ULTIMATE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: Jack Welch

An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.

— Jack Welch *

 

LEARNING AND ACTING RAPIDLY... what a incredible combination.

At GE, a world leader for decades, Jack Welch proved that figuring out what would benefit customers — and quickly delivering it — could become a real source of advantage.

Imagine if you focused on continually seeking out what your customers want and need — and then making it happen fast?

What could that lead to?

It could make you untouchable... 

Carl Francis

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* Jack Welch was chairman and CEO of General Electric from 1981 to 2001. During his tenure, the company's value rose from $12 billion to $280 billion. He is widely recognized as the best business manager of the 20th century.

Through the 1980s and 90s, Welch streamlined GE: trimming inventories; dismantling bureaucracy; closing factories; reducing payrolls; and cutting lackluster units. Welch believed a company should be #1 or #2 in an industry — or get out. To implement his market leadership strategy, Welch made 600 acquisitions to shift into and later dominate emerging markets.

Welch also lived speed and decisiveness in building a stronger GE. He continuously selected and developed leaders — and then quickly focused them on achieving goals. Even in retirement, he spends much of his time teaching executives and young leaders.