Strategic Leadership at ATL Fosters Long-Term Growth
Atlantic Testing Laboratories (ATL), headquartered in Canton, is celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary. From its beginnings in an old farmhouse, ATL has grown into a full service engineering support firm with ten offices located throughout New York State. They specialize in construction materials testing, environmental services, and drilling services, so if you are building something, they can ensure you are using the right materials and that your site is appropriate. ATL employs around 250 people across the state; engineers, chemists, geologists, anyone with a science background who is willing to learn about materials testing.
ATL’s emphasis on long-term strategic planning and operational strategies has enabled the company to thrive within a continually changing marketplace. With the ten offices and countless projects throughout the northeast, ATL found themselves with a couple of different management challenges. The first was to ensure consistency across the company.
In early 2017, CITEC Business Solutions worked with all levels of leadership to ensure that everyone’s leadership style reinforced the company’s vision and values. CITEC’s program emphasized communications, time management, performance management, and conflict resolution. The whole management team learned the same tested and proven tools. ATL understands that this is something that does not change overnight, but will take a steady approach over time. “At this point we have our eyes open and people stop and think about different approaches to challenges that come up. People reflect,” says Jim Kuhn, ATL president. “We intend to build on this initial work by including the next level of management in training in the coming year.”
While ATL’s current leadership team strengthens, they also recognize the importance of developing a pipeline of leaders to move the company forward for years to come. CITEC worked with ATL to develop a succession plan that identifies critical employees and competencies required to meet ATL’s strategic goals and supporting objectives, and secure the company into the future.
“This was a game changer for us,” says Kuhn. “We were thinking of succession in terms of ownership, but we re-examined that. We needed to make sure that as our long-term employees in key positions are considering retirement or pursuing different opportunities, that we understand what their critical skills and knowledge are, and that we have those in place. Reg helped us frame these questions in ways that clear a path to answering them. I absolutely recommend these services to other companies.”
Atlantic Testing Services is an example of a company with staying power because of their long game approach. Here’s to another 50 years!
Contact Steve Lockwood for more information