Summary of The GE Work-Out

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The GE Work-Out book summary


9 Overall

10 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


There’s no denying the effectiveness of the “Work-Out” system at General Electric (GE). This book is a straightforward and comprehensive introduction to what Work-Out means and how it helped GE achieve astonishing results under Jack Welch, who introduced it. This clear, well-organized book makes it possible for any executive or manager to apply at least some elements of the Work-Out program in any organizational context. getAbstract does caution you, however, that the Work-Out program as portrayed here demands a great deal of commitment and moral fortitude from leaders. Empowerment may be effective, but it is rarely comfortable for the powers that be. Just ask “Neutron Jack.”

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to implement the General Electric “Work-Out” system
  • How to use it to reduce costs, encourage growth, and create innovative solutions and accountability.

About the Authors

Dave Ulrich, a University of Michigan School of Business professor, wrote Human Resource Champions, Results-Based Leadership and The HR Scorecard. Steve Kerr, chief learning officer and managing director of Goldman Sachs, is former vice president-leadership development and chief learning officer of General Electric. Ron Ashkenas is a managing partner in the Robert H. Schaffer & Associates consulting firm. He has written two other books about General Electric.




The Work-Out program helped General Electric (GE) reduce bureaucracy, cut costs and create a more effective, competitive culture during former CEO Jack Welch’s glory days in the 1980s and 1990s.

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