Developing Talent from Within

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – Tom Peters, American author on business management practices

HBM built its culture on a foundation of continuous learning. To support the goal of lifelong learning, the company has created several programs to develop talent and leadership both within HBM Holdings and in the portfolio companies.  This year, the firm’s talent development team focused on three initiatives designed to prepare leaders for their roles as current and future managers.

  • The Leadership in Action program, launched early in 2017, focuses on training individuals across the organization on issues they face as leaders. Topics include delegation, conflict resolution, communication strategies and coaching.

With a desire to keep the learnings sustained, the Talent Development team implemented a framework to not only foster a continual learning culture but also hold participants accountable for their progress.   Each month, participants receive a relevant Harvard Business Review article, Ted Talk on leadership or a refresher on a topic discussed previously during training.  The sustainability program also hosts quarterly phone calls during which participants discuss particular challenges they face. This forum provides a regular opportunity for peers to share experiences and offer advice.In early 2018, Scott Castro, HBM’s talent development manager, takes the show on the road and will visit program participants at each of HBM’s portfolio companies. The goals are to revisit training topics with participants and dive into specific topics such as conflict management and resolution.  These sessions will provide opportunities to role-play scenarios with their peers.

HBM will continue to offer Leadership in Action classes to its employees, with new classes identified for 2018 as well as make-up classes for those who were not able to attend the initial session this past spring.

  • Talent Review is an enterprise-wide talent initiative HBM focuses on year-over-year. The Talent Review Board is designed to identify high potential leaders and ensure they are developing the skills and experiences needed to fill positions within HBM or one of its portfolio companies. Twice a year, the CEOs of each portfolio company and senior leaders from HBM meet to discuss talent, recent moves, bench strength, and talent match to business strategies.  Our goal is to understand our overall leadership depth and to facilitate talent moves and development within and across the portfolio.

A recent example of the results of the Talent Review process is Eric Van Rens’ appointment as CEO of Schafer Industries, a 2017 portfolio acquisition.  Van Rens former role was the vice president of sales and marketing for Mississippi Lime Company, HBM’s legacy company, had been identified early on as potential senior leader. A personal development plan was created to equip Van Rens with the training and skills needed to excel in a future leadership role.

  • HBM’s Accelerated Development Program demonstrates the company’s commitment to developing future leaders within our organization. The firm is always evaluating and fine-tuning how it recruits, develops, and places MBAs within the company.  To gain insight, the Talent Development team interviewed two graduates of the program who accepted opportunities at HBM portfolio companies: Micah Dawson and Blake Dell.  They were asked what skills leaders need to have on day one and which they can develop along the way. As a result, the program now exposes participants to a wider variety of available business departments, including operations, commercial and It also creates individual development plans for each of the participants, designed to develop specific skills in areas that need refining.

Leadership is a series of actions, and HBM continually looks for opportunities to develop future and current talent within its organization.  HBM provides people with the tools to develop their leadership skills and move into high-level roles within the organization.