$600 Mil Haskell Drives Operational Performance

Designing Performance

$600 million design, build, and engineering firm drives operational performance with servant-leader culture and talent development

Business Challenge

Founded in 1965, Haskell is a leading integrated design-build firm in the industrial, commercial, government, and civil infrastructure markets. With revenues in excess of $600 million, Haskell opens doors to progress and productivity around the globe. Haskell’s innovation, growth, and high performance are built on an old-fashioned foundation: Service as the path to leadership.

David Thaeler, SVP of Human Resources at Haskell, says that although the company has always done a good job of recruiting and training executives in the servant-leader way, it faced challenges in percolating that same culture among the organization’s hundreds of employees.

Thaeler envisioned a program that would operationalize Haskell’s servant-leader values throughout all levels of the company, from the front line to the top level. He had worked with Chip Scholz previously, and knew that Scholz’s personal integrity and operational approach were a good match for the project.

The Solution

Scholz partnered with Thaeler to design a three-prong servant leadership program consisting of a seminar to reach all employees, a management series to support mid-level managers, and leadership support services for high performing leaders.

The Servant Leadership Seminar

Scholz began by helping Haskell’s leadership clearly define their vision of “servant leadership” so that it could be applied in a consistent and productive manner. He then designed an all-employee seminar centered on exploring that definition through a combination of workbooks (one each for before and after the program), interactive team exercises, lecture, and a gallery crawl in which employees explore each other’s work.

Each seminar consists of three parts: Pre-work, the 4-hour seminar, and post-work. Post-work includes ongoing accountability partnerships and self-evaluation to ensure continuing development.

To date, more than 600 Haskell employees have been through the program. Employees leave the program with a clear and practical understanding of the Haskell servant leader way, assignments to begin putting the lessons into practice, and a high-level view of the breadth of the company’s operations.

“Developing the program was an extremely collaborative process,” says Scholz. “We went back and forth to put together the best program possible.”

In addition to the explicit training provided by the program, the organization gains a crucial secondary benefit in the form of cross-pollination. “A single seminar class of twenty might include a 25-year veteran and a 2-week fresh recruit; someone in their 50s and someone in their 20s,” says Scholz. “We get people out of their siloes.”

Thaeler says the seminar significantly supports the company’s defined goals. “Chip brings a lot of operational expertise, so he doesn’t just focus on delivering the program,” says Thaeler. “He understands how it fits into where we’re going as a company.”

The Management Series

Scholz put together a three-part series to drive higher performance at the management level. The 10-session Management Series 1 (MS1) trains rising leaders on the concept that leadership of others begins with leadership of self. Management Series 2 (MS2) places the concepts learned in MS1 on an organizational footing, showing participants how to apply self-leadership to organizational leadership, with a focus on Haskell’s core values of team, excellence, service, and trust. Management Series 3 (MS3) pushes participants to become internal coaches to others, thus organically propagating the system throughout the organization.

Leadership Support Services

In the course of developing the servant leadership seminar and management series together, Scholz uncovered many additional opportunities to serve Haskell’s mission, including executive coaching, as-needed hiring and development assessments, executive 360s, and team building programs.

Big Results

Thaeler credits Chip with becoming a true partner, “not a vendor or a consultant, but someone who helps drive our development by creating programs based on our business, our needs, and our direction.”

Thaeler says Chip’s programs help employees apply the management skills and processes they learn to their daily jobs. “He does a strong job of connecting those dots and seeing where we can move the dial.”

Haskell’s commitment to its people and the servant leader culture attracts international recognition. Two years in a row, Training Magazine has named Haskell to its exclusive list of 125 leading internal training organizations in the world, citing its comprehensive learning and development strategies.

“Chip is a very strategic part of our development efforts,” says Thaeler. “The programming we have in place with him is connected directly to our operational performance.”

About Haskell

Haskell, one of the industry’s leading integrated design, engineering and construction firms, offers client-focused solutions in the industrial, commercial, government and civil infrastructure markets. With approximately $600 million in annual revenue and over 2,000 completed projects to date, Haskell serves a multinational client base from strategic points across the United States and in Mexico. – See more at: http://haskell.com

About Scholz and Associates

Scholz and Associates is an executive coaching and leadership development partner serving large and mid-sized privately held organizations across the Southeast United States. Chip Scholz, the company’s principal, is a well-respected speaker, author, and coach. His two books Do Eagles Just Wing It? and Masterminds Unleashed: Selling for Geniuses provide business leaders with provoking insights and tools for achieving more. Chip has dedicated his career to helping leaders achieve clarity and focus on what matters most to them with programs customized to each unique situation. Scholz and Associates offers complete solutions from strategic planning and organizational assessment to help hiring the right people and developing them to their full potential.

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