Improved Leadership. Competitive Advantage.
Facebook   LinkedIn  

Case Study 1 - Railroad Rebuilds Safety Culture, Reliability


Profile: OmniTRAX, Inc. is one of the largest short-line railroad companies in North America and is based in Denver, CO. It started in 1986 with one short-line RR (Great Western Railway of Colorado - GWR) and now operates 21 RRs in the United States and Canada.

OmniTRAX had moderate growth through August 2013, when Kevin Shuba was hired as CEO to take the organization to the next level.

Shuba brought ELP on board in January 2014, and this OmniTRAX-EL partnership aligned quickly on building and improving their safety culture. Drawing on ELP’s revolutionary methodologies, we also sparked a step-wise improvement in reliability across their entire railroad system.

Process: Upon arrival, ELP launched its proprietary Strategic Performance Management (SPM) Process. Unparalleled within high risk/high hazard industries, they began with a robust Needs Analysis. Armed with this nuanced and sophisticated understanding, ELP developed customized coaching lesson plans and tools to enhance the behaviors to help Shuba not only meet, but exceed, his vision and mission.

ELP continued to partner with Shuba and key OmniTRAX leaders to develop individual and aligned simplified, strategic One Page Plans. From this strong foundation, ELP provided each leader with an executive coach helping them focus and deliver on their simplified, strategic One Page Plan.

ELP provided one-on-one (and team) coaching and real-time feedback while working with a large number of leaders during this major transition.

Culture-shaping values, S.H.O.R.T values, were developed over the course of the OmniTRAX – ELP partnership.

Station Performance

S.H.O.R.T. values:

  • Safety
  • Honesty & Trust
  • Ownwership
  • Respect & Value Our People
  • Teamwork


  • FRA Reportable Train accidents decreased by 45%.
  • FRA Reportable Injuries improved by 22%.
  • Incident costs reduced by 23%.
  • >16% average increase in EBITDA over multiple years.
  • Operating Ratio improvement every year.
  • A more engaged workforce and leadership team, feedback rich culture.

But they are just getting started! OmniTRAX continues its meteoric growth trajectory. Look no further than their newly formed line of business, OmniTRAX Energy Solutions, which leverages their efficient rail operations to provide frac sand directly from the mine to the wellhead, providing extremely cost-effective resources to support America’s energy demands.

Case Study 2 - Creating an Operations Led Organization

Profile: Case 2 is the largest electrical generating facility with two of the three largest generating units in New England producing steady output of 2020 MWe. This facility was suffering from a range of serious performance problems, including a reactivity event and a series of missteps, including poor training interventions at the site level.

To address critical performance problems, ELP initiated cross-unit behaviors, inspiring a more engaged workforce and leadership team, improved the learning orientation of plant personnel, and drove Refueling Outage budgets and schedules to industry standards.

Process: ELP launched its Strategic Performance Management (SPM) system including simplified, strategic One Page Plans for key leaders at the station, as well as, other ELP standardized protocols that included stakeholder management and regulatory analysis services.

Serious sanctions for the reactivity event were avoided.

Outage planning tools surrounding leadership and teamwork behaviors resulted in one of the best Refueling Outages in many years. The results from ELP's combined regulatory analysis and communication training enabled the station to pass a high-risk Training Review Board at the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO).

Case Study 3 - Improving Station Accountability

Profile: Case 3 is a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) that provides electricity to over 750K homes. Several single-point equipment vulnerabilities from poor equipment maintenance and low equipment reliability contributed to a series of plant trips that cost them millions.

Leaders of the company engaged ELP to improve alignment and develop strategies that strengthen accountability and improve ERI and INPO scores. In addition, executives needed more evidence that a second reactor under construction, Unit 2, was aligned and integrated within the station.

Process: ELP launched its Strategic Performance Management (SPM) system and developed simplified, strategic One Page Plans for key leaders at the station. All plans were linked horizontally and vertically, and better alignment and focus were immediate results.

A thematic coaching intervention involved 12 discrete Leadership Lesson Plans. ELP integrated the Site Communication specialist and OD/HR contact. Existing communication channels and HR mechanisms (performance evaluations) were the catalyst to improvement.

Case Study 4 - Work Management: The Ultimate Team Sport

Profile: Case 4 is a PWR that enjoyed a long period of high performance, until a serious event shook the confidence of the entire station. After the event, the station tried several approaches to get the performance back on track but were unsuccessful.

Station PerformanceAt a station that relied heavily on relationships to get work done, the stress of this period exposed several significant process gaps resulting in industry oversight. Senior managers did not communicate effectively with each other and were not aligned. Engineering, Operations, Work Management and Maintenance departments drifted apart, resulting in silos.

Process: ELP partnered with the station to develop individual and aligned one-page strategic plans for key leaders at the station. The result was a step-change in behavior that restored horizontal and vertical alignment.

The station went from 4th to 1st quartile performance. Online planning and scheduling led their fleet. A recent Refueling Outage was one of the best in history, getting back on-line two days early.

Case Study 5 - Culture Analysis Like You’ve Never Seen

Profile: Within the Department of Energy, it is quite likely, if not certain, that ELP orchestrated one of the most complex, sophisticated, and on-point cultural analyses ever conducted. Embedded within the Department of Energy is the Western Area Power Administration. Their footprint is beyond enormous as this agency markets and transmits wholesale electricity from multi-use water projects that spans 15 states and over 17,000 circuit miles. With the energy industry in the throes of mass disruption and change, WAPA wanted to stay ahead of trends and were committed to innovation. However, they questioned whether their heavily diverse and decentralized culture was capable of embracing and executing the strategic change on the horizon. Enter ELP to find out if their culture could deliver on their ambitious strategic direction.

Process: Armed with doctorates in organizational behavior and communication, ELP customized a comprehensive cultural analysis that, to our knowledge, has no comparable equal. Linking quantitative and qualitative analysis, ELP conducted focus group and survey research across all bands of employees. Given the sheer size of WAPA, this endeavor lasted upwards of 9 months. With conclusions anchored on both regression analysis and the transcribed records of over 40 focus groups involving north of 250 WAPA employees, we delivered a nuanced cultural blueprint that exceeded all expectations of WAPA leadership. Not to be undone, we linked all cultural gaps with a training or organizational intervention in the belief that all cultural challenges should be partnered with a smart solution.

Case Study 6 - All Aboard?! Embedding a Strong Safety Culture

Profile: Heavy manufacturing is hard—just ask one of the world’s largest railcar manufacturers. Tons of steel, fused with fire and flames from continual welding, result in railcars on our tracks. Given the sheer amount of steel and flame, there’s bound to be mistakes. There was some concern about some erosion of safety performance given a rather significant shake-up/retirements of the management team. Partnering with an ambitious and highly capable cadre of executive leaders, ELP was asked to join the fight to enhance safety in even the most dangerous of areas.

Process: Never one to shy away from a challenge, we went ALL IN! Notably, we re-engaged this organization’s values system and provided world class Values Training armed with the belief that it is impossible to enjoy a strong safety record while holding weak or ineffectual values. We then fused this Values-First approach with our Strategic Performance Management Process to further bolster accountability. The outcome? With over 70,000 man-hours or “shots on goal” per month, this organization produced 3 out of 4 months with perfect safety—a 0.00 incident rate! This proved a historical achievement and safety performance remains strong to this day.