TZL 1354 (web)


had no lag in production and carried us in the beginning. Everyone else has adapted quickly, and the conversation is now centered around how to safely start working at the office again while still allowing people the flexibility to work remotely. TZL: How much time do you spend working “in the business” rather than “on the business?” BM: I’m roughly 60 percent in the business, 40 percent on the business. TZL: What type of leader do you consider yourself to be? BM: An authentic leader. I try to be honest and direct with our employees. TZL: What, if anything, are you doing to protect your firm from a potential economic slowdown in the future? BM: We don’t take the current market for granted. We look for opportunities to work in varied markets and with a variety of different clients. We hire people who are natural learners so we can easily capitalize on new opportunities. TZL: Are you using the R&D tax credit? If so, how is it working for your firm? If not, why not? BM: Yes. It is working really well for our firm. TZL: Giving back to the community seems to be at the heart of the Batture mission. Can you tell me about a particular project that you were/are especially proud to be a part of? Why? BM: It’s really hard to pick just one project, but working on projects in Guatemala has been especially gratifying for me. A number of our employees have provided support on these projects and three of us have had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala at different times. It’s very humbling to gain perspective on how much we take running water and infrastructure for granted. I often wonder how our industry would be different if part of the requirement for professional licensure was working on a pro bono project helping a community in need. TZL: It is often said that people leave managers, not companies. What are you doing to ensure that your line leadership are great people managers? BM: We work with a consultant who is assisting in these efforts. He works directly with our project managers, employees, and

ownership to improve communication and leadership within our firm. TZL: What measures are you taking to protect your employees during the COVID-19 crisis? BM: Primarily, we’re requiring staff to work remotely. The office is closed. We are grateful to have work and clients right now. Our work is minimally impacted by remote employees, and we feel obligated to work remotely as a small thing we can do to help our community. We are currently looking into a product that would be installed in our A/C system which purifies the air and sanitizes hard surfaces in the building. This is the same system installed in hospitals. We want to have a solid plan in place and upgrades complete to our office, so employees can return with a feeling of safety. TZL: How are you balancing investment in the next generation – which is at an all-time high – with rewards for tenured staff? BM: This has always been a challenge, but seems heightened as investments in development have increased. Every company decision we make is about future generations. We don’t believe in the concept of tenured staff. We greatly appreciate employees who decide to stay at Batture, but if an employee is done learning then they aren’t a cultural fit anymore. Every employee needs to have desire to improve whether they are a young engineer learning how to design or an experienced engineer learning how to better mentor and teach young engineers. TZL: Is change management a topic regularly addressed by the leadership at your firm? If so, elaborate. BM: Yes. We often discuss how our company is changing and how it needs to change as we grow. A three-person firm is vastly different than a 16-person firm. “It’s really exciting to see people get on board with the idea of engineering being in service of others. I think if more engineers took steps to cultivate a mindset of service it would have a positive impact on our industry.”








❚ ❚ Civil/infrastructure

❚ ❚ Structural

❚ ❚ Water management

❚ ❚ Land surveying

❚ ❚ Coastal

❚ ❚ Landscape architecture

A COMMITMENT TO GIVING BACK: Batture is the only civil

engineering company to be

accepted into the business

program at Propeller, the New

Orleans non-profit that works

with companies with a social

See GIVING BACK, page 8


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LY 27, 2020, ISSUE 1354

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