Technology & Digital Innovation

The training ground for tomorrow’s leaders

Training and development are cornerstones of General Electric’s philosophy. In particular, the OMLP (Operations Management Leadership Program) is aimed at young employees in the Operations area and involves periods of time spent working at other GE businesses and locations and at Avio Aero sites. The aim of the program is to enable young professionals to acquire a combination of skills, experience and knowledge.
Last April a number of participants in the OMLP program attended specific OMLS (Operations Management Leadership Seminar) courses at the Learning Center in Florence.
Together with our colleagues from Aviation, participants included young people from other GE businesses such as Oil & Gas, Energy Management, Healthcare and Power & Water.
The aim of the course was to develop team-working skills. Participants were divided into 8-person teams and asked to work together using the skills they had learned during the week. This included practical exercises, simulations and case studies with a view to gaining an in-depth understanding of supply chain dynamics, boosting individual leadership skills and improving financial knowledge, with a special focus on themes such as Fastworks, Financial Intelligence, warehouse inventory management and lean manufacturing processes. It also included talks and meetings with supply chain leaders from Aviation and Oil & Gas held at typically Tuscan production sites (such as an olive oil factory just outside Florence), as well as conversations with managers from other businesses to discuss the importance of becoming future leaders through training courses like OMLP.
In one such example, participants were asked to explore a realistic working scenario and analyze the financial impact of various simulated projects with the aim of maximizing revenues at Nuovo Pignone (Oil & Gas). The results were subsequently presented to the Florence-based factory’s management for feedback and assessment.
Another example of a case history in our sector saw the special guest participation of Paul and Mara Palcisco, who discussed the current challenges facing Avio Aero. This proved a source of great motivation for the Avio Aero participants. “Thank you for your talk,” said one of our colleagues taking part. “You’ve helped us understand how internal interests can be balanced with those outside the company.”

We met the 5 Avio Aero employees who took part in the OMLP program – Rosa Aruta, Rugiada Cacciatore, Andrea Bertinotti, Francesco Dima and Marco Incontro – and asked them for their comments and points of view.
Francesco, how would you describe to Avio Aero employees this project? Would you suggest it to other guys?
OMLP is like a little “box” in which you find high value gifts: experience over various plants and products, cultural exchanges & networking, technical growth in real world Aviation business.
If  would I suggest it? Yes indeed. This is a “campaign” we are already promoting.
I’d strongly recommended it to people open-minded to the change with a strong mindset for continuous improvement.

Marco, this is the first year that OMLP is been organized in Avio Aero, so many people don’t know nothing about it. How would you describe it? From your point of view, could it really provide a faster growth than the normal one for any other employee?
According to the experience that I lived during the last 7 months in my first OMLP rotation the answer is absolutely yes. The key is that when you are in the same position for many years you become expert in almost all the aspect of that job but maybe you’re not familiar with the needs of the colleagues in the other position. Changing so many position in just two years doesn’t make you an expert of a specific job but gives you a wider view of all the company processes and this is a fundamental skill for a future leader. In addition I can say this theory has been confirmed by all the older OMLP members and is clearly visible by their careers.
Rosa, how is going this experience? Is it how did you expect? What is it giving you both as person and employee?
The last 7 months are been exciting, over my expectations! The change of job, office and colleagues brought to me a remarkable growth and I think it will be better and better.
Have a new role in a different CoE increased my flexibility and gave me the right mindset to adapt myself in every situation. Know a lot of new colleagues and work with different methodologies made me able to have an overall view useful to always choose the best way to do the job. In the meantime, I had the possibility to create a larger network that is the fundamental base for each current and future leader.

Andrea, which is the most impressive and functional thing that you find in this first rotation? What would you change and/or improve in the structure for the OMLP?
After few months of this incredible experience we are starting to enter into the program core: in my opinion the most impressive thing has been the first training course attended with our colleagues coming from all GE Business - Europe. It’s incredible to see how these guys are living the OMLP, how they are approaching the work with fast and clear thinking. Their GE mindset is awesome: we should take this as example and be the GE Culture in Avio Aero.
Avio Aero is a solid company, with a lot of admirers from all the world: here all the people are ready to support yourself with their help. The only thing that I’d like to improve is the flexibility to new changing and the speed of adapting.

Rugiada, you are the first class in GE Aviation that starts with 3 rotations of 8 months each. What could you say about this change? Do you think it is enough to figure out the role and create the right  network?

Yes, we are also the first class with 3 rotations of 8 months each, in addition to the first class in Avio Aero. It’s great! I think it has been a bright idea to have fewer rotations but a bit longer. 8 months help you to figure out the new role, to understand all processes more in depth and how you can manage them in a better way. You feel more self-confident and you have more time to think more efficient ideas, then to develop them and finally to see the results. More time helps you to collect as many feedback as possible about your job, that is very important for your personal and professional growth.
Meantime, I think that you can create the right network even with only 3 rotations.  If you want, every day you can get to know new people, exchange opinions and establish a good relationship with them. In my opinion, to develop a successful network, it is important how you engage with other people and not only how many people you get to know.

Marco, do you think that the OMLPs could help and facilitate the integration process between Avio Aero and GE? In which way?
OMLPs are a bridge between Avio Aero and GE Aviation. Indeed OMLPs are the first employees that from Avio Aero passed directly under GE Aviation responsibility, even still working in Avio Aero. From a cultural point of view the most important difference is that OMLPs are Italian and are familiar with Italian company organization. But they’re also GE Aviation employees so they quickly become familiar with an American company organization. Comparison between this two different worlds is the key to understand how to reduce the gap and speed up the integration process.

Andrea, what do you expect for the end of this two years?
The end of the program is still far enough: I hope to get the info and the experience necessary to cover a position with more responsibility. I’d like also have a job rotation (at the OMLP end or before) outside from the Avio Aero business, directly in Aviation: have a view of the company as broader as possible is essential to improve our skills, bring to GE Aviation our Know-how and bring back to Avio Aero the GE culture necessary for a faster integration.