The Code: Insights from the Front Lines of Leadership

The Code

Marvin Pipkin was a legendary engineer at General Electric. When he first got started at GE, a few of the other engineers decided to play a joke on him. They gave Pipkin this assignment: Figure out a way to “frost” electric light bulbs from the inside.
To the other engineers, this was an impossible task. They watched with amusement as Pipkin set about trying to accomplish the task. Not knowing that the task was supposed to be impossible, Pipkin went right to work.
Pipkin not only figured out a way to frost bulbs from the inside, but also came up with a way to give the bulbs added strength — all in a single step!
Leaders know the value of a “fresh set of eyes” on an old issue.
─Ken Chapman─