General Motors has joined forces with Stanford University in an attempt to refine the leadership styles and skills of the executives who show the greatest potential. The process will take place during the year-long Transformational Leadership program.
This development is vital to GM’s success as veteran executives retire and younger employees fill their places. In fact, John Quattrone, GM’s vice president of global human resources, told The Detroit News that GM could potentially see one-third of its salaried employees retire over the next five years.
“If we behave well with each other, that drives this company forward, then the people that work for us and the people who work for them will see that, they’ll see that demonstration and they will obviously emulate that and they will behave the way that we all do,” said Quattrone.
As you may or may not know, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra had received her MBA from Stanford back in 1990. She is also a member of the Stanford’s board of trustees as well as the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. Her longtime relationship with the university sparked the development of the program, which essentially critiques the behaviors of the executives and informs them of how they could be more efficient and effective in the way they manage various business interactions.
“The mindset behind this program is very much around how can we start to challenge ourselves to think like a startup, but leverage the global scale of the footprint of the company that we have,” said Michael Arena, GM’s global director of talent and development. Arena spent a year designing the training program with Stanford, tailoring it to meet the company’s needs.