Organizational success isn’t achieved by one person. It requires the strengths and skills of many, and an equally powerful vision to ground them and guide them forward.

As he planned for retirement, the CEO of Moretrench needed to ensure the company – and its people – were best positioned for continued success moving into the next generation of leadership. And that meant taking a hard, close look at communication styles and collaboration processes, and helping to build a high(er) performing executive team.


With his retirement on the horizon, Moretrench President and CEO Art Corwin wanted to leave the 100-year-old geotechnical engineering and construction company well-positioned for continued success in its next 100 years. He partnered with Stern with the initial aim of re-examining Moretrench’s mission and vision, ensuring it strongly reflects the company’s culture and narrative, and resonates with leadership, employees and customers alike. With this goal in mind, we began our discovery process with the senior management team, leading a series of probing one-on-one discussions. It quickly became evident, however, that the company’s future wasn’t reliant on how it defines who it is and where it’s going, but on the team charged with leading it.

Our goal shifted to providing sound, strategic counsel on how to help ensure Moretrench’s next generation of leaders embrace communication as the key to organizational effectiveness.

Goal: leave the 100-year-old geotechnical engineering and construction company well positioned for continued success in its next 100 years.

Stern truly understood our challenge, even before we did. They pushed us to think differently – and openly – about important issues that may never have surfaced or been discussed otherwise. At times it was uncomfortable, but the process was necessary to help put us on the path to being more effective as leaders and a team. We’re working to embrace and internalize what we’ve learned, and make the right changes for the future of our company.

Art Corwin, President and CEO, Moretrench


  • Considering the role communication plays in the company’s existing core values
  • Defining teamwork and accountability
  • Framing a structure around and processes for supporting and driving healthy communication
  • Setting communication “ground rules”


Throughout the intensive, in-person strategy workshop, our strategists leveraged creative, hand-drawn graphics that set and reinforced a tone of openness and transparency. We listened carefully, pushing, probing and guiding to help bring healthy conversations to the surface – encouraging the leadership team to “lean in” to resolve issues, misconceptions and feelings.

The insights and ideas we captured during the session informed our final analysis and the “tools” we armed the client with – laying the groundwork to entrenching more proactive communication and productive conflict into the company’s culture.

Focused on building a high performance team, our senior strategists pinpointed behaviors and processes to improve communication and cohesion at the leadership level.


Stern’s candid counsel and comprehensive recommendations (a playbook of specific tactics, timing, value and action required) were instrumental in fostering vulnerability-based trust, productive conflict, true commitment, accountability and feedback, and attention to results – all cornerstones of high-performing teams.

An Inward Look at Corporate Communications Renewal was last modified: October 4th, 2022 by Stern Strategy Group