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GE Change Acceleration Process

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Change in the Fast Lane: GE's Acceleration Unpacked

General Electric (GE) has always been at the forefront of organizational transformation, and their Change Acceleration Process (CAP) is a testament to their commitment to innovation and efficiency. CAP, devised during the 1990s, is a structured approach to facilitate change management within organizations. More than just a strategy, CAP is a holistic framework that combines tools, methodologies, and leadership behaviors to ensure that change initiatives are not only implemented but also sustained. In today's fast-paced, technology-driven landscape, the relevance of CAP is even more pronounced, providing organizations with a road map to navigate the complexities of change in a streamlined and effective manner.


  • Structured Approach: Offers a comprehensive framework to tackle change.

  • Leadership Engagement: Ensures leaders are active participants in the change process.

  • Employee Involvement: Fosters a culture of collective ownership of change initiatives.

  • Sustained Impact: Ensures that changes are enduring and not just momentary.

  • Adaptable: Can be tailored to suit various organizational sizes and sectors.

When to use

GE's Change Acceleration Process is versatile, making it apt for:

  • Major Organizational Shifts: Mergers, acquisitions, or rebranding phases.

  • Technological Transitions: Implementing new IT systems or digital transformation.

  • Cultural Revamps: Shifting organizational values or behaviors.

  • Operational Changes: Process improvements, quality initiatives, or lean implementations.

  • Market-Driven Changes: Responding to market dynamics, competition, or customer demands.

OD Application

GE Change Acceleration Process: Catalyzing Sustainable Transformation

Change is an intrinsic aspect of business. As the business environment evolves, organizations must adapt to stay relevant and competitive. Yet, managing change, especially on an organizational scale, can be challenging. Recognizing this, General Electric (GE) developed the Change Acceleration Process (CAP). This approach goes beyond mere change management, focusing on accelerating the acceptance and effectiveness of change initiatives. It is a testament to GE's forward-thinking that they developed a structured methodology to manage something as intangible, yet as critical, as change.

The Essence of the GE Change Acceleration Process

CAP is rooted in the understanding that while technical skills and strategies are essential, the human side of change is equally, if not more, critical. The process emphasizes the importance of leadership, communication, and involvement in driving successful change. It offers tools and techniques to diagnose situations, manage stakeholder perceptions, and develop actionable plans to facilitate change.

Impact on Well-being

Individual Level

1. Clarity and Direction:CAP provides individuals with a clear understanding of the change, its purpose, and its implications. This clarity reduces anxiety and resistance.

2. Empowerment:The process involves individuals in the change process, making them active participants rather than passive recipients, fostering a sense of ownership and empowerment.

3. Skill Development:Individuals gain skills in change management, collaboration, and communication, enhancing their personal and professional development.

Team Level

1. Enhanced Team Dynamics:As teams navigate change together, they develop stronger bonds, trust, and collaborative spirit.

2. Shared Vision:CAP ensures that teams have a unified understanding of the change and its objectives, ensuring coordinated efforts.

3. Effective Communication:The process emphasizes open dialogue, ensuring that team members are aligned and informed.

Impact on Organizational Prosperity

1. Swift Implementation:By accelerating the acceptance of change, CAP ensures that organizations can implement changes faster, gaining a competitive edge.

2. Reduced Resistance:By addressing the human side of change, CAP reduces resistance, ensuring smoother transitions with fewer disruptions.

3. Enhanced Agility:Organizations that adopt CAP become more agile, able to adapt to changes in the business environment swiftly and effectively.

Guidelines for Implementing the GE Change Acceleration Process

1. Leadership Alignment:Leadership must be aligned in their understanding and support of the change for CAP to succeed.

2. Comprehensive Communication:Clear, consistent, and transparent communication is pivotal. All stakeholders should understand the why, what, and how of the change.

3. Active Involvement:Involve employees at all levels in the change process. Their insights, feedback, and involvement can provide invaluable perspectives and foster ownership.

4. Continuous Monitoring:Change doesn't end with implementation. Continuously monitor progress, gather feedback, and be ready to make necessary adjustments.

Determining the Need for CAP

1. Major Organizational Changes:If the organization is undergoing significant shifts, like mergers, acquisitions, or restructuring, CAP can be invaluable.

2. Resistance to Past Changes:If past change initiatives met with considerable resistance or failed to achieve desired outcomes, it's time to consider CAP.

3. Rapidly Changing Business Environment:In industries where the business landscape is rapidly evolving, CAP can equip organizations to stay ahead.

Observing the Impact

Individual Level:Individuals will display a more positive attitude towards change, participate proactively, and demonstrate enhanced collaboration.

Team Level:Teams will work with improved synergy, have consistent communication, and display a unified front in the face of change.

Organizational Level:The organization will exhibit agility, faster decision-making, and successful change implementation, leading to enhanced performance and competitiveness.

In essence, the GE Change Acceleration Process is not just about managing change but about embedding a culture that embraces change. It recognizes that while strategies, tools, and techniques are essential, the human element is the linchpin of successful change. By emphasizing leadership, communication, and involvement, CAP ensures that change is not just implemented but is accepted and internalized. In today's dynamic business world, where change is the only constant, methodologies like CAP are not just beneficial but essential. Organizations that master the art of change are the ones that will thrive, innovate, and lead. CAP is a beacon for those aspiring to be such organizations.


Healthcare: Digital Transformation

A prominent healthcare provider, transitioning to a digital-first approach, utilized CAP to ensure that the change was smooth, with doctors, nurses, and administrative staff all aligned and trained in the new digital tools.

Technology: Merging Cultures

A tech giant, post the acquisition of a startup, employed CAP to ensure that the two distinct organizational cultures merged seamlessly, preserving the innovative spirit while aligning with the broader company ethos.

Non-Profit: Expanding Outreach

An international non-profit, looking to expand its global footprint, utilized CAP to navigate the complexities of working in diverse regions, ensuring that the core organizational values were preserved while adapting to local nuances.

Facilitator Notes

How to Introduce the Change Acceleration Process

When introducing CAP, it's vital to emphasize its roots in GE's legacy and its structured yet flexible approach to managing change.

Sample Introduction Script

"Today, we'll delve into the Change Acceleration Process, a proven methodology from GE that equips us with the tools and mindset to navigate change effectively."

Helpful Facilitator Questions

  1. What are the key drivers for the change we are considering?

  2. How does this change align with our organizational objectives?

  3. Who are the key stakeholders for this change initiative?

  4. What potential roadblocks do we foresee and how can we mitigate them?

  5. How do we measure the success of this change initiative?

Anticipating Obstacles with CAP

Change is often met with resistance. With CAP, it's essential to ensure that all stakeholders are aligned and onboarded. Address any concerns about the pace or nature of the change and emphasize the structured approach of CAP. Provide reassurance through clear communication and active leadership engagement.

Signs of Successful Facilitation

Effective facilitation of CAP will result in:

  • Clear articulation of the need for change.

  • Active engagement and participation from all stakeholders.

  • A detailed roadmap for the change initiative with clear milestones.

  • Mechanisms in place for feedback and course correction.

  • Visible and tangible positive outcomes from the change initiative.

Deep Dive

Kotter's 8-Step Change Model (John Kotter)

Field: Organizational Behavior

Kotter's model, emphasizing a structured approach to change, resonates with the principles of CAP, especially in ensuring that change is lasting and impactful.

Diffusion of Innovations (Everett Rogers)

Field: Communication Theory

Rogers' exploration of how new ideas spread aligns with CAP's focus on ensuring that change is disseminated effectively across an organization.

Transformational Leadership (James MacGregor Burns)

Field: Leadership Studies

Burns' concept of leaders who can inspire and drive change aligns with CAP's emphasis on leadership engagement in change initiatives.


  1. How has CAP influenced our approach to managing change?

  2. How can we ensure that the changes implemented are sustainable?

  3. Are there aspects of CAP that we need to customize for our unique context?

  4. How do we ensure continuous feedback and improvement post-implementation?

  5. What lessons have we learned from our CAP-driven change initiatives?


Here are five highly relevant, intellectually stimulating, and practical research questions that scholars might consider exploring:

  1. How has the Change Acceleration Process evolved in the context of digital-first organizations?

  2. What are the cultural implications of implementing CAP in diverse global organizations?

  3. How do leadership styles influence the success of CAP-driven change initiatives?

  4. Can CAP be integrated with other change management methodologies for enhanced outcomes?

  5. What are the long-term impacts of changes driven by CAP on organizational performance?


  1. "Leading Change" by John P. Kotter: An exploration of change management, with parallels to the principles of CAP.

  2. "The Heart of Change" by John P. Kotter and Dan S. Cohen: A deep dive into the emotional aspects of managing change, aligning with CAP's focus on people.

  3. "Change Management: The People Side of Change" by Jeffrey M. Hiatt and Timothy J. Creasey: A comprehensive guide on managing change, with insights that complement the CAP methodology.


GE's Change Acceleration Process stands as a beacon for organizations navigating the choppy waters of change. With its structured framework and emphasis on both people and processes, CAP ensures that change is not just implemented but also ingrained. As you delve deeper into CAP, you'll discover its transformative potential, guiding your organization towards a brighter, more agile future.

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