GE Training Program a Win-Win for Budding CFOs

No one would disagree that Jack Welch has built General Electric into a huge, well-respected company. Still, with such a large effort, the company has put quite a bit of emphasis on a career track for financial professionals, and it's all about mindset and education.

Budding financial staff go through the Financial Management Program (they are called FMPs), an experience that offers classroom and on-the-job training to 350 new recruits each year. It's mostly trial-by-fire, as these young professionals go through a six-month implementation period with various assignments.

But more than that, they're taught to think like they actually own a piece of the company.

"FMPs are taught early on to be linked with operations, and to think of themselves as chief operating officers," says GE Medical Systems finance manager Brian Lutes. One of the more interesting approaches is that the education program actually links to others that expose recruits to upper-level financial management, including audit and leadership activities.

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