GE is doing everything right, at least according to the traditional rule book. For example, it treasures its human capital, investing heavily in training and developing it. Yet, as Diane Brady observes in the current edition of BUSINESS WEEK, there is "a growing sense that something's not right."
We know from experience that usually the last place to find the fix and the courage to implement it is internally. The mindset and behavior within an organization are usually too embedded to shake themselves loose. On an individual level, that's why we go to therapists when we're stuck. It's no longer an inside job.
Perhaps GE can sponsor a contest for students at business schools, undergraduate and graduate, U.S. and international, to analyze the status quo and recommend what needs to be changed, how and within what time-frame. Winners would be given plum jobs at GE, and their tuition reimbursed. The judges? The non-GE types of executives. To donate their time, those judges could request GE contribute to their favorite charity.