Good Team-Building Techniques AND Strategies Essay Example
General Electric Transformation under the Leadership of Jack Welch
The Company General Electric is hugely regarded as one of the most prosperous organizations worldwide more so under the leadership of Jack Welch. Jack Welch, who was a CEO of the same company, is one of the most widely admired and acclaimed contemporary corporate leader in the United States. This paper analyzes the techniques and strategies used by Jack Welch in transforming General Electric into a world class status company. The paper is structured into four sections. A description of the strategies and team-building technique use by Welch in transforming the company forms the fast section. The conditions of General Electric when Jack Welch took over and where it is today forms the second section. The third section is an investigation and discussion of the strategies in establishing the various teams and how execution, followed lastly by an explanation highlighting other strategies that could have worked in a similar scenario, and its rationale.
Team-Building Techniques and Strategies Used by Jack Welch
Good Leadership-One of the strategies that Jack Welch used was good leadership. He created a vision, articulated the vision to employees, zealously owned the vision, and persistently drove it to its logical completion. In particular, Welch remained open. Going up, down, and around the company to reach people (Ulrich & Ashkenas, 2002).
He did not anytime stick to the established channels. He was very informal. Even though often criticized for his views, Welch remained honest and straight with people. He made a religion out of being approachable, reachable and accessible. He never got bored telling his story to employees.
Effective communication-Welch was an avid and real communicator who took myriad hours of back and forth and eyeballed to eyeball with employees. As often quoted, he strongly believed that being candid with everyone was the strongest point in business (Krames, 2005). It required more listening than talking. Welch was convinced that this should not be announcements on a videotape or pronouncements in a newspaper but rather human beings integrating together to accept and see things through a continuous collaborative process intended for consensus building.
As a leader, Welch upheld candor as his success key. He developed strategies for asking probing questions that required employees to share their thoughts. He also heaped praise to employees who proposed ideas and frequently organized for such employees a two to three-day-long events called “Work-Outs” which were externally facilitated. He felt this would enable employees feel comfortable and open up in sharing their opinions and ideas.
Jack Welch built a culture anchored on his idea of condor that he believed was a characteristic of strategic conversation. This enabled cross hierarchy and boundary communication about the company themes, vision and values thereby contributing in achieving the desired outcome (Eigenhuis & Dijk, 2005). Jack Welch reinvigorated the use and integration of rich communication avenues and went further to create an environment conducive for communication.
Employee Motivation-Jack Welch believed in both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation which to him is the ideal motivation formula. This approach that he labels differential deploys the mark 20-70-10 to depict employees’ technique. The label 20-70-10 displays a percentage of the employee population cascaded into three groups based on performance; 10% representing the bottom performers, 70% being the middle performers, and 20% being the top performers. The top performers are rewarded with increased gifts and compensation in the form of praise, stock options, and training. On the opposite end are the bottom 10% performers who are relieved of their duties every time employee evaluation is completed (Hunter, 2014). The middle 70% of the performers which are the most challenging to manage but also very important employees to any company, are motivated through training exposure, public praise, positive feedback, skill cultivation and in goal setting. Welch acknowledges that empowerment is the fundamental concept of motivation in addition to setting stretching goals. He in effect instills assurance by treating employees with respect and in giving employees the freedom to engage their acquired skills to achieve the company goals.
Organizational Culture and Change-Jack Welch cultivated a robust learning culture at General Electric. He has accomplished this by establishing a set of fundamental values, understandings, assumptions, and norms and encouraging all employees to participate in his vision (Hunter, 2014). Welch instigated this culture by removing the communication boundaries at all levels and making all employees part of the conversation at General Electric. Finally, Welch constantly followed-up to ensure proposed ideas were properly implemented and that they were working to serve the intended purpose (Eigenhuis & Dijk, 2005).
Welch also created and cultivated a learning culture through progressive research. He created a consultative forums where ideas were shared and candidly reward contributors. Welch was frequently quoted saying “treasure and nourish the voice and dignity of every person.” He believed having positive attitude towards colleagues would help in building a culture of learning and respect
Welch was also instrumental at integrating the organizational culture into both internal, external business environment. He was convinced that customers had to be engaged directly into the existing process to enable them feel the quality of the products immediately. He would also closely screen customer satisfaction to be sure that what they were engaging in had a positive effect on customers.
Jack Welch had a different view on change; he anticipated business challenges and made the needed modifications by involving employees before they could be compelled to. He believed that business leaders needed to embrace change because change is inevitable (Ulrich & Ashkenas, 2002).
Leading Ethically-Research depicts that Jack Welch enjoyed almost all of the qualities listed for one to be a successful ethical leader. According to Daft, ethical leadership requires the following: humility, maintenance of concern for the greater good, honesty, fulfillment of commitments, demonstration for fairness, responsible, respectful, mentors, the serve others, and show courage to stand up for what is right
Looking on the success of Jack Welch during his term at General Electric, it’s clear that Welch’s level of moral leadership is effective for the company in establishing their goals. Besides, Welch is so motivated on managing more than empowering employees, he has developed, self-responsible followers. This portrays Welch, a steward leader; he defines the purpose and meaning to his employees to enable them attain a high level of success.
General Electric at Glance from 1981 to 2001
Jack Welch became the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Electric in April 1981 when the economy of the U.S was in recession. A strong dollar coupled with high-interest rates intensified the problem. This occasioned one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States. During his tenure, the market capitalization of General Electric rose from 12, 000 million dollars in 1981 to 500,000 million dollars by the time he retired in 2000 (Krames, 2005).
This is used to assess the performance of various Chief Executive Officer and understand where each one of them started to where they ended during their tenure.
Team Establishing Strategy that Worked for Jack Welch
The fundamental point to General Electric improvement and success was hinged on the management of employees’ capacities and talents. Welch inherited and retained the developed management system. He was convinced giving managers massive loss-profit responsibility was conducive in flourishing their talent. He believed in giving a lot of recognition and rewards to individuals’ abilities and contributions (Eigenhuis & Dijk, 2005).
Welch focused on skills set realignment and more so the mind of sets of the 290,000 employees. This included redefining open contracts with its staff giving rise to paternal loyalty. Welch also invested in training and developed environments conducive for professional and personal growth.
Welch kept close tabs with approximately 500 employees who he was in approval of their appointments and always wanted to be exposed to potential managers while presenting results on projects reports. Welch always requested the top executive to identify future leaders, outline developments and training plans, and to highlight successive plans for all key vacancies. This further displayed his belief that good employees were company assets and had to be managed as company resources (Hunter, 2014).
General Electric under Welch gave all employees honest feedback on their professional development and answered employee anticipations of future vacancies they could hold with a specific skill set to get there. Line managers used this forum to coach and develop their staff.
Welch also drastically revamped the company compensation package from a narrowly-based increase in salary to huge bonuses based on performance, with stock options being becoming the main management compensation component.
Welch also used General Electric’s Crotonville management improvement facility to a consultation prize for individuals who did not get promotions to a powerful engine of change in his transformation effort. He hired experienced trainers to modernize Crotonville’s activities. This gave Crotonville a platform to develop leaders aligned with General Electric culture, vision and norms.
Other Strategies that could also work
Whereas Welch thrived through a cult figure and ruled mostly through intimidation, research has showed that friendly approach can yield best results if properly structured. This approach cheers and makes employees appear more motivated than the usual taunting as seen from Welch, which chews employees perceived to be poor performers. This enabled other employees respect you and have confidence in you as CEO (Ulrich & Ashkenas, 2002).
Embrace technology as a major catalyst of General Electric future growth and internationalize major opportunities. Research has further shown that when we embrace technology into our systems, we may turn the corporate development into an intellectual hothouse. Also focusing much on the customer rather than the employee would be suitable. This enables the existing processes to become increasingly more diverse and international.
Eigenhuis, A., & Dijk, R. (2007). High performance business strategy: Inspiring success through effective human resource management. London.
Hunter, P. (2014). The Seven Inconvenient Truths of Business Strategy. Farnham: Gower.
Krames, J. A. (2005). Jack Welch and the 4 E's of Leadership. S.l: McGraw-Hill Companies.
Schein, E. H., Dyer, W. G., Dyer, W. G., & Dyer, J. H. (2013). Team building: Proven strategies for improving team performance. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.
Ulrich, D., Kerr, S., Ashkenas, R. N., Burke, D., & Murphy, P. (2002). The GE work-out: How to implement GE's revolutionary method for busting bureaucracy and attacking organizational problems--fast. New York: McGraw-Hill.