George Dickey, UK Engineering Leader for Power Electronics at GE Power Conversion and Doug Scott, Executive Learning at GE Crotonville, GE’s global leadership institute spoke at the University’s Aston Business Network, a monthly event which provides opportunities for students to network with local business people, whilst also hearing from guest speakers on a topical subject.
Doug focused on making the business case for ethical leadership, highlighting the consequences on organisations of getting things wrong. He shared some examples of huge fines that corporates have incurred in recent years and the impact these have had on their business. In Doug’s words:
"With integrity, there are no second chances"
Doug explained how GE embeds ethical leadership behaviours through management development and organisational culture. He described GE’s code of conduct and global integrity policies, known as The Spirit and The Letter.
According to Doug, the organisation’s commitment to ethical and responsible behaviour has earned it a positive reputation which is helping to attract new customers and further grow the business, but has also meant turning down contracts with organisations who do not operate to their own high standards.
GE has been one of Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies for ten years running. Last year it celebrated the 10 year anniversary of Ecoimagination, a business strategy through which they have invested $17 billion in clean tech R&D and generated $232 billion in revenues from more efficient products.
Aston University is one of only four UK universities that GE has chosen to work with as an executive school. Aston University is renowned for its relationships with employers and was recently ranked in the top 80 in the world for graduate employability by the QS Graduate Employability Rankings.