Jeff Immelt and Bernie Sanders Building Bridges?


An odd couple indeed, and not usually on the same page.

That said, Rana Foroohar wrote an interesting piece in the Financial Times recently talking about a bit of a truth telling tour by outgoing General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt. Her article led with this quote from Mr. Immelt: "I agree with the first five minutes of a Bernie Sanders' speech."

I would consider that progress, and two pieces of Foroohar's analysis resonated. The first nugget centered around the key deciding factors in determining where a new factory would be located.  While cities and regions try to attract manufacturers with tax incentives and subsidies, Mr. Immelt noted that the most important factor was the talent pool in the area. It turns out the people — human capital — is the driver of those decisions. Is there a potential workforce to engage? That takes a more people-focused investment from local government. For us, it is another proof point that people are the most important thing to a company and investing in them and the work environment is driving increased returns.

Second, and equally important, "he warns that too many business leaders have become out of touch with how they are perceived by real people." The titans of industry have a company promise that they are making to the world about who they are, and it's not enough just to make that promise.  You have to fulfill it.  As we have written about before, you are better off killing people than lying to them.

The value of people is factoring higher in business, and its about time.

Photo by Modestas Urbonas on Unsplash