Ge's Two Decade Transformation: Jack Welch's Leadership

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GE’s Two Decade Transformation: Jack Welch’s Leadership
Submitted by: Group 11
When Jack Welch took over GE as CEO in April 1981, GE comprised of a complex diversified conglomerate consisting of 10 overlaying groups of 46 divisions and 190 departments all supporting 43 business units. GE was already considered as a bench mark for its sophisticated strategic planning and management practices. But at that time US was facing recession, an economy of high unemployment, high interest rates, and strong U.S dollar. So Welch set in motion a series of changes that were to radically restructure the company over the next few years.
Welch set the target for each of the businesses to be number 1 or 2. He laid down a three circle concepts in which each business was categorized as core, with the priority of investing in productivity and quality, high technology, with the purpose of having an edge over competitors and services, to add outstanding people and to make contiguous acquisition. He also followed a ‘fix, sell or close’ policy under which many businesses were sold. The money which was collected through sales was invested in acquisition.
He tried to make GE more lean and agile which resulted in a highly disciplined de-staffing process. He chipped away bureaucracy, laborious strategic planning system was scrapped and instead real time planning system was bought in. Hierarchy was removed and confined to four levels and made all businesses to report directly to himself. Due to this drastic restructuring, effectiveness increased and this resulted in increase in profit.
After restructuring he shifted his focus to create desired culture and management approaches. He launched initiatives likes Workout, a forum for the employee discussion so as to remove bureaucracy and to give employees, a platform for discussion. Another such initiative was Best Practices, in which they tried…...

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