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Sometime back GE’ CEO hit headlines with a zinger that threw even the reader off the rails.”If you are joining the company in your 20s, unlike when I joined, you’re going to learn to Code, "GE CEO Jeff Immelt wrote in a LinkedIn post on Thursday. "It doesn’t matter whether you are in sales, finance or operations. You may not end up being a programmer, but you will know how to code. We are also changing the plumbing inside the company to connect everyone and make the culture change possible. This is existential and we’re committed to this."
Become multi-skilled. Expand Career options.
One can’t figure out the relevance of code with someone handling compensation or making cold calls in the hope of a prospect. How does coding propel a career in finance, HR or Sales? It’s hard to connect and yet the call is to ‘code.’ Is that a Threat or opportunity? Look at the plus side; if you become competent to code, hailing from a finance background or pursuing a sales career, isn’t that a shot in the arm, with ‘soft skills” making your profile more sophisticated. Besides, in terms of career choice, you have more than one option. The choices presented upfront are just wide and varied. Turn that threat to an opportunity.
Don’t rely on one individual. Decentralize.
From newly found start-ups to deep grounded companies, this curse of leaving the core knowledge in the hands of very few, or someone reliable and then totally rely on that person is a paradox that remains unsolved till date. How many really code? It could be the pitch to the millennial, but from experience, can senior-level managers ask the programmers to move aside and start coding? Many have aged with the development that their outdated tools and coding approach might be archaic like a piece of antique. They might be good but rusty as time would have eroded or possibly technology gap arisen in the timespan. Some of the tools and even languages that were potent and popular during their times have either faded or obliterated, distanced or disappeared. You don’t get to hear about BASIC or FORTRAN or Pascal. Where are they today? They had their hour of glory, shone in limelight and stepped offstage for some other language to become prominent. The show goes on; the actors change and so does the costume.
So, these senior managers are of no good? Definitely not. Besides, their role is at a higher calling than coding. Leaders are expected to extract the best/optimal outcome from the team. Lead the team with strategic vision. As long as leader keeps their next level or second-in-command motivated to take care of things, they can focus on other responsibilities.
Today leadership is about connecting with everyone and not the peers and reporting heads. That aside, isn’t it a threat to depend on someone or identified few? Over-dependence or too much reliance is harmful to the interest of any organization. It is a threat. Pooling all information in one server or maintaining multiple mirror servers spread across different geographical locations so that they will come in handy should one server crash - which makes more sense? Knowledge in the hands of one or concentrated few is a serious threat. To mitigate this threat, start transitioning. Disseminate. Distribute. Decentralize.
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