GE's Development of Good Leaders Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


General Electric (GE) is one of the world's most renowned companies involved in the production, distribution and the use of electrical products globally. The business was started in 1978. It has developed to be the best performing and highly competitive organizations by providing quality products to its consumers. Much of the performance of the GE Company is highly attributed to the nature of leadership adopted to ensure the maintenance and improvement of the operations management. For example, the company has well developed leadership style and culture that focus on employee development and provision of customer focus services to maintain their loyalty alongside the reputation of the GE Company. Therefore, this essay analyzes most of the activities that take place in the company and contributes to its performance.

Evidently, the GE Company has been able to maintain a surplus of qualified managers since the earlier times of its development. Throughout history, the company has focused on promoting its managers from the company's ranks. For example, Cordiner created a culture of employee development by decentralizing the responsibility of making organizational decisions to all the managers across departments within the company. Immelt also emphasized on the importance of education to the employees by developing the Session C. that provided support of the employees and platform for interaction. This was a good response to the development needs of the managers.

The company's focus to identify talents among the managers and other employees facilitated the growth of knowledge and skilled team, hence, the surplus. Welch's efforts to incorporate the provision of training opportunities to the managers such as the Crotonville course provided the basis for building a pool of qualified managers. The establishment of the "Work Out" initiative provided employees with opportunities to share and reflect on different ways of undertaking the assigned duties thereby building their competencies. In addition, initiatives such as building a university within the company enabled it to produce qualified personnel in their respective departments. Immelt's actions like opening other new branches in foreign markets and providing training to the employees and consumers provided an opportunity for nurturing many qualified employees. Cumulatively, these factors made GE have a surplus of qualified candidates suitable to fill top management positions as compared to the other organizations.

It is inarguable that, the GE Company has a unique philosophy, policies, and practices that have made it a "CEO factory" and a world's best company for churning out corporate talent. The GE Company operates on the philosophy of developing, motivating, retaining, and providing products that meet the needs of their consumers. The company also strives to adopt the best standards. This will promote the success of the company alongside ensuring maximum development of its employees and sustaining the consumer loyalty to their products. To achieve the company's management aims at identifying and exploiting the talents of its employees, it provides training to its consumers, and adopts new technology to maintain the productivity and the competition of the company.

The company has well developed practices that focus on ensuring employee development, establishment of the desired organizational culture and improvement of the performance of the company. For these practices to be achieved and maintained, the company has developed strategies like Session C. To provide a forum for employee development. The 'Work Out' program also ensures that interactions between the management and employees are enhanced. The delegation of duties to build the skills and knowledge among employees and the expansion of operational units into new markets to promote culture spread is also achieved via this program. The company also has well developed policies that contribute to its ability to build on the corporate talent. This includes the policy of regular appraisal of employees, evaluating their performance and fostering the provision of services that contribute to employee development.

In most cases, the GE's developmental policies prove effective in delivering the desired results. The adopted policies have enabled the company improves its performance in relation to other competitors and the financial challenges facing it. The policies and practices have resulted in the development of the talents, skills, knowledge, and competencies among the employees. The case study shows that, the company achieved its desired consumer loyalty to its products. This implies the practical applicability of the practices, principles, and philosophy in delivering the desired results for the company. The practices, policies, and philosophy used by the GE Company are transferable across boundaries. This is possible as evidenced by the spread of the company's policies, leadership, and culture to other foreign countries such as China. This transferability of the company's practices has facilitated the globalization of the business activities performed by the GE Company.

The appointment of Jeff Immelt as the CEO of the GE Company at the age of 44 years in the year 2001 took many by surprise. The decision was critical because it has a great history of excellent performance, thereby requiring leadership from an experienced individual. Immelt was in a timely position: he had the responsibility of leading a multinational company worth $130 billion to success. His predecessor, Jack Welch had set an excellent performance while in office implying the need for Immelt to sustain and improve the performance of the company. The fact that the company had a positive reputation globally as the "World's Most Respectable Company" meant the need for extra efforts from the new CEO to maintain the image of the company. During the appointment of Immelt as the CEO, some of the factors considered include the increased pressure of creating a stable performance of the company's stock and ensuring the success of the company in the harsh financial conditions.

It is appreciable that, Immelt employed great efforts to acquire the necessary skills required to lead the GE Company at the age of 44 years. Firstly, Immelt acquired experience in Master of Business Administration in management from the Harvard University. This provided the basis of his knowledge and skills in management and leadership. As an employee of the GE Company, Immelt acquired a managerial position that provided him with the required knowledge and skills. For example, he became the sales manager for the GE Plastics Company in Dallas, the Appliance Company, and GE Medical Systems. While holding these positions, Immelt attended several courses on leadership and management besides undertaking rotational assignments of building his leadership knowledge and skills.

Besides, he practiced his leadership and management skills by focusing on employee development through the identification and exploitation of talents and conducting market research and analysis that helped him identify the needs of their consumers. Other ways in which Immelt acquired the required knowledge and skills for leading the company include delegating some his duties while a manager, taking part in activities that build competence among the employees and his abilities to handle stress from the decline in the performance of the company when he was the manager in the GE Plastics Company.

Clearly, training and employee development are fundamental tools required in enhancing human resource performance and the realization of various HRM's strategic goals. Employee's provision with training and developmental services has resulted in the identification and exploitation of the employee's talents. This results in their motivation, which translates to their improved performance. The training and developmental opportunities equip the employees with the desired knowledge and skills resulting into their competencies. This translates to the sustained productivity and innovation among the employees in the organization.

The evaluation strategies promote the development of the employees as it shows them in their areas of strengths and weaknesses. This results in the adoption of strategies aiming at reinforcing desired behavior and eliminating the weakness among the employees at the workplace. The case study shows that, the provision of training and developmental opportunities by the company to the employees has improved their competitiveness and that of the company…

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