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GE Lead Brain Based Way?

Posted Nov 09 2009 10:02pm

Great news from GE leaders today,  according to WSJ’s Paul Glader.  Any organization willing to change and grow, after a fall,  also holds potential to create a prototype for global change and growth.  Both qualities urgently needed in the broader business community. Bravo!

Let’s get behind GE’s  initiative and begin to move in new directions as a business community.

There will be speed-bumps though. Consider GE plans for new directions and then factor in a few basic brain facts that impact change.  How so?

1). They plan to teach humility. Without doubt, humility that is hardwired into minds, is the stuff that builds and sustains a brain powered community. It’s also true that arrogance tends to trigger a toxic workplace. But why does virtue come easier to some people, while eluding others like deer hide from hunters? That must be addressed in their renewal sessions.

2). Executives plan to discuss in small groups their business units, looking at how to prepare for crises. Success from these roundtables can only come with the kind of facilitation skills that spark innovative brainpower. For instance, when brainpower is tapped to climb back on sinking ground, groups will add serotonin that stimulates determination to hang in regardless of criticism from the outside, and to help others win.

3). They hope to learn from mistakes. Having been hard hit by the recession, VP Susan Peters statement, “We were close to financial meltdown,” will have to become, “We can grow past the cortisol chemicals that spread gloom faster than donuts disappear from a Monday morning staff room.”  It takes brain based smart skills to move past mistakes to genuine brainpower for growth and ongoing renewal.

Current CEO Jeff Immelt is honing in on terrific new themes: growth, change and flexibility. However, none is available without asking the kind of questions that help the old guard leap over life’s ruts. This involves exciting new discoveries about hidden traps that can undo brainpower.  It means snipping your amygdala, when others ridicule new directions. It also means leaving no brains behind this time through.

The company invited reporters to its training facility in Crotonville this week to show them how it is training managers in a post-recession world. Who will they invite in to learn new strategies to move forward?

Hopefully they’ll invite diverse leaders in to show how brain parts promote or stomp out change.  Hopefully they’ll consider neuro-discoveries that add growth and prosperity and get past  toxins from cynics that flood regressing workplaces. Go GE go!

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