Raising the Bar

“If you think about it,” said Dave Dotson, president of Koch Engineered Solutions, “KES probably employs more engineers and more different kinds of engineers than any other Koch company. We’ve got hundreds of them: civil engineers, mechanical engineers, metallurgists, separation engineers, application engineers, sales engineers and all kinds of chemical engineers specializing in things such as combustion, mass transfer and pollution control.
“Engineers,” Dotson observed, “are, by nature, problem-solvers. But for years, we couldn’t solve the problem of poor communication and collaboration. It’s embarrassing now,” he admitted, “to look back and see how much of a struggle we were having with sharing knowledge — not just engineering knowledge but all kinds of knowledge.
“The No. 1 question I would get at town hall meetings was always ‘How can we do a better job of sharing knowledge across KES?’ or ‘How can we better connect with the rest of Koch Industries?’ I’m happy to say we now have an answer to those questions. It’s EverLearn.”

Respectful challenge

One of the KES employees who spoke up to Dotson was Mike Clampitt, a development engineer for John Zink Hamworthy Combustion in Poole, a coastal town in southern England. JZHC has dozens of engineers assigned to this site in the United Kingdom (many of whom have been forced to work remotely due to extended lockdown orders).

Following the launch of EverLearn and several early success stories, Clampitt and the Engineering Learning & Development team felt it was an opportune time to push for much higher participation rates. They asked Dotson to consider issuing a KES-wide challenge: doubling participation rates from 30% to 60% within six weeks.

“We knew we needed to get knowledge to engineers quicker and we also needed a more efficient way of identifying subject matter experts,” Clampitt said. “EverLearn is very good for both, so we felt the sooner we pushed broader adoption, the better.” Dotson agreed with their logic and sense of urgency. He quickly arranged to work with Koch Communications Marketing on recording a video message for all of KES promoting the EverLearn challenge.

How did KES respond? In just four weeks, its participation had almost doubled. By the end of week six, the group had exceeded its goal, achieving a participation rate of 65%. That’s an impressive percentage for a global organization with nearly 5,000 widely dispersed employees.

“KES has done better at embracing EverLearn than any other Koch company our size,” Dotson said. “But frankly, I know we can do even better. Now that Charles Koch has made it clear he wants all of Koch to participate in EverLearn, I’m confident that a much higher percentage is likely.”

Quotation Mark

“I had been working on better ways to connect and collaborate for 10 years. EverLearn was our answer to that problem.”

Dave Dotson, president, Koch Engineered Solutions