Organizational Transformation

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Case Studies  General Electric (GE)  >>  GE Work-Out

Two Categories of Problems Solved: Rattlers and Pythons


Goals    Growth

5 Sessions




GE Work-Out - Rattlers Pythons - two types of problems solved



4 Types of Problems

Problem Solving Strategies: 4 Levels

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Rattlers and Pythons

“Work-Out” is GE’s highly successful technique for solving organizational problems very quickly.

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The purpose of Work-Out is to make the workplace simpler, eliminate bureaucracy, multiple approvals, unnecessary paperwork, excessive reports, and routines.

For example, in one of these meetings the group decided that the head of the computer lab should be allowed to spend petty cash without approval of a superior, thus eliminating the need for a supervisor to make a decision.

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Work-Out program helps the company redesign an improvement and decision-making process by figuring out where it begins and ends.

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In three-day sessions, participants break problems into two categories: rattlers and pythons.

Rattlers are small problems that can be resolved immediately (e.g., getting an approval to move a box with work gloves closer to a worker).

Pythons are bigger problems that require further study (e.g., reducing the paperwork). 

Jack Welch advice business quotes

One of the ways we'll know that Work-Out has been successful is that my style of leadership will no longer be tolerated in this company.

Jack Welch





The Work-Out program was a way to reduce bureaucracy and give every employee, from managers to factory workers, an opportunity to influence and improve GE's day-to-day operations.

Ultimately, the goal of the Work-Out program was to "clean up" GE, to make workers more productive and processes simpler and more clear-cut.

Work-Out was also designed to reduce, and ultimately eliminate all of the waste hours and energy that large organizations typically expend in performing day-to-day operations.  >>>