© 2016 by Life Trails Consulting Ltd

Case Study 3

Building Positive Relationships on the Waterview Connection Project:

A Case Study for Personality Type

The Waterview Connection Project is the largest and most complex roading infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand.  The $1.4B project was the “final link” to connect two of the city’s busiest highways, the   Northwestern and Southwestern Motorways (State Highways 16 and 20) to complete the city’s Western Ring Route - a motorway alternative to the west of congested State Highway 1 through the central city and across the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

 

At Waterview’s heart are two 2.4 km tunnels – each three lanes wide with an outside diameter of 14.41m excavated under residential suburbs, the country’s busiest arterial road and Auckland’s western rail corridor.  The towering Great North Road Interchange (GNRI) at the north end of the tunnel completes the project and joins the Northwestern and Southwestern motorways.

 

The Waterview Connection is much more than joining two motorways for customers. The project delivered improvements to public transport links, safer local roads, more choices for walkers and cyclists, and a lasting community legacy with upgraded recreational and environmental amenities.

 

 

The project was delivered by the Well-Connected Alliance (WCA) – a team of New Zealand and international companies including:  Fletcher Construction Infrastructure, McConnell Dowell Constructors, Japanese tunnel constructors Obayashi Corporation, Beca Infrastructure, Tonkin + Taylor and WSP. The project’s client, the NZ Transport Agency was also part of the WCA.  During the life of the project, more than 11,000 people worked at Waterview. 

 

The New Zealand Transport Agency acknowledged that the WCA’s community strategy had ‘lifted the bar’ for others involved in large scale infrastructure projects to follow.

 

Pip Hair, the Culture and Communication Director, said that one of the challenges was ensuring that the Alliance leaders were aligned in terms of being able to develop very quick and effective relationships with other people.

 

“The MBTI was perfect for us because it enables people to gain insights about themselves and with this self-awareness, what we found was that people were more able to work effectively with others, not just internally but with our customers and the people in the community.

 

Pip engaged Brian Lawrence to work with the Alliance Board and Senior Management Team to help them understand their own personality preferences and to leverage these in building positive relationships within the teams and between the Board and the Management Team.

 

Watch Pip talk about how the tool was used to good effect:

“The MBTI was perfect for us because it enables people to gain insights about themselves and with this self-awareness, what we found was that people were more able to work effectively with others, not just internally but with our customers and the people in the community.

“Just that sense of why people behave the way they do or how they think in a certain way and then using that knowledge to take a step back around our own self-awareness and then modifying our own styles to better connect with people.”

‘We spent quite a bit of time trying to find a practitioner who fit in with our open and collaborative culture. There are many people out there who are accredited in the MBTI Tool but we were very keen to find someone who was aligned as much as possible to our people, with construction and engineering in particular.

 

“We have found that Brian was a very good fit. He has a calm and considered approach but is also dynamic in terms of being able to challenge and its that challenge, I think, that ‘caring candour’, that way of being able to have those sorts of conversations that make you reflect on why you’re doing what you’re doing and what a better outcome could be, were useful for us in our Alliance."

 

 Brian worked with multiple levels of the Alliance running team workshops and conducting coaching sessions with the Board and Alliance Management Team as well as working with supervisors and engineers on the Construction teams and the Communication and Stakeholder team.