Case Study

Case Study: How to ensure you have the leaders you need

Re-evaluating a Leadership Strategy with Delta Star

January 8, 2019
| Canada
Headshot of Jason Greene

By Jason Greene
President & CEO, Delta Star Inc.

Context and Evolving Requirements

Delta Star is a leading North American manufacturer of power transformers and substations for utility, industrial, and power generation applications. Founded in 1908 in Chicago, innovation powered Delta Star for several decades, being responsible among other famous projects for the electrification of the New York subway system and the Hoover Dam. This was followed by a period of expansion into the United States with a continued focus on power and substation solutions.

While the industry itself has remained relatively unchanged since the 1970s, commercial expectations have greatly evolved. Over the recent years, Delta Star expanded into Canada and field service. Understanding the need to create a strong path forward for successful growth, a new CEO was appointed in 2016 with the mission of refocusing the company on its innovative roots and steering it into organic and inorganic growth acceleration.

Figure 1. Saville’s work roles team profile

Diagram of Saville's work roles team profile Click to enlarge

With this in mind, Delta Star has been investing in assets, people and technology as the company re-orients its focus for the future. A major shift in strategic thinking and an overhaul in organizational culture were also identified as necessary - transformation was crucial at this stage for Delta Star to remain the innovation leader it had been known for being.


In order to achieve this strategic and cultural shift, Delta Star engaged Willis Towers Watson to guide them through this transformational journey. Willis Towers Watson put forward the use of its Saville Assessment to facilitate Delta Star’s decision-making process in redefining its leadership needs and cultural profile to support its quest for growth.

Delta Star’s leadership team was assessed and analyzed using Saville’s Work Roles report, generated following the completion of the Wave personality questionnaire. All key leadership positions were plotted within the Saville’s framework of an eight-sector team profile that included leadership roles for strivers, assertors, innovators, relators, optimists, and other key leadership profiles.

Saville report’s easy-to-interpret visual representation helped the Delta Star’s leadership team gain a better understanding of itself not only as individual strategic contributors, but also of the organization’s culture, strengths and weaknesses. The management team was also able to identify key existing organizational gaps using The Work Roles report that highlighted two glaring omissions: among the members of the leadership team, there were no strivers or assertors - key roles needed to help the organization fulfil its new vision of growth. The process highlighted the need to recruit and train leaders that would complete the leadership team profile to help Delta Star reach an increased speed to market and ensure all organizational objectives would be met and surpassed.

Figure 2. Saville’s work roles model

Diagram of Saville’s Work Roles Model Click to enlarge


Using the results and insights from the leadership Saville Assessment, Delta Star made the following organizational changes:

  • It re-defined the role and skill profile of key leadership positions to align with the strategic mindset required for the company’s growth plan.
  • It expanded its leadership team by adding a Research and Development role, elevated the Director of Operations role to a broader Chief Operating Officer role and train the sales and marketing team to be more robust and agile at responding to the needs of the market.
  • It has incorporated the use of Saville Assessment in its leadership assessment and recruitment, for both organic and inorganic growth purposes.
  • As part of its leadership hiring process, Delta Star searched for leaders who scored strongly in the striver and assertor areas with the entrepreneurial attribute that was identified as required through the assessment to accomplish its renewed path of innovation and growth. It allowed for the recruitment of leaders with impressive learning agilities, stakeholder management and people motivation attributes, bringing different needed skill sets to the organization.


The company’s senior leadership team gained a better understanding of themselves as individuals, as well as the organization’s culture, strengths and weaknesses.

The Saville Assessment acted as a catalyst in enabling Delta Star’s leadership team understand its existing leadership profile, culture and gap on both an individual and management team levels to achieve its strategic organizational objectives. Using the Saville Assessment in the hiring process to complement the leadership needs allowed Delta Star to take risk and make substantially different hiring decisions that were outside the traditional areas of expertise used in the past to complete the team profile and enhance its overall organizational effectiveness.

The Saville Assessment has now become the go-to solution for Delta Star and a key filter whenever the company needs to make leadership decisions, to support both its organic and inorganic growth.

About Saville Assessment

Saville Assessment helps organizations reduce risk by providing a means for making informed and reliable talent decisions, using data and analytics. This is achieved using the Wave Model, which employs personality questionnaires to predict workplace performance and potential, providing an indicator of an individual’s competencies and cultural fit. The assessment can also be applied when evaluating an organization’s potential fit – culturally and at the leadership level – for a merger or acquisition.

Using the Wave Model, the Saville Assessment identifies an individual’s talents, motives, competencies and predicted cultural fit while flagging any potential misalignment. The results can also be tailored to reflect an organization’s competencies, leadership framework and values.

Saville Assessment helps companies hire, build, lead talent, as well as supporting the talent assessment in potential acquisitions by providing insights, information and assistance across the entire talent lifecycle. When it comes to hiring, Wave reports help companies hire the right people for the right roles and avoid costly mistakes. Once the right people are in place, the reports help companies engage and retain talent, build effective teams and improve workplace productivity. Finally, Wave reports can be used to help identify, select and develop leaders who will help drive success and deliver results.

For more information, contact:

Headshot of Martine Sohier

Martine Sohier is the Leader for the M&A practice in Canada.