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Going digital: How a century-old company is transforming its culture for a digital age

October 27, 2016
Everyone is an expert at something; not everything, which means we can all learn from each other. As GE transforms into a Digital Industrial company, more than just the company structure needs to change.

The way employees think, interact and collaborate must transform as well; a behavioral change is no easy feat.

GE Aviation employees learning through virtual reality. GE Aviation employees learning through virtual reality.

GE Aviation’s organization and talent development executive, Jen Maslar, is helping employees at GE Aviation lead the cultural change. She offers these key pieces of advice:

6 tips for changing culture
Culture changes one behavior at a time. The dictionary definition of culture is, “…a set of behaviors, beliefs and values...” In order to successfully change company culture, we have to change our behavior, even if that means one person and one behavior at a time.


It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” No one knows the answers to everything, and it is okay to ask questions. Creating a safe and open environment where employees are encouraged to ask questions fosters collaboration.


Fail fast. Take risks early, acknowledge failures and if it doesn’t work out, try something else. If you learn from your mistakes, you’re already closer to a solution. If it doesn’t work as planned, be honest and take ownership; people will appreciate your transparency and willingness to drive towards a viable solution.


Meet people where they are. You don’t have to meet exactly in the middle, but try to see a problem from the viewpoint of others and find something that can work for both parties. Go slow to go fast.


Find inspiration. What inspires you?  Consider what motivates you to come to work each day, how your coworkers and learning tools help you do your best work, and how you can inspire others every day.


Teach others. Our CEO at GE Aviation, David Joyce, is a believer in the teaching curve; when we teach others, we gain a deeper perspective by sharing our ideas and learning together.

Changing a culture is not easy and takes time. However, through experimentation and support, employees will become empowered, encouraged and inspired to be all in.


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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.