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Managing Technology-Based Projects: Tools, Techniques, People and Business Processes by Hans J. Thamhain

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Chapter 19

Professional Development: Training and Education

DEVELOPING MANAGEMENT TALENT AT GE

“I am very proud of our team,” says Jeffrey immelt, chairman of the board and chief operating officer, in GE's Annual Report. “They are passionate and committed. I spend about one-third of my time with my partners John Lynch (senior VP of human resources) and Susan Peters (VP executive development and chief learning officer). We recruit, we train, we develop, we improve, we think about people constantly. Historically, we have been known as a company that developed professional managers. These are broad problem-solvers with experience in multiple businesses or functions. However, I want to raise a generation of growth leaders—people with market depth, customer touch and technical understanding. This change emphasizes depth. We are expecting people to spend more time in business or on a job. We think this will help our team develop “market instincts,” so important to growth and for growth, and the confidence to grow global businesses. Ultimately, careers should be broad and deep, giving our leaders the confidence to solve problems and the experience to drive growth. But today, to get the right balance, we are emphasizing depth.”

“About a year ago, one of our executive development classes suggested that we reformulate our values to capture the spirit of GE as a growth company. Values can't just be words on a page. To be effective, they must shape actions. We looked to make them simpler, ...

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