General Electric Succession Management System Report Assignment


Read the below assignment, articles, and subsequent questions. The questions should be answered in the form of a report to be presented to the Executive Team of General Electric (GE). This report should be concise and include well thought out topics and ideas that are supported by facts and theories discussed in this course. This report should not exceed three pages in total length.

Topics to Consider:

  1. Retention
  2. Internal Candidates
  3. Succession Planning
  4. Forecasting
  5. Recruiting


Assignments must be uploaded to Blackboard by the end of the assigned week to be counted for credit. You may upload your assignments early if you would like. Late assignments will not be counted. The filename for your uploaded file should be formatted as such (Last Name, First Name – Assignment #. (for example: Charvat, Matthew-Assignment#4)

Assignment #4

General Electric (GE) is widely recognized and respected for its leadership talent and its succession management system. One of the best examples of succession management is how GE’s former CEO, Jack Welch, shaped and elevated the company’s philosophy, practice, and reputation for developing leaders. In a 1991 speech, Welch stated, “From now on, choosing my successor is the most important decision I’ll make.” GE’s commitment to developing leaders from within has yielded positive results for both the company’s employees and for GE. In fact, the program has been so successful that it’s been widely emulated by other global organizations.

Measuring and developing talent lies at the forefront of GE’s business strategy discussions. GE’s operating system, referred to as its “learning culture in action,” entails year-round learning sessions in which leaders from GE and outside companies share best practices with one another and generate ideas for new practices. Harry Elsinga, manager of executive development at GE, notes, “We really have a tight organization around how we combine our leadership meetings and how we approach our business. We have a constant cycle going on throughout the year where we talk about business and people at the same time. How do we develop talent in those businesses, how do we make sure that we have the right people to open a particular plant or to do an acquisition, etc.? Those discussions always go hand in hand. And it’s not a one-time kind of conversation; this is a constant, ongoing process.”

GE’s succession management system is fairly simple. GE managers and executives are moved from job to job every two to three years, and each job change or promotion is a well-thought-out process that provides managers with much-needed experience and exposure to certain elements of the business. This has allowed GE to build a management team that is very knowledgeable and experienced.

Questions: The questions should be answered in the form of a report to be presented to the Executive Team of General Electric (GE).

  1. Why does GE’s succession management approach work so well?
  2. Do you think that GE’s approach to succession management would work for all organizations? Why or why not?
  3. What are some possible disadvantages of moving people to new jobs every two to three years?