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What one should learn from GE ?

From the day in 1890 when Thomas Alva Edison started Edison General Electric Company by merging various enterprises, General Electric or GE, as it is popularly known as, never looked back. Famous for its innovative ways of management to its leaders, GE was once named the most admired company in US and again in the world by the Fortune magazine, and Jack Welch, the former CEO as the “Manager of the Century” by the Fortune magazine in 1999.

GE’s way of management is looked upon by the companies’ worldwide. Its dream of becoming a market leader has forced the company to accept and adopt new innovative ideas in management. Adoption of Motorola’s Six Sigma, movement of the business to the financial services, closure of much less profitable business, all ended up in massive earnings for the company. The company’s dream of being a leader provided a platform for the adoption of new techniques which has the power to maximise the wealth in a longer time span of the company.

GE expects a high standard of performance from its workforce. They recognise the role played by expertise in gaining profits. Jack Welch policy of the removal of the bottom 10% managers on the basis of their performance drew lots of antagonist remarks from everywhere. But it brought with it a culture where the people strove for excellence in their work, thereby bringing in more business to the company through higher level of customer satisfaction. Excellence in performance was celebrated by the company and it was also appreciated through monetary benefits to the individuals.

GE has been a willing partner in coming up with revolutionary changes to the business world. In 1900, GE became the first company in US of A to start an industrial research and development centre. What started with three people, today have around thousands of patents and two Nobel Prizes to its claim of fame employing thousands of people worldwide. The high standards expected from its people and the extreme measures of appraisal is backed by an excellent training and education programs for developing new ways of thinking.

GE is said to have spent around $1 billion every year on its training programs to its employees in all levels of management globally. The huge investment spent by GE reveals the company’s intention to change with the times and moulding its employees for tackling the challenges imposed by the transition. Training lays the platform for sharing the experiences of the managers, thus widening the scope of knowledge of the team. Jack Welch in a special report interview for Business Week stated, “The idea flow from the human spirit is absolutely unlimited. All you have to do is tap into that well”.

It is said that GE is one company where 80% of its senior managers come within the organisation and all CEOs except for Edison have been a part of the organisation. The managers of GE have had an immense role in the development of GE as a global company.

GE has given immense importance to the role it can play to the needs of the society as a leader in the business world. Development of eco-friendly products like hybrid locomotives and the policy to reduce the green house gas emission by its subsidiaries shows its respect for the society. It also spends money and time on humanitarian programs by itself or by joining hands with other voluntary organisations. The activities vary from reforestation to providing better living conditions in Africa, to grants, etc for education. Success of GE for over a century has many lessons to teach the world, from ethics to people management, from employee welfare to social responsibility. Absorption of the good techniques from any source can always aid in better management.

Comments Listing
Posted: 14/07/2011 23:11:59

Cool! That's a clever way of looikng at it!

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