GE Finds Ways to Develop Best Bosses Ever

GE recently asked a team of 21 millennial employees to identify the ways the company could attract, develop, and retain talent in the future. The idea was to tailor the company’s leadership curriculum and development programs by combining the group’s input with the results from a new study titled: 2012 GE Global Innovation Barometer.

In the process, Susan Peters, vice president of executive development and CLO, identified five characteristics and values that point to future success, sort of a profile for attracting talent by being the best boss ever (BBE).

She found that tomorrow’s leaders will attract and retain talent through inclusion and by inspiring others to act, instead of directing others through a hierarchical structure. They will serve as collaborators-in-chief by bringing diverse people and ideas together in order to weave inclusive and innovative solutions. They’ll also connect strategy to purpose in a way that fosters commitment and they’ll have the skills to navigate both the opportunities and challenges of a more connected world.

So what’s the best way to develop tomorrow’s BBEs?

  • Bring diverse, multicultural candidates into the company.
  • Launch structured mobility programs, so future leaders acquire diverse work and cultural experience through a broad range of assignments.
  • Expand leadership-development programs to support a broader base of culturally adaptive global leaders.
  • Train on basic skills like active listening, consensus building and collaboration to give future leaders a foundation for success.