GE: Driving A Culture Of Innovation

By

Lim Lay Hsuan

06-12-2014

4 min read

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Photo (above): A diverse workforce culture at GE facilitates a conducive environment to drive innovation and inspiration.

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“As part of growing employees, leaders are encouraged to invest a third of their time to develop the next generation of GE leaders.” – Stuart Dean, CEO of GE ASEAN

From its first sales and service centre in 1975, GE Malaysia has grown in terms of presence, operating mainly out of its headquarters in KL Sentral, an aircraft engine maintenance, repair and overhaul centre in Subang, as well as several key customer sites throughout the country supporting many leading Malaysian companies across various industries.

Malaysia remains an important market for GE’s ASEAN growth strategy, as it offers significant opportunities for growth and innovation due to its strategic location, strong infrastructure and supportive government policies.

GE Malaysia has a workforce of over 700, of which 90% are Malaysians. They also hold positions supporting GE’s operations worldwide.

 

Global innovation ecosystem

Innovation is a major thrust of Malaysia’s development plan to move the economy up the value chain, shifting wealth creation away from the traditional drivers of economic growth (land, labour, and capital) towards knowledge, technology and innovation.

GE is committed to supporting the growth of Malaysia’s innovation ecosystem through collaboration with local government agencies such as Agensi Inovasi Malaysia and Malaysian Green Tech Corp through public awareness campaigns, joint market development and open innovation initiatives.

 

Nurturing talents and growing leaders

Relentless in its effort to grow its people, GE became No. 1 in the world in the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders survey 2014.

1. Leadership training and development

To develop Malaysian talent, GE conducts various training and development programmes, for its employees, at all levels.

GE also collaborates with local partners like TalentCorp to address key issues on talent management, as well as with local universities and colleges on internship and outreach programmes.

From the outset, GE has had a number of entry level programmes such as the Graduate Engineering Management and the Financial Management programmes whereby fresh graduates are hired and rotated in stretched roles with assigned coaches.

Some of the new leadership programmes introduced across GE are EMERGE and RISE, which are unique to senior most levels, taking a dynamic approach for the challenges of today’s business environment.

2. Supplier system and SME development

GE’s operations in Malaysia support the growth of supply chains, increasing the competitiveness of local suppliers and contributing to job creation for Malaysians in the healthcare, oil and gas, and aviation sectors.

Globally, for every GE job created, an additional six to seven jobs are created in the supplier industries GE works with.

In Malaysia, there are more than 2,000 vendors supplying services and products to GE across various businesses, with an estimation of over 400 Malaysia-based suppliers.

Aside from purchasing directly from Malaysian suppliers which supports local job creation, GE also shares global best practices and technological know-how to help the up-skilling of local talent and enables local companies to become more competitive.

 

Technical and operational skills capacity building

The iCenter is GE’s global centre, set up to ensure 24/7 monitoring and diagnostics services for GE’s installed fleet of turbo machinery for oil and gas customers throughout the world.

The iCenter in Kuala Lumpur is managed by local diagnostic engineers, who can call upon over 11 million hours of machine data from around the globe. Allied with big data and analytics, they are able to provide customers with recommendations to ensure that their equipment is performing at optimum levels.


GE’s leadership philosophy

GE Vikram

Vikram Cardozo, senior human resources (HR) director for GE ASEAN, sums up GE’s leadership philosophy:

  • Meritocracy-based company whereby great results and deliverables are vital.
  • Collaborative and teamwork-based company whereby there is no “me” but “we” in the organisation.
  • Experiential company whereby GE employees learn from 80% on-the-job stretched assignments and 20% from formal trainings.

“Developing people is embedded in our culture and integral to our growth. It’s how we have globally sustained a 130-year record of innovation and replication for leadership and how we solve the world’s toughest challenges. We believe that everyone at GE is a leader. When one person grows, we all grow and together, we all rise. We grow our leaders to have a multiplier effect to drive better outcomes.” – Vikram Cardozo, senior HR director for GE ASEAN


Doing things that matter

GE Sugunah

When asked what distinguishes a true HR practitioner, Sugunah Verumandy, HR director for GE Malaysia who recently received the gold award for HR Leader in the 14th Malaysia HR Awards responds:

“It is someone who is humble, approachable and demonstrates a genuine interest to connect with all levels of their people and help them to grow.”

 

1. Transforming the culture of organisation

“We continue to transform as an organisation, driving towards better decision-making and delivering better outcomes for our customers.”

“We recently introduced GE Beliefs which offers a new mindset, spirit and behaviour to help us work together to define a new way to deliver on our company’s strategy of simplication and exceeding of customer expectations.”

“There are diverse career opportunities for you to explore and grow professionally in GE. With GE, we are constantly evolving to changes in the market, and we encourage our talents to adapt, and go above and beyond. In fact, GE is known to grow leaders who are ambidextrous and can successfully strategise and execute ideas.”

 

2. Work-life flexibility

“We acknowledge that there are often no clear cut lines of work and personal life. At GE, we want to create an environment that enables flexibility and support.

Besides practising flexible work arrangements and benefit options, we also have an employee coaching programme for employees to utilise depending on their individual needs, and it extends to family members living under the same roof, should they need assistance or guidance in their personal or professional life.”

To know more about career prospects at GE, visit www.ge.com/my/careers

 

Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 6 December 2014

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