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Showing posts with label Jeff Immelt Detroit Economic Club GE General Electric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeff Immelt Detroit Economic Club GE General Electric. Show all posts

July 1, 2009

5 Ways GE is charging up their tired batteries

Jeff Immelt spoke before the Detroit Economic Club yesterday and I got summary notes from Judith Ellis via Tom Peters web site. Here is some of what he said:
"Many bought into the idea that America could go from a technology-based, export-oriented powerhouse to a services-led, consumption-based economy — and somehow still expect to prosper. That idea was flat wrong."
"Recently my colleague Peter Loescher, the CEO of Siemens, extolled the importance of Germany as an exporting country. In my career, I have never heard an American CEO say that the United States should be leading in exports. Well, I am saying it today: This country ought to be, and we can be, not just the world’s leading market but a leading exporter as well. GE plans to lead this effort. We have restructured during the downturn, adjusting to the market realities. At the same time, we are increasing our investments. We plan to launch more new products during this downturn than at any time in our history. We will sell these products in every corner of the world. We are creating a better company coming out of this reset. Similarly, America needs a dramatic industrial renewal. We have to move forward on five fronts."
First: Increase investment in research and development.
"GE has never forgotten the importance of R&D. Each year, we put six percent of our industrial revenue back into technology — so much that more than half of the products we sell today didn’t even exist a decade ago. As a consequence, we are a huge exporter… GE’s R&D budget has not been cut. And that’s a course of action I’d recommend to every company that wants to get through the economic crisis even stronger than before."
Second: America should get busy addressing the two biggest global challenges — clean energy and affordable health care.
"There is no question whether there will be break throughs in these areas — just by who and when. The leader in these fields will dominate the global economy in the decades that come."
Third: We must make a serious commitment to manufacturing and exports.
"This is a national imperative. "We all know that the American consumer cannot lead our recovery. This economy must be driven by business investment and exports… America has to get back in that game … and it starts with a strong core of innovation."
Fourth: We should welcome the government as a catalyst for leadership and change.
"There’s a long history in this country of government spending that prepares the way for new industries that thrive for generations. Think of the NIH or NASA, and all the new innovations that came out of these programs — from computing to communications to health care. America has that kind of chance with unprecedented levels of new government investment. ... The key is making sure those hundreds of billions of dollars fall on the fertile ground of innovation, and not bureaucracy."
Fifth: It is possible for a global business leader to also be a good citizen.
"We must partner in our communities. Big business should work with smaller companies in our supply chain to help them compete globally. And we should partner with local governments to fix our education system. In the end, business leaders are accountable for the competitiveness of their own country. We must say so publicly. This will not hurt our ability to globalize. Rather, I think it will make other countries admire our business leaders more. We must end the impression that American CEOs are short-term speculators."

Fighting words from Immelt and interesting themes.
Here in Canada, our Government is certainly listening and asking what they can do to help business. Government can play a big role in driving markets and being the first customer of size. At least Jeff Immelt is an American leader taking all the criticism about the US and, as a result, doing something differently today. Lead on, Jeff.