Article: GE Healthcare: Enabling people to innovate and think differently

Talent Acquisition

GE Healthcare: Enabling people to innovate and think differently

With the start of a new business structure, the aim is to accelerate growth and define practices that will enable people to innovate and think differently, says Aarif Aziz, Head of Human Resources-India, ASEAN and Africa, GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare: Enabling people to innovate and think differently

SHS is aiming to use ‘task-forces’ which have been created around critical business ‘outcomes’. these ‘task-forces’ have no hierarchy


Sustainable Healthcare Solutions (SHS), a new business within GE Healthcare will be in operation effective January 1, 2016. The objective of SHS is to accelerate growth in emerging markets which will also define the talent agenda for the organization in 2016. 

Change in mind set/outlook

SHS entails product ownership for affordable care (or Value/Super value) products across various GE Healthcare product lines, globally and commercial ownership for three regions of GE Healthcare- India, ASEAN and Africa. This is a significant shift in GE Healthcare’s conventional business thinking. The primary driver was the fact that affordable care (value/super-value) segment has a huge growth opportunity. For instance, some of the products like Mac I (pocket ECG) with a completely new design to address the needs of the customers in the emerging markets, could cost significantly lower than the original equipment.

Having a disruptive business requires a complete shift in mind-set of the employees and a culture where people are encouraged to experiment and try out new things to design and develop products and solutions for the customers. So, going forward in 2016, the most important thing on GE Healthcare’s talent agenda is organizational culture and to enable the right culture, behaviors, systems and processes need to change. 

Creating the spirit of doing things differently

Over the last 100 + years, GE has built a strong reputation of an organization with significant domain depth, process excellence and expertise. The challenge now is to leverage depth and process excellence as an advantage to ‘go fast’ vs. ‘slowing the organization down’, which is an interesting dichotomy to deal with. One needs to challenge the status quo, be more iterative in thinking, and co-create with customers – all of these being quite different that the current ways of operating and engaging with customers. The focus is to create a spirit of doing things differently.

To facilitate it, SHS is aiming to use ‘task-forces’ which have been created around ‘outcomes’ that are critical for the business. These task forces haven’t been orchestrated based on any band or levels, neither is there any hierarchy. So, in a task-force, there could be a finance leader of the company, a commercial leader and also a bunch of other people at different levels of the organization – they all will work in unison to tackle the identified problem without getting limited by hierarchy or job titles. This approach should help in solving critical business problems, encourage a horizontal approach to problem-solving and will ensure diversity of people and ideas.

The other experiment SHS is running is to refrain from appointing heads of functions; instead, create a ‘network of people’ which will have the overall ownership of the function. This is also a demonstration of creating a structure which role models the behavior one is trying to drive in the organization – Teamwork. Another critical component in bringing this cultural shift is enabling a continuous, two-way dialogue with employees using multiple channels like webchats, informal conversations and platforms, where people feel free to tell the senior leadership team what is working and what is not. 

Entering 2016, the organization will also focus on upskilling its employees in various ways including on-the-job trainings, providing with the opportunity to learn new ways of working, in cross-functional teams, using different approaches to develop new products and solutions for our customers and peer coaching where people pair-up as they work together and help each other to learn new skills and be more effective at work. 

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, Culture, #TalentAgenda2016

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