by Mary Barra

A few weeks ago, I was in Silicon Valley where I spent time at Stanford, Cruise Automation and Lyft. I enjoyed delivering the commencement address at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business’ graduation, and it was exciting to meet the teams as we continue to redefine personal transportation.

The energy reminded me of a conversation I had with John Chambers, the executive chairman and former CEO of Cisco Systems, in which he talked about the art of the possible.  He said that in Silicon Valley, people believe anything is possible. And, because they believe it – anything is possible.

I wholeheartedly agree, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this mindset extends beyond The Valley. It is in Detroit where GM – and the city – are both in the midst of a renaissance. In fact, the “nothing is impossible” spirit can be found all around the globe.

When I envision what goes into a great workplace, I think about more than just the location, facilities and technology. My ideal workplace is built on that “can do” attitude and is strengthened by the relationships we build inside and outside our organizations. In order to accomplish this, leadership and teams must be:

  • Safe – a great workplace makes safety a foundational commitment for employees and the customers they serve.
  • Engaged – people are excited about their work, proud of their organization and eager to make their work environment better. They feel valued for doing meaningful work. They trust their leaders, and their leaders trust and empower them.
  • Diverse – a true team that is diverse, inclusive and reflective of the customers it serves. Diversity, in all of its many dimensions, makes workplaces stronger, including diversity of thought and experience.
  • Enabled – every employee is empowered to contribute to his or her full potential. They are encouraged to contribute and speak up when something needs fixing or improving.
  • Aligned – employees are committed to the organization’s core values and behaviors. They work together to win.
  • Driven – people are committed to excellence. They lead by example and know that integrity, accountability and results are expected and rewarded.

A great workplace creates an environment – and gives us the freedom – to pursue the art of the possible.  And that’s exactly what the GM team is doing around the world in leading the transformation of personal mobility.

Leave a Reply