The contrasting examples of GE's smooth CEO transition and Uber's management chaos suggest that companies that invest in talent development of internal high achievers are taking the right approach. Deloitte states that in the US close to $12bn was spent in 2013 on leadership development activity. However, there are real issues in simply relying on internal talent pools for future leaders - lack of external market perspectives, diversity of thinking and the fact that careers are now much more fluid than they were. As a consequence, high potential executives want to build their skill sets across different firms - and this may not be such a bad thing,.
John Flannery rolled out of GE’s factory for corporate leaders last week, ready to succeed Jeff Immelt in August as only the 11th chief executive in the multinational’s 125-year history. His annunciation is the outcome of a process as meticulous and intensive as the manufacture of a composite fan blade for one of its aircraft engines.