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We’ve been continuing to move forward our latest initiative, the Karins Way program. Partnering with brand strategy firm Studio BC/C, this program was developed to explore and implement new ways to deliver ENGINEERING INTEGRITY to our clients.

With three teams assembled across our six offices, the Karins Way Program was led by Paula Barros from the Sarasota office. We spoke with her about the holistic impact of the program on the company and the role of client empathy in Karins' growing innovation culture.


What was your role throughout the innovation process as the programs lead facilitator?

My role was to guide my team in the process. I helped orient them to our online collaboration tool and the brainstorming process, giving them tips for their training and their prototypes. It felt good because they were reaching out to me for guidance. Though each of the facilitators are brilliant and independent, I made some decisions to ensure good outcomes throughout the process, specifically when it came time to develop prototypes. I had a good line of communication with the team facilitators and that was important for those decisions. Making sure our innovations were tested and presented as prototypes has been the goal up until this point.

What did you think people brought the the innovation process that made them successful?

It’s been everyone’s brilliant minds, because bringing ideas to fruition, being creative and figuring out something new together requires some serious thinking. We’ve got people on our team with different backgrounds and experiences that help enrich the experience. Our team is openminded to being creative!

What impact do you see this innovation program as a whole having on the the company?

I have to say that this has been a great role. Every day is a learning moment for me with this program. In speaking with people from other officers about their challenges and successes in the program, I’ve gotten to know a little bit of their personalities and the differences and similarities between the individual offices. I think this experience will be reflected in an improved work culture for the whole company. We're making large innovations in our company's culture as well. I think we are being reminded that the communication is the key for success and I'm excited to see the final results of each team’s journey.

How do you see the program’s innovations helping Karins deliver engineering integrity?

I think working as a team, embracing differences, embracing lines of communication is the direction the whole process and these innovations took us in. If you want to be innovative, you need to know the needs of the people that you are innovating for, internally and client-facing. You need to know their minds, what they're thinking and I personally see this program was a great tool for that. We know what we're doing and why in changing these processes— this is a growth process, how we get better.

People from across the company participated in the program. How do you see diversity benefitting the innovations?

I am very happy that some of our administrators have been giving presentations as well as our senior leaders, because we're all a part of something big, and it's not only the engineers that can contribute. We all got an education we didn’t necessarily have before on different aspects of our jobs. I think that everybody has great ideas. It’s been enjoyable for the senior leaders to see what the teams have been working on throughout this whole program to ask questions and build on our ideas.

What does engineering integrity mean to you?

To me, it means that we're going to deliver a project that is satisfactory to our clients' needs. We are not going to cut corners. We are going to do what is right. It's not always about searching for the money. It's not about the profit, but about the final product that's going to withstand. It may seem complex, but we do it for the safety measures, for integrity and people’s lives. Our clients should know that we want to keep our work safe for the community.