Catch is constantly looking toward the future – the future of engineering, the future of energy, the future of the industry at large. You’ve got to look ahead to plan ahead, after all, and planning ahead is the key to ongoing success for any business. 

That includes putting strategies and preparations in place for future projects or tracks of work (like Catch is doing in the face of the coming EV revolution, for example), but it also means looking internally at the business’s own leadership and culture with an eye toward forward-thinking, contemporary strategies. In doing so, Catch ensures that it’s staying true to its values and building a sustainable, people-centric path toward success that will carry the business forward for years to come – and it all starts with emotional intelligence. 

That’s why we’re joined today by Dana Ilych – Electrical Manager at Catch with a focus on mentorship, continuous learning, and inclusivity – to give us a sense of how Catch is positioning itself for future success by leaning into project management rooted in four essential pillars of leadership.

The Four Essential Competencies of Effective Leaders

1. Authenticity

“In today’s fast-paced and media-rich environment,” Ilych began, “it can be a challenge to be authentic.” 

Truer words have rarely been spoken. In business and in life (both of which are becoming increasingly digital in nature), there seems to be a prevailing attitude of but what have you done for me LATELY. When confronted with this sentiment, it can be difficult to be your authentic, value-aligned self; it’s easy to want to take the bait and get caught up in a real-life version of chasing likes and thumbs-up. That, of course, is no way to sustainably run a business – and Catch knows it. Instead, Ilych and team take the high road, letting authenticity lead the way. 

“Sometimes being authentic means acknowledging one’s own mistakes,” Ilych points out. “We’ve certainly worked on projects where we’ve had to admit to clients that mistakes were made; a humbling experience for any project manager. This step is necessary, though – not just for the sake of authenticity and transparency, but in order to address ongoing issues, change our strategy, and ultimately save the project at risk.”

It’s not always easy to live authentically – but when it comes to doing right by the client, the project, and the values that guide the team forward at Catch, there’s really no other way to do business.

2. Coaching

A business’s people are its biggest drivers of success. That’s why project managers like Ilych approach leadership and company culture with a keen eye toward coaching and internal development. This is perhaps most easily recognizable in Catch’s approach to engineers-in-training and its culture of mentorship – as Ilych takes the time to explain. 

“At Catch, we value the unique perspective, dedication, and potential our junior employees bring to the table,” Ilych told us. “If a field visit is being conducted, the senior specialist will usually bring a junior employee along so that they can become familiar with the operating environment. Being able to see a piece of equipment in action gives meaning to hours spent on calculations, equipment sizing, and the creation of drawings and datasheets to design that very equipment.”

By maintaining a keen focus on coaching, Catch is doing more than just helping its people develop their careers – the leadership team is able to develop real, tangible business results, creating ongoing success for the organization and clients alike. 

And we haven’t even gotten to the last two pillars yet.

3. Insight

Self-trust and self-confidence are the basis for insight: the third leadership competency that makes the foundation of Catch’s emotional intelligence-informed approach to project management. 

“Insight allows you to create a sense of meaning and to ignite enthusiasm in others,” Ilych detailed for us on the subject. “Here at Catch, one of the hardest (but most rewarding) challenges for a project manager is to help the client see a design problem from a different angle, to encourage them to be open to an unorthodox solution. Having insight means helping the client see that the problem they’ve encountered may not be a problem at all, but an opportunity to innovate and optimize an engineering process to increase revenue.”

And speaking of opportunities to innovate (talk about a segue!)…

4. Innovation

Since its inception in 2006, Catch Engineering has always been a unique company within the engineering landscape. Through its singular approach to client services – combining design and engineering expertise with field-based services – innovation has always been one area competency in which Catch has boldly and brightly stood out.

“Innovation is woven into the fabric of everything we do here at Catch,” Ilych stated proudly. “In 2021, for example, Catch provided electrical, automation, instrumentation design, and procurement services for the creation of a Sodium Recovery Module. This module uses electrons to remove sulfur from heavy oils in order to create clean marine fuel. With an emphasis on sustainability, this proprietary system is designed to charge when not running. Catch Engineering designed the system’s electrical and control components, which was no small feat as there was no precedent to consult. Led by an experienced project manager, the team came together to deliver an innovative and challenging design to the client – solidifying Catch’s reputation as one of leading clean energy engineering services firms in Calgary.”

Working in tandem with insight, coaching, and authenticity, innovation comes together to create a unique approach to project management rooted in the science and practice of emotional intelligence. 

A singular leadership strategy practiced by a singular engineering firm – now that’s the Catch Difference in action.

Thanks goes out to Dana Ilych for taking time out of her busy schedule to chat culture and team member development with us – much appreciated, Dana! 

Are you looking for an engineering team with an emphasis on project management driven by the insight, coaching, authenticity, and innovation? Contact us at Catch Engineering to learn more about partnering with our expert, emotionally-intelligent team today.


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