ABS: A Bluepoint case study in leadership development
For nearly 160 years, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has been at the forefront of marine and offshore energy innovation. With teams combining to create a global reach, they negotiate technical, operational, and regulatory challenges so their industries can operate safely, securely, and responsibly.
With a keen focus on maritime safety and protocols, the company was built on a traditional leadership structure, a top-down approach to decision-making, and a strong motivation to follow instructions. And although that laser focus has served the company well, a need was identified to find new ways to develop its employees and foster the emergence of new leaders.
Bluepoint had a conversation with Nick Bizic, director of global career management at ABS, to discuss working with Bluepoint Leadership Development.
“We were very good at looking back on past performance,” Bizic said. “But we didn’t effectively examine the developmental needs of our teams. We were good at looking backwards, but not forwards.”
Bizic commends Bluepoint for its ability to reach a traditional business with a “command and control” philosophy and impart the importance of powerful coaching conversations and has seen the effect of positive growth on the company.
The effectiveness of the Bluepoint approach
In measuring the effectiveness of the training, Bizic points to the ease of working with the Bluepoint team. Based on feedback on a pilot training program rolled out to ABS leaders in Houston, the Bluepoint team was able to make custom alterations to the program to meet the needs of Bizic’s particular leadership teams.
“There was willingness to adapt to our needs,” he said. “And that was key. Essentially, they were willing to determine what training worked best for us, and built it that way.”
Observing results across the organization
There was a strategic benefit to the program. More than 500 global managers have gone through the training, and they have increased their ability to have forward-thinking, positive conversations with their teams. Bizic also points to a tactical benefit of Bluepoint: After completing the initial training, several individuals have focused on further development.
“The training resonated beyond just the lesson at hand, and they have taken on the mantle of skills development to their credit,” Bizic said. “Bluepoint has the ability to create something that is interactive, encourages engagement, and helped us look forward and further than before.”
The proof is in the participant feedback
For ABS, the Bluepoint team made the service easy and effective. Of all the training going on, Bizic commented that Bluepoint is the one program that elicits the most positive feedback. Managers have gone out of their way to comment on the strength of the materials and lessons.