In October 1988, Jack Welch, then GE CEO, invited the faculty of its Leadership Development Institute (GE, Crotonville) for a faculty day with the chairman to identify ways to accelerate the pace of change in the organization. Francisco Gomez was one of the participants. Out of this session came several initiatives, among them ‘Work-Out’, the organizational change approach created by GE as documented in several business publications. (Most recent of these is the recently published book, The GE Work-Out: How to Implement GE's Method for Busting Bureaucracy & Attacking Organizational Problems, by Dave Ulrich, Steve Kerr, Ron Askenash, Debbie Burke, Patricia Murphy.)

EDI participated in the deployment of Work-Out in the US, Europe and Latin America, as well as in transferring the process to GE customers. EDI produced facilitator materials and prepared two generations of Work-Out facilitators in English, Spanish and Portuguese. EDI created an ‘Action Work-Out’ program to train any manager to conduct a Work-Out session in two days. In addition, EDI designed a software application to follow up Work-Out projects in the organization. EDI conducted Work-Out sessions for GE clients and strategic partners using up to 5 facilitators per session. This enabled larger groups to undergo the process with minimal disruption to their organization.

EDI also transferred Work-Out successfully to the FIAT and Mercedes-Benz operations in Brazil. Significantly, the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia became another Work-Out client thus expanding the application’s reach and scope into the public sector.

The following Work Out Case Study gives an overview of the deployment effort.