GE Crotonville training center in New York is always hit or miss weather wise in April. I caught them on a cold day on April 15th. Jim Bado and I did the standard Management Development (MDC) course for GE. I did the large class on the basics and Jim took the advanced case study class. GE always has great food at their facility. Probably too much great food! This time the problem was little cups of Haagen-Dazs ice cream. At least they also have a great gym.
The new MTC director let me know that this class asks a lot of questions and to be ready. I just smiled and said I am used to questions. Then when the class started I learned first-hand what she was talking about. After presenting one page in the book I answered question after question and then looked up and 15 minutes had passed by. Wow at that pace I would finish the class at 10 pm not 3:30 as scheduled. These MDC classes are always very inquisitive and it makes the class fun but this group pegged the meter. I started moving through the material more quickly and by deferring and passing on some questions we were able to work through the material.
An interesting point that always comes up with GE is leverage. The overall total liability-to-equity ratio is 4-5 to one. When one breaks it out by the GE Industrial and GE Capital we find that the industrial total liability-to-equity ratio is around .80 to one and the GE Capital total liability-to-equity ratio is close to 7-8 to one. Both of these ratios are very low when compared to their industries. On the other hand the overall ratio may appear to be high at 5 to one. These ratios always seem to be an interesting discussion with the GE classes.