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As a child the last thing I wanted to do was disappoint my parents.
As I recall my childhood, I remember deciding one day to climb a tree, even though I had been warned by my parents not to do so. Consequently, I fell and hurt my arm. At the time I didn’t realize how serious the injury was, and I was scared to tell my parents. I went to my bedroom thinking that if I waited long enough my arm would eventually get better… It didn’t. My arm quickly started to swell, and the pain increased until it became unbearable, and I had no choice but to ask for help. In hindsight, it would have been much better to let my parents know of my injury right away, so that I could get the medical treatment I needed to minimize the extent of my injury.
Years later, I am reminded of this story as I think about our company. As I try to understand how GE got here, some common themes come to mind: being afraid to disappoint our leaders; trying to deliver on unrealistic expectations; and in some cases ignoring the ugly truth we were facing. We know better than to think the problem will go away if we avoid it and don’t talk about it.
To make a GE that will be around for another 125 years, we must get comfortable speaking our minds with complete candor, and we must not be afraid to ask for help.
For us to create a culture where we can really thrive, we need to ask ourselves three key questions:
• What creates a culture work environment where we are confident to speak-up and ask for help?

• How do we create an environment where we are not afraid to disappoint when the message is hard to swallow?

• Is our culture something we live each day or is it reserved for wallet cards and company posters.

Each day we have a choice to make. We can either be a bystander or we can choose to be the change we want to see. Collectively, we can be incredibly powerful and we ARE the GE Culture.
MDC – Grey, Pink and Yellow Teams

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