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CEO Circle

Rethinking personal development at GE

Published 21 February 2023 in CEO Circle • 6 min read

Anand Narasimhan, Shell Professor of Global Research at IMD, and Jennifer Jordan, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, with Research Associate Shih-Han Huang, consider the role of wider cultural change in the introduction of GE’s new performance-management system.

General Electric (GE) is one of the oldest companies in the US. Rather than dwelling on its history, however, it has made a point of living in the present – albeit with one eye on the horizon. For decades, it has built up a track record of adoption of innovative management practices that earned the admiration of its peers. The start of the new millennium brought new challenges such as protectionist policies, slowing growth, and disruption from both industrial peers and start-ups. In response, GE shifted the focus to innovation and added value for its customers. Then CEO Jeff Immelt realized that to be more innovative, GE needed to listen carefully to its customers and become more responsive,…

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