Case Study Overview

The Company

We worked with a construction firm, 100+ years old, that is part of a large conglomerate of over 100 companies. The firm is an umbrella for seven separate businesses, all related to the construction trades. In total, the parent company includes over 9,000 team members across the globe and is headquartered in Chicago, IL.

The Situation

In 2016, the construction firm hired Bellewether to assist in the development and implementation of a leadership training program for mid to executive-level leaders within one of the seven companies. The manager from the Department of Training & Employee Development asked what we might have in our services that could assist her in creating a leadership development program. After considering the organization’s needs, we determined that the Bellewether Leadership Studio would be the most flexible and effective option.

In the studio, participants would be hand-selected by their supervisors and managers to participate. The manager’s goal was to increase both knowledge and skills in the development of leaders within the organization. We collaborated with her to develop session topics based on known professional gaps and create curriculum that would support both individual and organizational development needs. 

The Pain Point

Like many companies today, succession of mid-level managers to upper-level executives is always at play. Unfortunately, it is easy to skip over the planning for these transitions and the preparation of those who will be next in line, despite how critical these steps are. This 100+ year-old company did not have the necessary training and performance development programs in place to bring emerging leaders to the forefront and prepare them to take the helm.

Our Approach

Working with the training and employee development manager, we implemented the Bellewether Leadership Studio. Flexible in its platform, the “Studio” is customized to fit the organizational need. In this case, we created a 2-year program, meeting once per quarter for two days. The Studio was limited to 16 participants, all of whom had to be recommended by their management to participate. 

Although the construction firm did already have some elements in place, there were still major gaps. We architected curriculum in much the same way as a design/build construction project. Throughout the process, we took into account knowledge and skill gaps of the cohort and often adjusted on the fly in order to meet learners where they were.

The first two Studios (two years each) were focused only on one of the seven organizations, and provided a wide range of classroom experiential learning, reading, mentoring and team project work. These projects were centered on organizational needs and created opportunities for cohort participants to solve a relevant business problem.

The success of these two cohorts lead to a broader audience of participants from all seven companies. This cohort is currently in session. In addition, it resulted in the creation of a parent company Leadership Studio composed of executives from multiple firms and industries within their portfolio.

The Outcome

According to our client, “The executive-level participants of the Bellewether Leadership Studio were able to execute new strategies and behaviors toward employee engagement. Armed with new tools, they quickly refocused their teams on high-impact objectives, increased interactions, and gained buy-in at critical production levels.

The Leadership Studio quickly has become a highly sought-after program by our employees. Training is only as good as the employee believes it to be. Because of our delivery team’s quality, genuineness, and collaboration, the Leadership Studio’s internal reputation is stellar. You can not get this with off-the-shelf training; it is not possible.”

$7 Million

Average increase in the overall gross project revenue due to the rise in productivity at the execution level, a reduction in safety incidents, improved employee morale, and a commitment to the process.

$35 Million

In found revenue gains in just five years.

Of the 45 Participants

5

were promoted to executive-level positions (including President and Vice President)

12

were promoted to Regional Management positions

16 

were able to increase their capacity for more challenging responsibilities. 

These movements opened up opportunities for 90 other employees downline, building our bench strength.

Testimonials

“I want to thank you for helping us broaden the perspective and focus of our organization. In an industry historically fixated on profit at the completion of a project, the Leadership Studio outcomes have been a driving force in developing a culture based on achieving our highest potential by building up our employees. We have learned that by providing them with training, a clear path forward, resources, and showing them genuine respect, we can get the best from and for our people. This is not an easy thing to do in an industry notorious for an “old school” use ’em up mentality. I have learned so much about myself in the Studio journey and now recognize the profound impact leadership has on an organization.”

Note from a VP who attended the Studio prior to receiving a promotion

“This is a letter I should have written long ago, but because we were together so frequently, I always hoped (or believed) my gratitude was implied. Well, I want to be, as you described, “transparent” and tell you how much this organization and I personally have grown and developed because we engaged with Bellewether and The Human Asset Imaging Institute and, more specifically, the two of you. A commitment from the consultant to the client organization is expected, but your commitment to the organization’s individuals was exceptional.”

Note from the Manager, Department of Training & Employee Development

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