Engineering Success: Growth for a Company and Its People

Fairbanks Morse Engine is an engineering company known for its diesel and dual-fuel engine technology and manufacturing. It serves power companies, the U.S Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.  As important to the company as profits: human development.

In 2014, the company’s president, Marvin Riley, noted that the organization wasn’t developing its 500 employees as quickly as it should. Additionally, it needed to be more innovative to compete in the global marketplace. Riley believed learning to be vital to operational excellence, innovation and human development; it could be the key to the company’s needs.

The company’s 13 senior leaders spent a week asking each other hard questions and staying open-minded to the answers. Together, they created the FME Learning System, which defined behaviors and beliefs that would propel growth for the company and its people, as well as processes to promote those behaviors throughout the organization.

Read more about the learning system and environment that helped Fairbanks Morse Engine and its employees perform in a meaningful and successful way in Darden Professor Ed Hess’ article “Focusing on Human Development as Part of the Business Plan” in the Darden School of Business/Washington Post “Case in Point” series.

About the Faculty

Edward D. Hess

Hess is a top authority on organizational and human high performance. His studies focus on growth, innovation and learning cultures, systems and processes, and servant leadership.

Hess has authored 12 books, including The Physics of Business Growth: Mindsets, System and Processes, co-authored by Darden Professor Jeanne Liedtka, Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Entrepreneurial... Learn More