Jack Welch is arguably the most talked about and widely emulated manager in business history. He’s used his uncanny instincts and unique leadership strategies to run GE, the most complex organization in the world, increasing its market value by more than $400 billion over two decades.
I had the chance to interview Jack Welch at a recent HSM Group conference, and I asked him about his view of Web 2.0 technologies:
Buzz Marketing: So Jack, what do you think about CEOs like Jonathan Schwartz of Sun Microsystems writing their own blogs?
Jack: CEOs have to be candid with their people; it’s a lot easier to be candid when you’re the guy at the top than when you are trying to move up the organization. But lack of candor is the biggest problem in companies today.
Buzz Marketing: So what is your advice for companies adopting new Web 2.0 technologies like RSS, social networking, podcasting and videocasting?
Jack: Just be authentic. Be clear in your vision, and have one message and one view that are authentic. I worked somewhere once where they had different messages for employees, analysts and the press. There should be only one message for everyone, and fight like hell to get that message across everywhere you go.
So where is the Buzz? Jack Welch did many memorable things during his time with GE. He is said to have made GE an Internet-based company, making him an early adopter of the technology. Walking away from our conversation, I felt that he saw value in using Web 2.0 technologies internally to create an Enterprise 2.0, rather than for their marketing potential. I hope he starts reading this blog regularly.