shares our values; makes the numberssky's the limit! Type II: doesn't share the values; doesn't make the numbersgone. Type III: shares the values; misses the numberstypically, another chance, or two.
None of these three are tough calls, but Type IV is the toughest call of all: the manager who doesn't share the values, but delivers the numbers; the "go-to" manager, the hammer, who delivers the bacon but does it on the backs of people, often "kissing up and kicking down" during the process. This type is the toughest to part with because organizations always want to deliverit's in the bloodand to let someone go who gets the job done is yet another unnatural act. But we have to remove these Type IVs because they have the power, by themselves, to destroy the open, informal, trust-based culture we need to win today and tomorrow.
We made our leap forward when we began removing our Type IV managers and making it clear to the entire Company why they were asked to leavenot for the usual "personal reasons" or "to pursue other opportunities," but for not sharing our values. Until an organization develops the courage to do this, people will never have full confidence that these soft values are truly real. There are undoubtedly a few Type IVs remaining, and they must be found. They must leave the Company, because their behavior weakens the trust that more than 300,000 people have in its leadership.
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