Ge System Of Leadership Development Management

Essay add: 10-01-2017, 19:06   /   Views: 16

Some say leaders are made while others are of the opinion that they can be manufactured as well. Nevertheless, whatever may be the truth, the fact is a corporate like the GE has been 'manufacturing' leaders or so it seems. The development of leaders is a must as they are the ones who would not only lead the allotted business but will also serve as mentors to their subordinates as well. However, on a closer look one would find that GE does not produce leaders. In fact, the system prevalent in the organization is so robust and strong that it identifies potential leaders and nurtures them in a certain 'GE patented' way to become exemplary leaders. There is something incredibly unique and inspiring about the culture and system of GE which is quite simple and yet profound in terms of its effects. Over the years, various CEOs and leaders have contributed their bit to the culture of the company. As a result, today GE stands as one of the most respected organization, which is known the world over for its training and strong value systems inculcated in its leaders as well as others.

Pros and cons

Though, many would feel that the GE way of leadership building and maintenance can be a little harsh on the young crop of leaders who join the company after they go through a rigorous HR process, others are of the opinion that it is the best for them. In a world of cutthroat competition, there is no other way to success other than succeeding in life. However there are many who are of the opinion that the entire gamut of activities which is in place to develop leadership in the leaders has many positives as well as negatives.

One may count constant monitoring and simultaneous nurturing as two brilliant ways to make sure that person is left to face the grim realities of the corporate world while being the guardian angel to help him find ways out of it. These are two, very important parts of the process of grooming a talent, who can be a potential leader. The biggest advantage in this approach si that the person is left to tackle the situation on his own armed with a 'blank mind'. Hence, he does not have any preconceived notions about the situation. This makes him devise his own solution and find out the ways using his methods. Of course, in case he finds that he is unable to help himself, he can always ask his mentors for some guidance

On the other hand, one of the very strongest points that are put across by the naysayers of the GE's Leadership program is that the entire system is designed in such a manner that a person is forced to succeed. This approach tends to put in a lot of pressure to 'perform'. GE comes across as a company where people with mediocre performance may find it difficult to survive. According to the critics of this style of leadership, such a system only burden the leaders with constantly getting results and thus make them into more of a machine.

Critical evaluation

Considering the various pros and cons of the situation one cannot negate the fact, that there is some kind of tweaking the systems required. Nevertheless, the system designed is mostly flawless barring a few exceptions. The most important aspect in a man's life is to have peace of mind while working and leave work at the workplace when he travels home. Apparently, GE's quest for excellent makes you more of a robot or a 'number counting lunatic' who worries himself to sickness when the performance does not meet expectations.

Yes, we definitely agree that non-performance should not be tolerated at any cost, but there has to be a certain time limit for that. In other words, the threat of getting the proverbial 'pink slip' just because one has missed his targets the last month is certainly a bit too much for a person not accustomed to the GE style of working and producing results. Non-performance or under achievement of targets can certainly not be the norm but then the reasons for the cause also need to be investigated. One cannot presume that inefficiency of the person, as a leader is the main cause.

To sum it all, the entire system of evaluation of human performance is a perfect system. Nevertheless, it too has certain merits as well as demerits. It is important to introduce a few changes in order to make the system a little more humane and less of a 'leader churning' mechanism.

Lessons to be taken home

For any organization, emulation of GE can be a little tough. However, given the fact that GE tends to be one of the most highly rated companies in the world and its leaders are provided jobs on the spot because of their association with brand called GE, there can be something that we can surely take home. The GE's style of leadership is of the 'lead by example' type. This means if a superior expects a certain performance from a subordinate then he has to make sure that he too shows him results. This style of leadership is often quite charismatic and tends to weave its results among the cadre. GE's approach to this style however, is a little twisted. Every organization is different and therefore we must not forget that our endeavor to be something as GE can take us many years and many frustrated human resources. Many of the people who stick around in the company despite their job in a 'pressure cooker' environment are because of the brand name and the value that name adds to their curriculum vitae. To incorporate the GE style of leadership in any manner, one needs to build the brand name for people not to leave and go when the system pressurizes them to perform or else quit the job.

Change management through LIG programme


One of the most dynamic processes in a company that can ever take place is the management of change. For people who are vigilant, change management is a gradual process while for other who tend to wake from a 'dream' like business situation with a start; change management is a colossal task with mammoth proportions. The process is quite risky owing to the fact that the basic human nature is to oppose change. Anything new is never acceptable to people atleast not willingly. Hence, this is at times termed as the 'dirty businesses because the company never realizes the benefits attached to the change and the importance of doing so. However, the endeavor of G is to develop a leadership which will constantly innovate itself in the wake of any situation and thus achieve new realms of growth and excellence.

LIG programme

LIG stands for Leadership, innovation and growth. This is not a jargon but an attempt but the GE management to inculcate a tradition of growth and excellence in the future leaders of the company. A lot of people have many things to say but the fact of the situation is that the LIG is not something which pertains to only the leaders or the managers but is something which has the entire team involved. This is to avoid certain discrepancies in the ways of working, between those who attended the training sessions and those who did not. This is mostly the scenario in a normal organization. Hence, GE lays emphasis on the fact that the entire team on the floor should be simultaneously trained. The LIG programme is very innovative and radical in its approach as it removes people from their zone of comfort and outs them into situations that they need to fight at and come up with their own indigenous theories in order to get it solved.

Critical evaluation

The LIG programme is a very innovative way of training as opposed to against the usual method of 'chalk and board' kind of a training. It highlights the penchant of the GE leadership to develop thinking minds and achievers in their company. The entire programme is designed in such a way, which puts people in to unknown territories and then charts their level of innovative thinking and thus their growth.

Many people might feel otherwise but the fact is that GE processes and programmes are the best in the world as compared to the similar others in the industry. They are designed keeping in mind the dynamics of the business world and the apparent fact that it can change any moment. Hence, the company ideology feels that a leader should not succumb to sudden change in the business scenario. Instead, he should come up with solid solutions in order to salvage the situation in any possible manner.

The LIG programmes are designed to bring out the best in the people in those areas, which other training programs and HR evaluation methodologies might ignore and are not able to tap. The lessons learnt by the managers at GE in not only for the present or for the future; it is for an entire generation of workers, subordinates and peers to learn and practice. Once a person undergoes training experience at GE especially the LIG program, he is bound to incorporate the lessons all through his life in myriad ways.

Lessons to be taken home

The foremost lesson that a company needs to incorporate in it is entire being is to be prepared to face the change and be ready to deal with it as well. We all see many changes around us happening all the time. However, are we prepared for it? There are many companies, which are mere names due to the following reasons

their lack of comprehension of the situation

no preparation on their part to deal with the scenario

lack of a contingency plan

lack of foresight and hence no ways to revive the failing business

Constant reinvention and innovation is the key to success in the dynamic business environment and if any business wants to survive then it is necessary that it trains its staff members as well as the leaders in advance to deal with it. This foresight is the 'X' factor, which makes GE one of the most coveted and highly admired companies, the world over.

There are innumerable lessons to be learnt from the company especially the LIG Program. Starting from the very nature of the programme to the way the lessons are imparted via a practical method, everything can be incorporated. However, it has to be first understood that before we do so, we need to have a GE like ideology and leaders who are dedicated to their craft. Any company would have to have leaders with exemplary and charismatic leadership qualities to think like a 'GE leader' before similar processes can be copied and implemented.


After all that has been mentioned and discussed as well, it is very important to make a note that the corporate working style and ideology of GE may be admired the world over, but is certainly not something that can be easily copied and incorporated. Since the time Thomas Alva Edison started the company, the company CEOs have made it a point to ensure the underlying philosophy behind leadership, performance and change management does not suffer change at all. The company has maintained its stand when it comes to growth and performance and their interconnection.

In fact, there are many CEOs and top leaders, who have contributed a lot to the principle of growth and performance making the system more robust. This makes the system greater than anything else in the company. All leaders irrespective of their stature in the company are evaluated on similar grounds of performance, innovative thinking, and ability to provide prompt solutions apart from their ability to provide leadership to others and the amount of growth the company experiences under his or her leadership.

We all can take' a leaf out' of the GE philosophy and learn something. There is lots to learn and therefore we need to prepare ourselves for it as well. We want our leader to bring in change or deal with it effectively but most organizations hate to empower their managers and leaders. For most of us, empowerment is akin to taking decisions on the go but for GE, it is the way of corporate life.


GE has a wonderful concept of identifying the best around it and incorporating it with a twist of its own in order to make it adapt to the company. Nevertheless, other companies and organizations too can do so with a few recommendations in place

There should be no compromises in terms of HR evaluation in order to fill the positions. The success of GE lies in the fact that it takes in people after a lot of carefully designed tests and scrutinizing.

Leaders have to be identified and groomed in order to become role models for the rest of the staff and the company

Emphasis needs to be laid on the fact that performance is the sole criteria for growth in terms of career.

Any company irrespective of the genre can follow the recommendations that it belongs to. It is not that one can become like GE in a short period, as it needs generations of committed leaders who will bring in betterment and a wave of change in the company.

GE was not made in a day. In fact, leaders and CEOs over generations have inculcated the same values of performance and growth in their staff to make sure that the value system of the company remains the same and is not diluted.

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