Re-Visioning the Company Catalyzes Breakthrough Business and Cultural Results

“Being First’s design and facilitation of our entire visioning process re-energized our company and enabled us to achieve very significant financial and cultural goals we would not have achieved otherwise.”
John Lobbia


After ninety years, Detroit Edison (the largest subsidiary of DTE Energy) was facing possible de-regulation. The board decided to create DTE Energy as a parent company to increase the strategic opportunities to leverage Detroit Edison’s expertise in non-regulated markets.
A new company purpose, mission, and vision were needed to drive its required transformation—but significant challenges existed:

  • Significant resistance to change existed, with entrenched mindsets and behaviors in both leaders and staff; the average tenure of its management was 27 years.
  • Adversarial relationships existed with both unions.
  • All major business units possessed a rigid silo orientation with very little collaboration across functional areas.
  • Significant distrust existed between management and staff./li>
  • A mindset and culture of entitlement, risk aversion and control existed, when the future required empowerment and entrepreneurship.


Being First suggested a high engagement visioning process be used to: 1) create the new charter, 2) align leaders, management, staff, and union leadership, 3) build commitment and strengthen relationships, and 4) mobilize the required change initiatives.

  • Prior to the visioning process, we put the top 300 leaders, in groups of 25-35, and both union leadership teams, through a four-day retreat to build leadership effectiveness through self-awareness, modeling, and people management skills.
  • We convened the top 50 leaders in a one-day session to craft the first draft of the purpose and mission.
  • We convened an energizing two-day visioning session with the top 300 company leaders and both union leadership teams, to co-create the new charter. The retreat was highly choreographed, experiential, and crafted as performing theater so that it was emotionally engaging and impactful. Purpose, mission, and vision were finalized, along with strategic goals for each key change initiative.
  • Following the retreat, all 10,000+ staff were engaged in communication workshops to question, develop understanding, and build commitment to the new direction.
  • We provided ongoing co-creative leadership development for the top 50 leaders one day per month for a year.
  • Consulting support was provided for key change initiatives with high staff engagement over the following three years.


The new CEO personally visited sites across the province, acknowledging what he learned from the listening sessions, addressing questions and concerns and committing to specific remedial action.

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