the company's leader in Jack Welch and the GE Way: "What
sets GE apart is a culture that uses this wide diversity as a limitless source of learning
opportunities, a storehouse of ideas whose breadth and richness is unmatched in world
business. At the heart of this culture is the understanding that an organization's ability
to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive
Welch is consistently voted by his peers as America's
most-admired corporate manager. Before he took over the company, fully 80 percent of
General Electric's earnings came from its traditional electrical and electronic
manufacturing businesses. Now more than 80 percent comes from selling services, training
and finance. Asked by Slater whether GE would look like it does today in 20 to 30 years
time, Welch replied: " I doubt it. I hope it will be the greatest learning
institution in the world."
The give-it-away model
We believe the Netscape concept of free software
through the Internet will also be one of the main breakthroughs to revolutionize the
delivery of learning programs: give it away - and sell the add-ons.
The whole culture of the Internet has been built around
an open environment, where people around the world freely share knowledge. University
researchers have been using it for years to swap information, so the pattern of the future
is already set.
We're convinced that sometime soon most complex
computer programs will be stored at central Internet web sites, and you'll be able to
access them instantly through a "network computer" - call it what you like -
connected to your television set, or as a combined TV-PC.
We're also convinced that one path to the future
involves combining the abilities of the world's best teachers and making them available to
all the world through interactive multimedia sources. Any school system not developing
that concept will be left behind and surpassed by individual and corporate initiatives.
The Internet selling model
But the Internet is not only great for exchanging
information; it's emerging as a potent new way to sell learning products.
By May 1997 Dell Computers were achieving $1 million in
sales a day
Contents Page Preface