Leveraging Talents for Performance: Momentum4 Case Study

Q: How do you get highly rational project management engineers to work better together?
A: Add EQ assessments to leadership training to measure and leverage talents.  Lara Williams of Momentum4 brings us this case study to see how EQ tools in action can deliver positive outcomes.   

The Clients

Since its  founding in 1820, MWH has engaged in the engineering, construction, and management of some of the largest and most technically advanced water, hydropower, mining and transportation projects for municipalities, governments and multi-national private corporations throughout the world.

MWH’s team of approximately 7,000 employees include leaders, managers, consultants, policy and project advocates, information technology wizards, economists, statisticians, public relations professionals and financial experts.  Bringing together such a talented pool of people has its obstacles, and MHW wanted to take their teams to the highest levels of performance.  They developed a Leadership Programme to take the challenge.

The Project Outline

The Advanced Project Delivery Leadership Programme was created internally by Mark Sweeney (Learning and Talent Development Manager) and Greg Mullet (Head of Project Delivery MWH UK).

They developed a 2-day programme whereby senior project leaders would encounter real life scenarios from senior leaders in the business, where they were able to question and learn from each other, and where they could learn, not only about the competencies to make them better Project Managers (PMs).


An EQ Intervention

Momentum4, a consultancy focused on people performance and business, was brought in to augment the training and development initiative. After discussing the MHW’s challenges, we established three goals:

  • to deal with diversity in the workplace 
  • to enhance team performance through emotional intelligence (EQ)
  • to better understand and develop resilience

We wanted to ensure that each Project Manager had opportunities for their own learning and development and would be able to direct their learning into team performance on projects. We used the …

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Getting started, before participants got their results, we played a game of ‘Place Yourself on the Continuum’. This self-assessment exercise has each participant stand on a continuum in the BDP for Focus, Decisions, and Drive. This helped open the discussions around the Know Yourself part of the Six Seconds’ EQ model and participants were able to see how accurate they were after seeing their BDP results.

We then used the discussions on the continuum to look at difference in others.  What happens if you are more ‘rational’ and you’re trying to building rapport with a client who is more ‘emotional’? What is that like and how do you interact to enhance these relationships? This created some fabulous debates with the group to deepen their understanding.

On the BDP, the 18 Brain Talents are metaphors for capabilities, what your brain likes to do and how smoothly and easily your brain functions.  After a walkabout of the room to view all of the talents and discuss them, participants were able to see their lowest 3 and highest 3 talents as shown on their BDP. We discussed these talents and got them to play a game called ‘Above and Below the Line’.

Take Away Outcomes

Finally, we collectively identified the following outcomes to guide MWH’s path forward:

  •   To raise awareness of self and how you can impact on the team
  •   To raise awareness of difference in others and how to bring out the best in people
  •   To enhance collaborative team working and therefore team performance
  •   To use and experience some of the EQ tools
  •   To identify your 3 non-negotiables to maintain working in the ‘Optimal Zone’ of performance
  •   To look out for early warning signs for self and others when stress hits!
  •   To understand what being resilient means to you and how you manage working under pressure

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