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GE Africa (Lagos)

How to Run a Global Firm at a Time of Anger about Globalization

During his commencement address at New York University's Stern School of Business on May 20, GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt described to the gradauting class of future business leaders the real world they were about to enter. "People around the world are angry about globalization", which is "being attacked as never before." According to the GE chairman, "globalization no longer means "complex and centralized bureaucracies" recycling one-size-fits-all solutions, but rather globalization today means "innovating to solve problems with local capability." Read the rest of the comencement address. Find out more about GE in Africa in this BRIEFING

"Executing a new global strategy requires simpler organizations. Complex and centralized bureaucracies are obsolete. Change requires new business models … leaner, faster, more decentralized. The days of cycling global ideas through a central headquarters is over. Globalization requires pushing capability to local teams who are empowered to take risks without second guessing... A good global leader has an appreciation for how people do their work in a local culture. They try to make a team‘s work meaningful to their country. This allows us to hire the best talent in every country where we compete" - GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt commencement address to graduates of NYU’s Stern School of Business on May 20 2016.

"...Many people around the world are angry about globalization and companies and governments are both to blame for it. But now is not the time to turn inward as a result... You are entering a volatile global economy, the most uncertain I have ever seen. This is a world that needs better leaders, with new skill sets. The playbook from the past won’t cut it today. My advice for you as you enter this world is to be flexible, be bold, and don’t fear criticism. Today, I want to discuss how these lessons can be used to navigate the seismic transformation underway in globalization" - GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt commencement address to graduates of NYU’s Stern School of Business on May 20 2016.


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