Major Utility Transforms Itself and Generates $108M in New Net Revenue

“We never could have transformed our company, leadership and culture, nor reached our $108M goal, without the competent support of Being First.”
John Lobbia


As part of re-visioning the company and its core strategies, the executives of DTE Energy decided they needed to create new businesses to capture untouched market opportunities. They made a bold commitment: “We will generate a minimum of $100,000,000 in new net revenue from businesses we own that do not exist today, all within five years.” But major obstacles existed blocking this breakthrough goal.

The company needed to fundamentally transform its old, historic way of operating, including significant breakthroughs in its culture, leadership and workforce mindset and behavior, and its way of running change projects. The organization operated on a foundation of stability, risk avoidance, lifetime employment, entitlement, and control. It needed innovation, empowerment and creativity, as well as a learning orientation and an entrepreneurial spirit that would fuel experimentation and new market solutions.

Breakthroughs were required in virtually every area: in the organization’s structure, systems, processes and technology, as well as in its culture, leadership, and workforce performance. To drive all this, a significant advancement in change leadership capability was required throughout the organization.


Being First provided a four-day Leadership Breakthrough Retreat for the executive team to build self-awareness of their limiting mindsets, shift behavior to better model innovation and co-creation, and strengthen trust and alignment. This catalyzed the team’s request for the same development for their top 300 leaders and a year-long vertical leadership development process with the top 50 leaders, meeting monthly for a day.

We then designed and facilitated a process for the top 300 leaders, including union leadership, to co-create a new company purpose, mission, vision and values. This two-day event and subsequent communication cascade was powerful, bonding and inspiring.

Over the next two years, the top 1500 leaders attended the same 4-day Leadership Breakthrough Retreat in groups of 25, focusing on the breakthroughs and transformation needed to achieve the company vision, including the $100M revenue target for new businesses.

We consulted with the executives to scope, launch and successfully set up over a dozen key change initiatives designed to produce the breakthroughs required in the company and culture. We then supported the priority initiatives with ongoing advice and guidance and trained the internal change consultants to use The Change Leader’s Roadmap to support leaders of these key change projects. We continued to coach them in their efforts, helping them build high engagement strategies and course correct to successfully navigate project challenges.

Three years into the project, we conducted a series of two-day empowerment and communications trainings to further align all 12,000 employees behind the company’s new values, culture and strategic direction.


Five years into the project, Dean Anderson, CEO of Being First, got a call from John Lobbia, DTE’s CEO, who excitedly exclaimed, “We passed our breakthrough target, generating $108M of new net revenue!” Many achievements drove this result:

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