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William E. Rothschild is a former executive at General Electric who started his own business consulting firm, Rothschild Strategies Unlimited, and has published books, most notably The Secret To G.E.’s Success, and Risktaker, Caretaker, Surgeon and Undertaker: The Four Faces of Strategic Leadership, all of which discuss successful business strategies to which Rothschild was either a participant or an observer. His responsibilities while at G.E. included educating company officials on the keys to success and the obstacles and pitfalls that lead to failure. Rothschild’s success has been in understanding G.E.’s history and recognizing that that history includes numerous lessons that can be applied universally in the business world. In a 2009 interview, he summarized the “secret to G.E.’s success” as an acronym: L.A.T.I.N.:
“L stands for Leadership. GE has had the right leaders for the right time . . .;
A stands for adaptability. GE leaders have been ready, willing and able to change when it was necessary . . .;
T stands for talent. – A major GE strength of being able to attract and maintain talent at all levels and avoiding the ‘just in time hiring practices of today.
I stands for influencing government and social policy . . . all [GE leaders] took stands on major issues that could inhibit the company from controlling its own destiny.
N stands for networks. This covers all the major innovate programs that GE has led in management and business practices, including Total Quality Control [and] Strategic Planning . . .” [www.ffbsccn.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/interview-william-e-rothschild/]
Rothschild’s books all emphasize the need to have clearly articulated goals or objectives, following which is the need to develop a sound strategy for achieving those goals or objectives. Since departing General Electric in 1984, he has expanded his focus to cover all types of businesses and organizations and remains a successful consultant specializing in helping these organizations and businesses navigate the changing economic, technological and social climates in which they operate.
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