In-House Schooling for Managers and Executives
One of the most effective ways to create a thriving culture and qualified talent is through an in-house talent development center. This is just another way in which multidexter organizations can nurture winning strategies and great execution.
What we mean by an in-house school is having an internal training center, or academy if you will, where the company’s best prospects are brought in to be trained and taught subjects that are highly relevant for the company.
Some of the things that your company can use an in-house training center for include:
- Communicating the strategy: In
an in-houseacademy, company leaders, including the CEO, explain in their own wordsthe organization’s vision, the strategic choices the company makes andwhat they expect from the execution efforts in the foreseeable future. There’s no better way to learn why the company does what it does than hearing it from the horse’s mouth.
- Transferring technical knowledge: The academy can also be used to teach employees task-specific knowledge that is needed to perform their work. This promotes a continual specialization of the workforce, and a common source of knowledge upon which technical and operational decisions are made.
- Deep-diving into company-specific subjects: An in-house training center can be a great place to analyze problems and situations that are unique to the company, to work on company-specific case studies, and explain how some particular, less-common situations have been treated in the past, by whom and why.
- Enhancing absorptive capacity: You can also bring in external experts to discuss relevant topics or emerging trends that could affect the business in the future. At a minimum it should be used to promote internal discussions of relevant industry topics that could affect the company in one way or another in the near future.
One of the most widely known examples of an in-house development center is GE’s Crotonville Management Development Institute in Ossining, New York.
The center, founded in 1965 and majorly upgraded by Jack Welch in the early 1980s, trains around 12,000 employees every year on areas from management skills to technical training and the discussion of trending topics like Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence.
Crotonville was fundamental to Jack Welch’s famous deployment of Six Sigma and other radical implementations at GE. It became a talent factory that still provides top performers for the company.
Reflecting on how fundamental Crotonville was for GE’s success during his tenure as CEO, Jack Welch says:
“Ultimately, Crotonville became a boiling pot for learning. Our most valuable teachers there became the students themselves. Through their classwork and field studies, they taught the company’s leaders and one another that there often was a better way. Crotonville became, in fact, our most important factory… Without Crotonville, I didn’t think we had a prayer”.
Wu, Sun. Strategy for Executives, this book can now be downloaded for free here.
Nicholls, Jane. Inside Crotonville: GE’s corporate vault unlocked. GE Reports. October 2017. URL: https://www.ge.com/reports/inside-crotonville-ges-corporate-vault-unlocked/
Welch, Jack; Byrne, John A. Jack: Straight from the Gut. Business Plus. Kindle Edition.