Jack Welch with Stephen Adler: The Global Century - 92Y, New York

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Jack Welch with Stephen Adler: The Global Century

Mar 1, 2011

Stephen J. Adler, editor-in-chief at Reuters News, begins his conversation with business legend Jack Welch by remarking, “We could chit-chat, but I really wanted to start with the Middle East.”

In light of all the upheaval taking place in the region, “it does seem to me,” Adler said, “it has a lot to do with the changes in the world of communications, of how people can operate.” He asked about the lessons we can learn from this. “The lesson is,” Welch responded in part, “that whether you’re running a company or you’re running a country, information flow permeates every corner of the place.” He continued, “If you capitalize on it and communicate with a vengeance, you can take some of the heat and anger out of those who feel unfairly treated. But if you suppress them, whether they be in a company where you say ‘shut up!’ or you be in a country where you put them in jail… the idea of getting your people engaged, involved, communicated with, is a winner. And if you don’t, you might not have the same explosions you get in these countries--in a company, but you’ll find yourself on the outside faster than you would have in the past.”

There’s more in the video highlights above, including Welch’s thoughts on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, their effects on running a business, the power of individual voices on the internet, what he would do differently if given the chance and his response to Adler’s inquiry as to why growth in wages has not paralleled the growth in productivity.