KKE Architects is an established, successful, privately held firm based in Minneapolis. They are ranked 39th among U.S. architectural firms by leading industry publications, with nearly $45 million in annual billings and operate six domestic offices.
As KKE entered its 40th year of business, it faced new challenges to sustaining and expanding its growth into the future. One challenge included identifying and developing the next team of senior executives to run the company. Another challenge was the increasing need to supplement their traditional success in continuing and expanding relationships with the less certain route of responding to requests for proposals. KKE was transitioning to a third generation of company leadership, which can be problematic for any organization where the skill sets required to succeed in the business (i.e., technical expertise, creative talent, individual effort) are different from those required to manage people and lead the company.
Candidates from KKE were selected for Dale Carnegie's Leadership Training for Managers (LTM) and Dale Carnegie Course based on their record of success within the company, potential to lead and in some cases a particular leadership or people management skill that needed development.
Randall Lindemann, AIA, Principal, noticed an immediate and astonishing transformation of their success rate for new proposals and attributed it directly to the LTM course. He said, "We were involved in a competition for a new project in our core market. We submitted the project, and I received a call from the client saying, 'You are disqualified because we don't like one of your sub consultants.' "
One month later, once the KKE candidates were introduced to the eight-step Planning Process in the LTM course, they resubmitted the project to the client. Lindemann said, "When writing the new proposal, we just went through the planning process step by step, and ended up getting selected for the job. To go from being disqualified to being selected, was amazing enough, but when I read in the newspaper, and saw the reasons why we were selected over the others, six of the eight were in my notes from the DCT Planning Process."