Thursday, February 17, 2011


Most of us have recently noticed the feel-good, sustainability-targeted commercials on TV, always focusing on a character who thoroughly appreciates the joys of nature. These comical clips are provided by Ecomagination, a project sponsored by General Electric. It was started in 2005 with a mission statement being "to develop tomorrow's solutions such as solar energy, hybrid locomotives, fuel cells, lower-emission aircraft engines, lighter and stronger durable materials, efficient lighting, and water purification technology". Ever since the launch, Ecomagination is consistently developing new projects encouraging people to live by more environmentally-conscious means. The company seems to have calculated exact solutions to our planet's emission problems and have developed models to support it. Mark Vachon, who has been with the company for twenty years, was appointed to be the leader of ecomagination and had the task of efficiently utilizing the initial $5 billion investment in clean tech research and development.Vachon has been taking all the right steps considering the $70 billion revenues just five years after the former investment. While the green movement is popular among area for businesses to part in, most do it on a small scale basis for the purpose of positive pubic image. Ecomagination on the other hand, keeps attacking major areas of concern while also establishing very high goals, truly set out to make a significant difference. General Electric's upper mobility is difficult to achieve considering the number of years expected to have had invested in the company and the numerous leadership development  programs one must graduate from. Vachon has so far succeeded to achieve and exceed the set goals example being "In 2009, GE invested $1.5 billion on ecomagination R&D, reaching the commitment to double our annual investment by 2010 one year ahead of schedule. GE continues to be committed to unleashing new technology. Therefore, in 2010 GE is introducing a new commitment to invest an additional $10 million in ecomagination research and development by 2015."
General Electric thrives on strong leadership development through which Vachon was able to establish his own tactics. Referring to situational leadership, I would associate him with highly-directive and highly-supportive leadership style. This style requires for the leader to both, accomplish the goals and to satisfy subordinates' socioemotional needs. The company's progress through innovative initiative is based on being open to all and any ideas of the public,which they demonstrate by asking their website visitors to submit ideas for further sustainability projects. The highly structured nature of the company and the magnitude of decisions made by Vachon suggests the importance a good balance of directing and supporting styles of leadership in order to be able to achieve goals while remaining on an appropriate social level.

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Mingaile Orakauskaite

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