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GEs Talent Machine: The Making of CEO V.

Sharada,
PGP/17/058

1


We notice by the course of the case, that for each of the CEO of GE, talent management was one of the
top priorities, and they ensured that they built and revamped the ideas of their forerunners. When we
analyse the works of each of them:
Ralph Cordiner
1. Implemented decentralization at a crucial juncture in the course of diversification, this eased
strains imposed on GE
2. Introduction of Session C
3. Created a succession plan for managers, helped identify successors in each level
Fred Borsh
1. Identified Talent as a general resource and not something thats department specific:
Hoarding reduction. The advent of EMS( Executive Manpower Staff)
Jack Welch
1. Immense restructuring by elimination of over 1 Lakh jobs
2. Vitality curve starts now: Reward scheme also changes
3. Special emphasis laid on the GE value system and managers who didnt adhere to the values
were let gone
Jeff Immelt
1. Suggested key elements for growth strategy on the face of environmental changes:
a. Technological leadership
b. Services Acceleration
c. Enduring customer relationship
d. Resource allocation and
e. Globalization

Jeff Immelt also recognized the problems imposed by the Vitality Curve, the demotivation of the middle
70%. Under the head of globalization, he ensured diversity in the workforce and considered recruitment
from international universities.

GEs Talent Machine: The Making of CEO V.Sharada,
PGP/17/058

2


Some of the reasons for GEs success:
1. Comprised of a formal and an informal head
2. Continuous process, and not just a one time or a crisis management issue: recognized the fact
that leadership succession is critical and an on-going process
3. Emerging leaders were exposed to various sectors and verticals. Example: GEMS exposure for
Jeff was crucial. It helped the leaders develop a holistic view of the business and not remain a
frog in well
4. The importance placed on Talent management by the organization as a whole: The woring
together of the HR department and the CEO in the leadership development process. The
realization that the work of any one alone wouldnt be as effective
Key learnings:
1. Leadership and succession planning requires heavy investments and immense commitment:
From the organization (HR) as well as the CEO
2. This is an ongoing process and abandonment of the same at any stage would result in a half-
baked outcome
3. The need for a leader to develop from within the organization is to ensure that the leader is
aware and imbibed in the culture. There would be no mismatch and the time taken to
acclimatize an outsider is avoided
4. But this also has its negatives, to identify processes which are of minimal or no value addition,
an out siders perspective is critical: Example: The vitality curve: It seems to be causing more
harm than good by demotivating majority of the staff