One of the best ways to learn is to see others in action who do it well. Learn how to lead with vision by watching Mark Helm talk about his work with visionary leadership in an industry that isn't knowm for its innovation.
(upbeat music) - Mark Helm is the CEO of Dolese Brothers. Dolese is a highly respected mid-sized construction company that produces concrete aggregates and other construction materials. It was founded in the earliest days of Oklahoma statehood and has spent over 100 years transforming the state's raw rock into roads, bridges, skyscrapers, and foundations. Today they have more than 60 facilities and over 1,000 employees. You know, one of the reasons I invited you to join us is because I've been personally impressed with your visionary leadership. I was thinking about your organization and you personally and you've been there for over 18 years and you've been the CEO for over nine years. And so it's interesting that you decided to jump in and look at your vision and start creating a new and compelling vision. What caused you to do that? - I've been here 18 years but Dolese's been around 117 years. And when you look at that, we've been a very successful business. But just because of that length of time doesn't mean we're going to continue to be successful. There's plenty of examples out there where companies have been around a long time and gone bankrupt and that's not what we want to have happen to us. - So it sounds like you're keeping a close eye on the external landscape and what's happening out there. So as you see the changes and obviously there are a lot of companies out there that are going under that is probably surprising everyone. And you know, as you watch all of that what did you decide to do for Dolese? - We're really stepping back and looking at that environment again. You know, you see that you have to adapt to what's happening around you, to what's happening in that environment. So we really came to the point of saying, "Let's develop "a competitive, unique business in our region "that uses technology, really leverages technology, "and also develops people going forward." - You know, so did you use some of the workforce when you were creating your vision or did you come up with that on your own? - Well, you know, the concept maybe on my own but you always have to use resources. Obviously, some of the research and reading and talking to people outside the organization but then talking to some of our folks in IT, the technology folks that we have, as well as some of our HR folks who are dealing with employees coming in, working with them. Then, as I mentioned the Millennials, talking to some of those or our younger workforce, not just Millennials. And then really working through that with our executive team. We had an offsite. And so as I was developing that vision, working through that with them, talking about what I see are the changes in our industry and in our environment and why I think that these changes or developments in the vision going forward can help our business in the future. - You know, you did a lot of work actually to bring in some of the workforce. Have you experienced any barriers in this process? - Yeah, definitely. You know, I think the biggest barrier for us, communication's always a barrier, trying to communicate with everybody that you have. And for us, we have such a diverse workforce. So we've got hourly folks in the field who are laborers, mechanics, operators, to folks here in the office who are engineers, highly skilled and technical folks, and every experience and skill level in between. So that makes it really hard to communicate with that diverse workforce. So one of the things was to really how do I then come up with a message that I think can connect with a broader group? And that's when we stepped back and said, "Okay, "based on this vision of leveraging technology "and developing people, how can we make a story, "something that people can really connect to?" And with some help, ended up writing a document that described what a plant could look like say five years from now. And it's kind of the day in the life. And uses some of the technology that we read about, see these days. Automated drones to help do inventories. Some of the HRIS systems that are out there that can track development of our employees and also be used for managers as well. And then some of the data collection and AI that's available for doing product quality analysis and production changes and those things that can help us going forward. And really ended up with that story of here's a day in the life of one of our operations compared to what we have today. - Thank you, Mark. I appreciate you joining us today and look forward to sharing this with our viewers.
- The future-oriented vision
- Alignment and customer-centric focus
- Leading the vision
- Setting a vision, internal and external
- Engaging others to create a compelling vision
- Overcoming the barriers to successful vision creation
- Tackling uncertainty to overcome difficult times
- The power of well-thought-out visions