between Management and Employees
The Four Key Goals of
❶ Encourage employees to share
their views in a collaborative culture
❷ Vest greater responsibility, power, and
accountability with front-line employees
Eliminate wasteful, irrational, and repetitive steps in the work process
(which would come to light through employee feedback)
Dismantle the boundaries that prevent the
ideas and efforts.
Leading Change through the
The Jack Welch's Way
Redesigning the role of the leader
in the new economy: creating followers through communicating a
vision, and establishing open, caring relations with every employee.
Creating an open,
collaborative workplace where everyone's opinion is welcome.
→ Empowering senior executives to run
far-flung businesses in
Liberating the workforce;
making everybody a participant through improving vertical communication
The Need for Change
Today, GE succeeds
in dozens of diverse businesses, and is continuously at the
Some years ago however, in locations throughout GE, local managers were
operating in an insulated environment with walls separating them, both
horizontally and vertically, from other departments and their workforce.
Employee questions, initiatives, and feedback were discouraged.
9 Signs of a
In the new
knowledge-driven economy, Jack Welch, the then
CEO, General Electric,
"viewed this as anathema. He believed in creating
an open collaborative workplace
where everyone's opinion was welcome."1 He wrote in a letter to
shareholders: "If you want to get the benefit of everything employees have,
you've got to free them –
make everybody a participant. Everybody has to know everything, so they
can make the right decisions by themselves."1
The Revolution that Began
from the Top
25 Lessons from
Jack Welch planned to launch a revolution at GE
from the day he took over the company and wasted no time in executing his
plan. No one in American business had the vision to transform a basically
healthy major company, to fix something that wasn't broken.
Welch's revolution began from the top. He made
GE leaner, tougher, faster more competitive – with fewer people, fewer
few managers, and more leaders. Though to many GE had been an icon, a
sacred institution that could not be tampered with, Welch applied a kind of
"survival of the fittest" rule of thumb to GE businesses and to GE
personnel; those who survived were the ones who were needed.5 For
twenty years he led a series of revolutions at GE, seeking to recast a
highly bureaucratic, labor-intensive and slow corporate giant into a highly
productive entrepreneurial organization
function with speed,
simplicity and passion of a small company. Given GE's size and
complexity, it was a heroic task, but Welch knew that to make GE the world's
transformational change was essential.
Change Acceleration Program
CAP was implemented by Jack Welch to help
throughout the organization.
The program started with
but other managers were also provided with the tools and training they needed to
engineer and drive change throughout the company.
GE's values are so important to the company, that
Jack Welch had them inscribed and distributed to all GE employees, at
every level of the company. But before the cards were furnished to the
staff, GE had come to consensus on which core values it wanted to cultivate
in its employees. Many hours were spent at GE's Leadership Institute and
elsewhere deciding on exactly what those values should be.
In 1987 GE issued companywide guidelines. It
was an 80-page booklet called Integrity: The Spirit and the Letter of Our
Commitment. Every employee was required to read the booklet and sign a
card that they had read it.
In that booklet, Jack Welch wrote in his
Statement of Integrity:
Integrity is a rock upon which we build our
business success – and our quality products and services, our forthright
relations with customers and
and ultimately, our winning competitive record. GE's quest for
begins and ends with our commitments to ethical conduct.
GE Values Statement says:
While GE has always performed with integrity
and values, each business generation expresses those values according to the
circumstances of the times. Now more than ever the expression and adherence
to values is vital...
Creating a Seamless Link between
Determined to harness the
collective power of GE employees, create a free flow of ideas, and redefine
relationships between boss and subordinates, Welch developed
Work-Out: a series of town hall meetings conducted by GE management and
designed to encourage employee feedback,
cross-pollination of ideas,
"In the Welch-led
traditional barriers dividing employees, co-workers, and management give way
to tethers of
interdisciplinary and interdepartmental cooperation."1
Reassessing Performance and Benchmarking Employees Continuously
Jack Welch does a good job of
illustrating the need for
change management and
reassessment when he says, "If the rate of change inside an organization
is less that the rate of change outside... their end is in sight".
the tools used by Welch to ensure constant reassessment and
the annual review undertaken by every
GE executive and staff member. Once a
year, every employee's performance evaluated and awarded a numerical ranking
of between 1 and 5. "The implicit understanding is that both the individual
and his or her score are moving up or it's time to leave the company."2