General electric company (GE) is a very diverse firm involved with technology and financial services ranging from engines, power generation, water processing, and household appliances to medical imaging, business and consumer financing. It is one of the worlds most admired corporation. GE was founded by Thomas Edison who was succeeded by other leaders as the years passed. Among these leaders were Charles Coffin, Ralph cordiner, Fred Borsch, Reg Jones, jack welch and Jeff Immelt. Various methods were implemented by these capable CEOs, which is responsible for the on-going success of GE.
More Issues will be discussed in this study as to what some of these leaders contributed to the growth of the company and as well as their system of sustaining growth. INTRODUCTION GE is particularly known for its talent management, training programs and their system of using their human resource for growth, The purpose of this report is to critically examine the GE’s system of leadership development based on its talent machine and also how to evaluate the Leadership, Innovation and Growth (LIG) program has helped the company to manage change situation drawing on relevant journal articles and literature.
LITERATURE REVIEW BACKGROUND OF GENERAL ELECTRIC (GE) General electric (GE) is one of the worlds most admired corporations, apart from the fact that it’s a valuable business organization, the company is known for its production of talented and capable leaders as wells as its continuous development of top management. These practices were deeply rooted in the cultural values laid out by Charles Coffin (CEO) who succeeded the founder, Thomas Edison.
The GE’S practice of making the development of top management a top priority placed their human resource practices under the most sophisticated in the world even though it experienced significant changes in the last half of the 20th century. Coffin dedicated his time in the organization to creating a system within the organization to measure performance and reward employees based on the performance. The expansion of their business into other areas put strains on their centralized management structure so the structure was changed to a decentralized form.
With this, various responsibilities were transferred to managers of 100 department level businesses which led to the efficiency of the company management. He also built the first corporate university for the education and development of management. Fred Borsch succeeded Coffin, he worked towards strengthening the decentralized management structure to implement another round of diversification which gave GE room to expand into other business areas, and his approach to strategic planning was by creating a corporate Manpower staff to give him reports as the CEO.
A formal and structured approach was introduced to strategic planning by Reginald Jones who succeeded Borsch, he introduced this system by creating strategic business units which was an upgrade from the systems created by his predecessors. He was succeeded by Jack Welch who introduced a dialogue system where managers could discuss problems about GE and to make their work more effective, it was called the “Work Out” initiative, he also introduced an annual survey to monitor cultural values evolving and employees attitudes in the world-wide operations of the company.
It further improved the efficiency of the organization. Jeff Immelts tenure in GE started at a time of crisis, so he had a huge responsibility to turn things around for the company, he targeted technology skills and the investing in business that had huge human capital couple with skills and expertise. It could be deduced from the discussion above that all the unique methods (focusing on the development of the management) by each of these capable CEO’S in their tenure played a very important role in the on-going success of GE.
GE’S SYSTEM OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Leadership development is very necessary to stay competitive in today’s fast evolving business environment, development of the employee gives the organization a competitive advantage because employees feel they can be given incentives to join and remain with an organization. Leadership in organizations is a shared function, the concept of leadership continues to remain a top priority in GE despite challenges the company faced in the past.
GE has a culture of using its human resource management for growth, the human resource management process is among the most sophisticated in the world, the company knew the importance of talent and so they made the development of management talent a high priority (Bartlett and McLean 2006). The company being a complex organization needs managers that can understand the culture of the area they are involved in, thus the search for talent. GE’s system of leadership development starts from the recruiting stage after seeking out the new talent.