Welty Building Co. has constructed or managed the construction for some of the region’s most recognizable projects: the Akron Children’s Hospital Kay Jewelers Pavilion, Akron Art Museum, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. world headquarters and Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, to name a few.
For Welty President and CEO Don Taylor, building his team is just as important as constructing a building — and he’s co-opted a novel approach to do so.
“We’re dealing with a whole lot more of the psychology,” he says.
Taylor finds there are essentially two components to team building: smart and healthy. Smart represents the technical skills — the standard operating procedures, reading the manuals, etc. Healthy represents the psychology behind teamwork.
For the latter, Welty employs the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, which Herrmann Global LLC says is a psychometric assessment that defines and describes the way people think and process information. It was created by Ned Herrmann, who developed the approach while in charge of management education at General Electric Corp.’s corporate university, Crotonville, and published in 1981.
Welty uses HBDI as a tool to understand the thinking style of its people and approach a project with what’s called whole-brain thinking.
Thinking on display
Displayed throughout the company’s Fairlawn office in each employee’s work area are color-coded charts representing the individual’s thinking style, which Herrmann simplifies into quadrants: analytical, experimental, practical and relational. The idea is to find the mental strengths and tendencies of individuals and build teams with diverse strengths.
“We use that tool to hopefully get a whole-brain decision from a team,” Taylor says.
If any one quadrant is over-represented on a team, chances are they will not have as good of a solution to a problem as a team balanced by their problem-solving tendencies.
Welty doesn’t prefer one type to another. Rather, Taylor tries to instill an appreciation of those differences.
“When you need creativity, you go find somebody on that chart that’s yellow, put them in the room and help them brainstorm. When you need to analyze something, go find people that are dominant in the blue and help them think through how are we going to analyze this so we get the right information,” he says.