Twice in the last week, in very different forums, GE has been pointed out to me as a very old company that has managed to make the transition from a successful “old” company into a digital one. They’re making some bold moves to do this, including killing off a successful part of their business for the sake of progress.
GE has recently announced that they’re getting rid of their financial services business and getting into the “industrial Internet”. In other words, they’re getting back to the business that made them into one of the largest companies in the world but with a modern spin.
That takes some courage. It’s not like they’re killing off an unsuccessful venture. They’re making a strategic cut and expecting it to deliver a long term benefit.
Apple has killed off successful products to bring in new ones. The iPod Mini was replaced by the iPod Nano when it was biggest seller and the iPod Classic is now a relic of a bygone age.
Have you ever killed off a successful part of your business because you saw that, despite delivering today, it was a dead end or there were even bigger opportunities ahead?