Leadership Development at GE: It’s no secret

April 23, 2014 by Wally Bock

Leadership development is something General Electric is known for. For more than a century, they’ve been growing effective leaders inside the company. People want to know the secret.

That prompted a recent post by Raghu Krishnamoorthy, GE’s vice president of executive development and chief learning officer, titled: “The Secret Ingredient in GE’s Talent-Review System.” Here’s the money quote:

“Most companies have a version of the talent-review system we use at GE. But judging from what I hear from managers of companies that visit us to benchmark our system, the difference between our approach and theirs does not lie in forms, rankings, tools, or technologies.”

In other words, the secret is that there is no secret. Here are five things I think make the GE process produce the results everyone envies.

Rigorous Process

GE has a rigorous talent review process. It’s embedded in the annual cadence of company meetings and operations.

Training Plus

Training is important at GE. They’ve invested in a state-of-the-art training facility, lots of training talent, and great materials. But GE understands that training is more than skill development. It’s also the carrier of culture and the cultivator of connections.

Performance and Values

Just about every company evaluates performance. But GE evaluates every leader on how they achieved their results. Values matter, too.

It’s Every Manager’s Job

At GE, every manager is responsible for leadership development work and accountable to his or her boss for the quality of that work. GE’s process can’t work well unless GE’s manager’s put in the time to evaluate and counsel and coach.

Ruthless Discipline

If there’s one key, this is it. GE has a ruthless discipline about the leadership development process. GE managers put in an enormous amount of time and effort. That means even when there are other priorities clamoring for attention. That means sending your high potential manager off to training when you really need him or her.

The secret to GE’s success in leadership development turns out to be no secret at all. It’s lots of hard, focused work.

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Should Talent Be Allowed to Take Vacations?

April 20, 2014 by Ken Nowack

“Whenever I think of the past it brings back so many memories.” Stephen Wright Not long ago I had an unbelievable vacation hiking in the Dolomites in Italy. It got me wondering about the need for vacations and the impact they might have to restore our physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual energy. How Long Does […]

Posted in Engagement, Wellness

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Top Leadership Development Blog Posts this Week: 4/18/14

April 18, 2014 by Wally Bock

Every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to posts about what you’re reading, the performance conversation, hiring criteria, and GE’s secret. From Neil Bearden: Do You Think You’re Reading Brain Food “Are we being intellectually nourished by […]

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Free Coaching Exercise: Building an Optimistic Attributional Style

April 16, 2014 by Ken Nowack

This free exercise, and dozens of others, were created for our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It. You can learn more about Clueless by visiting our site or you can buy it from amazon.com today. Purpose of Exercise: Provides a four step process to building an optimistic attributional style. How to Administer […]

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Developing Leaders with Analytics

April 16, 2014 by Wally Bock

When I started in business, computers were giant boxes that lived in air conditioned rooms and were guarded by a priesthood called Management Information Systems (MIS). We used our computers to do the same accounting things we’d always done, only faster. The Promise of Analytics in Leadership Development Those days came flooding back when I […]

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More Talent Management Facts #36

April 13, 2014 by Ken Nowack

“42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.”  Steven Wright A New Collection of Talent Management Facts Another addition of leadership and talent management “facts” from all over the world.  Some intuitive and some not….what do you think? 1. Results from a recent research study by Dr. Christopher Mayhorn at NC State […]

Posted in Engagement, Leadership Development, Relate, Selection, Wellness

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Top Leadership Development Blog Posts this Week: 4/11/14

April 11, 2014 by Wally Bock

Every week, I review blogs and other publications that cover leadership development to find the very best leadership development posts. This week, you’ll find pointers to pieces on searching for potential, succession planning, robots (real ones) and leadership development, and Glinda, the “good” witch. From Mike Hoban: Searching for Potential – On the Basketball Court […]

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Free Coaching Exercise: Behavior Change Ambivalence Analysis

April 9, 2014 by Ken Nowack

This free exercise, and dozens of others, were created for our book, Clueless: Coaching People Who Just Don’t Get It. You can learn more about Clueless by visiting our site or you can buy it from amazon.com today. Purpose of Exercise: Help clients explore what is stopping them from making a change How to Administer […]

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Leadership development that accounts for change

April 9, 2014 by Wally Bock

Change is a constant, for people and for companies. But too many leadership development programs act like that’s not true for them. Here are three reasons to continually re-evaluate your people and your leadership development program. People don’t always reach their potential. We’ve all known at least one of them. They’re the people who start […]

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The Power of Social Support for Success Part II

April 6, 2014 by Ken Nowack

“If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?.” Stephen Wright Gender Differences in Social Support I just read a research paper that suggested that marriage might not improve men’s health as once thought1. In a review of data gathered between 1972 and 2003 (more than one million men and women), […]

Posted in Engagement, Leadership Development, Wellness

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