Jack Welch on Strategy

In a recent post titled Jack Welch on Candor and Differentiation, I introduced Jack Welch’s book titled ‘Winning’. Today, I share Jack’s commentary on ‘Strategy.

Over the past few years, I have enjoyed helping clients originate and implement their own business strategies while at the same time design and execute our own strategy at Think Outsource, Inc.

At Think Outsource, we even used the word ‘strategy’ in our strategy: “Think Outsource helps growing organizations develop, implement and maintain their own custom technology strategy that will serve as a foundation for their unique business processes and will grow and change as their organization does.”

The #1 and #2 challenges we experienced in developing and implementing business strategies over the last few years has been the natural tendencies for organizations to first over complicate their strategy and then after a few months water down that same strategy in order to make it ‘more obtainable.’

Jack addresses these obstacles regarding ‘strategy’ in Chapter 11 of ‘Winning’ where he states “you just shouldn’t agonize over it. Find the right aha and set the direction, put the right people in place, and work like crazy to execute better than everyone else, finding best practices and improving them everyday.”

Welch concludes his comments on ‘strategy’ by saying “You may not run a corner store, but when you’re making strategy, act like you do.”

Well said Mr. Welch.

Q: What was the Jack Welch ‘strategy’ he implemented while at General Electric that help contribute to his celebrity CEO status and arguably GE’s success under his leadership?

A: While at GE, Welch implemented one of business’ most historic strategies when he stated ‘We will be number one or two in every business we’re in, or we will fix it, close it or sell it.’