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Making Room for Growth


Post was originally published on GE Transportation CEO Jamie Miller’s LinkedIn.

Through ever-shifting cycles and unrelenting demands for immediate execution and results, it can be daunting for leaders to distinguish valuable action from tactical distraction. Endless tasks that command immediacy today, fuel a constant fight for oxygen to think strategically and secure growth for tomorrow.

It’s a constant challenge for most businesses. We need to respond to the current uncertain global economy, while staying focused on the data-driven revolution of the industries we serve. We are transforming GE Transportation—digitizing locomotives, leveraging technologies from across GE’s businesses to improve navigation, efficiency and eliminate downtime. An effort this sweeping requires us to keep an eye fixed on the horizon, to ensure we deliver on customer expectations now, while constantly evolving ourselves to remain a market leader for yet another century—beginning with the next decade.

My approach to make room for growth is daily. Every morning, I make two lists – one with the things I have to do today to help organize, focus and mobilize execution for our customers; the other is a list of how we fuel tomorrow’s growth…

What’s on my tomorrow list? One major topic is the digital transformation of our business—making our factories brilliant; leveraging advanced software and analytics to address inefficiency, reliability and productivity issues that represent a $16 billion opportunity for the rail industry; and driving our digital transformation to continue to deliver deeper value for our customers.

My tomorrow list also includes customers across the globe that need future-oriented outcomes. Our customers in India are counting on us to deliver on a ten- year commitment to build 1,000 GE locomotives (the largest locomotive deal in the country’s history) – fueling their modernization efforts in the second-fastest growing emerging economy. Our customers there and in Africa and Brazil need to see results from our investments to grow local capabilities, talent and skills through our state-of-the art training facilities. Customers on every continent are looking to us not only for great, reliable products today—but for kinetic thinking and partnerships that will help them enhance their internal and local capabilities in manufacturing and services now and beyond.

My tomorrow list includes questions: Do we have the right talent in the right places? Are our teams truly living each second for our customers? Are we proactively and deliberately embedding a culture of simplicity and accountability? Is our organization designed and aligned to drive growth with speed? How do we more deeply embed and thread digital DNA through our big industrial business? Increasingly I’m asking myself and my teams to step back and focus on that tomorrow list—the list that will help us truly make room for growth.

What’s on yours?

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