Articles that mention Jack Welch EMBA

How Jack Welch Is Reinventing the MBA

The former GE CEO’s online MBA program has a laser-like focus on customer service. When legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch hired a headhunter to search for new deans of curriculum and faculty for his online management institute, he had an unusual requirement. “Jack didn’t like pie-in-the-sky academic types,” says Michael Kirkman, a search consultant with Lochlin Partners. Despite that limitation, Kirkman had little trouble rounding up an impressive portfolio of higher ed candidates. “Everybody was very interested, particularly with Jack’s name attached to it,” Kirkman says. “A lot of them are just tired of the bureaucracy and garbage that goes on in traditional academic environments.” Welch ultimately hired Craig Clawson, former managing director of Duke Corporate Education, as dean of curriculum, and Mike Zeliff, a faculty member at George Washington University and a former marketing director for the U.S. Marine Corps, as the dean of faculty. Both hires go a long way in telegraphing the fact that the four-year-old Jack Welch Management Institute is one of the very few business schools that is run like a business, with a laser-like focus on customer service. The school is closely managed on student surveys that measure the impact of the education as well as the likelihood that a student would recommend the institute to a friend or colleague. At JWMI, every administrator and faculty member understands that students are customers. In fact, the incentive pay of the core leadership team—up to 25% of their annual base salaries—is based on satisfying those customers. Net Promoter Scores (NPS), the metric Welch is using to monitor student satisfaction, are widely discussed among the leadership team, even down to the scores on the 12 courses that make up the MBA curriculum. “We’re running this...

Jack Welch on the executive MBA he created in his own image...

In 2009, he eschewed full-time retirement at his Florida home to set up the Jack Welch Management Institute, with a view to rolling out the next generation of Jack Welches. His name is upfront and he is proud of it. “It’s mine. I can design the faculty. I can select the dean. I can control the product.” Nor does the marketing slogan for his executive MBA pull its punches: “Most MBA programmes study great leaders. Ours is taught by one,” it reads. Sitting in his central Manhattan apartment, which has some of the best views of New York that money can buy, Welch counters the notion that becoming a business professor is a reinvention. “I’ve spent 20 years at GE teaching. I taught every month. Then I taught at MIT [Sloan School of Management] for five years,” he begins. “I love the process – I’ve been hooked on it for 35 years.” In truth, Welch, who has lost little of the penetrating stare of his GE days, displays an enthusiasm for the subject of education that few business school professors can muster. But the man known for his pugnacity holds little truck with the scale, the focus and the business model of the traditional business school. The traditional MBA, he says, is “a gracious way to change jobs because you made a mistake the first time”. And business schools are inefficient. “I just saw overheads everywhere and I saw the cost of tuition racing ahead as these overheads built up.” Yet he insists that the online Jack Welch EMBA is not competing directly with the elite MBA programmes. “We are not that system; this is not us versus them,” he says. Instead, it is all a matter of scale....