Family Business Lessons From GE’s Harsh Decline

How do once great companies fail? How would you know if your business was heading down a slippery slope?

Listen to our blog this week as Wayne shares hard earned lessons from GE’s harsh decline and presents you with ideas to ensure that your business doesn’t make the same mistakes GE did.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

Please click here to download the transcript.

  1. Wayne, thoughtful topic. Always good to be reminded not to rest on success! Our biggest concern is how to continue to grow in recession environment and maintain growing margins. Thank you

    • Thanks, Kent. We let our members down in the last recession by not being proactive enough and preparing them to prepare. Won’t make that mistake again! Glad to hear you’re already thinking about the next inevitable downturn. I still hope it is a ways off…

  2. Great video! I appreciate the reminder of how quickly fortunes and momentum can shift. As Drucker stated, “success breeds that which is unsuccessful”. Your blog is a good reminder of fighting complacency and staying diligent.

    • Thank you, Chris

  3. One thing not mentioned was that former GE CEO Jeff Immelt did not want to hear bad news. Only good news. How do you correct issues if you don’t know there are issues?

    Current CEO Lawrence Culp is known for getting back to core business. It might be a good time to look at purchasing GE stock; especially after their recent announcement of profitability.

  4. Good content and advice. GEs fall has indeed been stunning. Your Presentation was excellent. Clearly the issues and challenges impact family businesses. Your last point is perhaps too often put off if or simply not appreciated as a lesson for historically successful family business. The increasing number of businesses utilizing high quality advisory boards, and family businesses with independent directors on their Boards are important initial responses to the “complacency” and “myopia” risks.
    If I can ever be of assistance to you or to family businesses you work with, please do not hesitate to call on me. It would be a pleasure.

    • Thank you, Saul

  5. Wayne,

    I enjoyed your blog this week. I think a lot about the family business and how we need to make sure we aren’t doing things the way we always have. I have talked with our team about being prepared for the next downturn. We are trying to keep our overhead as low as possible and keeping a mental scorecard of who can and can’t manage more than one project. We have also talked about diversifying and doing some work that might be hot when the economy goes down (mining and gas pipelines). We also agree that you need to hold each group accountable and they should be profitable and not a burden on the company. Thanks for sharing and have a good week.

    • Great, Lance! Thanks for your comments. Sounds like you and your fellas have the right approach!

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