You may be aware of the serious business challenges GE is experiencing and the well storied decline of this industrial icon over the past several years. How could this happen at GE? And what really happened at GE? It’s not what most people think. There is the party line, and then there is a deeper, more revealing view.
By most accounts there was a long string of financial missteps that eroded profits, shareholder value and the stock price. “For example, from 2010 through 2014, when oil prices hovered around $100 a barrel, GE bought at least nine businesses in the oil and gas industry. Then, in 2016, with prices down by half, it agreed to combine its oil and gas unit with Baker Hughes…” Stock prices for the new unit, of which GE was the major shareholder, fell and never recovered. This stoked GE’s reputation as a company that bought high and sold low.
Greg Baker, on February 16, 2019
In my last article I wrote about the urgency of preparing our companies, agencies and schools for the future of work, and the business trends contributing to our generally unsatisfactory progress. My assertion was, and is, that in this new era the best way to advance the way we work is to manage the energy of our businesses. Doing so gives us the clarity to understand how things work, what gets in the way, and what it takes to more consistently achieve good outcomes and financial results. This article is an introduction to how Enterprise Energy works.
Enterprise Energy is a very real thing. In the world of physics, energy is defined as the capacity of a physical system to perform work. That definition carries easily into the world of business. In this world, the “physical system” is a company, agency or educational institution. Its level of energy, which is determined by the success of its collective work streams, determines its current capacity to perform work. To optimize capacity during any given time period, the trick is to generate more energy than you use in the performance of the work. For any business, the greater the net gain in energy, the more successful it will be.
Greg Baker, on January 26, 2019
We find ourselves at the dawn of a new era in business when managing, transforming and preparing our companies, agencies and schools for the future of work is both urgent and essential. And, frankly, this preparation is hitting some serious speed bumps. Business is up against the stops and our traditional management practices aren’t getting us there.
Harnessing the hidden power of energy is a new approach that gives us the understanding we haven’t had and the wherewithal to move beyond the speed bumps. It’s based on a fundamental premise: If you want to achieve success in the marketplace, manage the internal energy of your business. This isn’t the kind of energy that runs your car or keeps the lights on. It’s the energy that permeates everything happening in your business. It works within a system, and if you learn to read the indicators of energy within the context of that system, you will have the insight and information to know why some things work and others don’t. You will have the tools to truly transform your business. Ultimately, you will have an advantage as you prepare your business and the people in it for the future of work.
Greg Baker, on July 31, 2015
What’s that you say? Your organization has “communication problems”? I’ve heard that one before. It’s almost as common as “A guy walks into a bar…”, but not as funny. If there is a funny part it is that people often speak with apparent authority about “communication problems” without understanding what causes them at the root. Consequently, when we don’t understand problems at their root, we can never solve them. This article drills in on five top causes of business communication problems. It helps expose communication problems as mostly symptoms, not core problems.
Greg Baker, on May 18, 2015
On the field of battle we once heard Ready, Aim, Fire! Similarly, in today’s business environment, where working effectively is the name of the game, people must Engage, Align and Execute! If you want to be good at what you do, whether it is systems engineering, finance, HR, management consulting or some other discipline, here is your prescriptive advice: