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A few days ago I posted "What Happens if You Have Open Hours to Talk to Your Site Visitors?" Over the holidays, I took open hours to have chats with any reader of the site who wanted to. But at the end I asked,

Final thought – everyone who signed on are pretty expansive and ambitious people with lots going on and lots of dreams, but I’d like to find a way to touch base with more people… I mean, I had 23 interesting and fascinating calls, but I’ve got 500+ people visting the site daily, and another 400+ people subscribed by RSS.

Who are you other people? There’s 900 of you… what are you doing? You – yes YOU – what are you doing? C’mon, c’mon, stop just being a consumer and come play and have adventures and talk and connect and communicate. Yes, YOU, I’m sure you’ve got some fascinating stuff going on, right? Or at least a fainter idea that more is possible?

Please feel very welcome to reach out, drop a line, and let me know how it’s going. I’ve got a variety of contact info all over the site.

I got a number of very cool emails in response to that. This one is from Miguel Hernandez from Grumo Media.

The Best Thing GE Taught Me

On DROdio

I was lucky enough to be in GE's "Technical Leadership Program" after graduating from college, and that experience gave me a huge respect for a company that most of us associate with kitchen appliances.

The truth is that GE is about far more than that, and in fact I'd consider them one of the most progressive and lean companies in the business world, and I'm not alone. Anyone who's a student of business will usually have great things to say about GE. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that you can tell how immersed someone is in the business world by asking them what they think of GE. Either they think "kitchen appliances" or they think "world dominator". Their revenue is $157 Billion/year (yes with a "B") and their profit in 2005 was 16 Billion. To put it another way, GE's profit is double Google's revenue of around 8 billion. Kinda puts things into perspective, eh?

So here's the most valuable thing I learned while at GE: Everyone has good ideas, but they're meaningless unless two things happen: 1) someone takes ownership of the idea. and 2) a date is set for action on the idea. And the GE folks are religious about this. As ideas or suggestions come up in meetings, they're not shy about asking who in the room wants to take ownership of the idea. And if nobody does, they ditch the idea then & there. If someone does take ownership of it, s/he has to commit to some action by some date. So a conversation in a GE conference room might go something like this:

[Jim:] "I have an idea - why don't we make our GE engines run on solid watste

[Sandy (running the meeting)] "Jim, that's a great idea. Do you want to be responsible for finding out if that's feasible?"

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