Home Back Issues April 2013 Engineering stability

Engineering stability

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2013
Monday, April 01, 2013
Article Index
Engineering stability
Page 2

0413 Tactics 04

0413 Tactics 03

// Photos by Sierra Breshears

“With the economy, life changed quite a bit,” says Barkouli, adding that the company’s tagline in 2007 was “one company excellence.” When he took over, “it was clear we needed to do something to translate this nice slogan into something real.”

Barkouli says the post-recession reorganization was “painful” but successful. DEA was forced to become better at collaborating internally and pulling together to focus externally. However, that meant a strong, consistent corporate culture was indispensable.

The company’s ethical grounding and continual quest for excellence felt solid, Barkouli says. But expectations, communication, accountability and trust in leadership needed more attention. So the DEA team came up with six “cultural drivers” and 24 corresponding actions — for example, openly admitting mistakes when they happen — to reinforce the drivers.

In addition to making cultural drivers part of employee evaluations and encouraging leadership through an internal program, Barkouli sharpened his own perspectives by going back to school for a Ph.D. in leadership and change from Antioch University.

“It is partly to learn but partly to give back,” Barkouli says. He adds that DEA wants to retain its employee ownership and independence, especially now that he feels a recovery is underway. “We’ve started to see demand firm up,” Barkouli says. “It’s a gradual climb, and it’s going to take time. But it’s not going down, so that’s good.” Barkouli says a measured increase in private-sector land development will help the company grow its workforce 10% this year.

Barkouli, the father of six children ages 8 to 13, is clearly a patient man. That patience may help DEA on one of its current endeavors — the firm is oversight engineer on the controversy-laden Columbia River Crossing project. Getting asked about the CRC is the only time during questioning when Barkouli pauses a bit longer than seems his norm.

“Do I think it is going to get built?” he asks. “Yes, I hope so. It’s an honor for us to be involved in the project. But it’s probably also something I should just not say too much about.”



 

More Articles

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nick Herinckx, CEO of Obility, and Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, share what they've been reading.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


Read more...

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


Read more...

Fork & Bottle

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

National media can’t get enough of Oregon’s pinot noir, artisan-food purveyors and lively, independent film scene.


Read more...

Register for 100 Best Companies survey

News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OBM-100-best-logo-2015 150pxwBy Kim Moore | OB Editor

The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS