GE: An industrial titan that is always learning

Wouter Van Wersch, President and CEO, GE ASEAN-ANP, has shared how the legacy company remains agile in a world of short attention spans and startups.
By: | May 8, 2019


The first-ever HR Festival Asia, brought to you by the combined experience of HR Technology Conference & Exposition (US) and HR Summit (Asia), takes over the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre on May 8 and 9.

With a line-up of more than 100 speakers across six dedicated streams, and an Expo Hall with more than 100 exhibitors, there’s a little something for everyone at the event.

Check out our HR Festival Asia tag for more coverage direct from the event.

GE is one off the most recognisable names in industry today. The titan of manufacturing and research has re-evaluated its approach over the past few years. Dr Tanvi Gautam hosted Wouter Van Wersch (pictured), President and CEO, GE Southeast Asia in an exclusive Q&A session at HR Festival Asia to discover why.

Van Wersch did not wait a second when asked what “transformation” meant for GE.

“It is a change of mindset, and it is in the DNA of our company,” he said.

He went on to explain how the process of transformation itself has transformed. “In manufacturing, it used to take us four to six months to change a single component of an engine. Now, with 3D modelling and printing, it is down to a matter of hours.”

This new World of Work has not just changed the systems involved, but has also led to an evolution of how individuals are assessed. Van Wersch describes how GE foments a culture of both receiving and giving constant feedback.

Gautam also probed GE’s adoption and subsequent abandonment of new fields over the past decade.

“We always challenge ourselves,” Van Wersch replied.

“However, we looked into new industries and broadened our base and discovered that the previous, more focused approach works better for us – constant discovery.”