New Leadership, Thriving Legacy
The GE Johnson Construction Company was at a special point in its history defined by a period of unparalleled growth and a significant transition in its leadership team. The group of leaders responsible for the recent growth was taking the place of the family leadership team. The new leadership team believed it was important to create a clear leadership signature or “leadership brand” that articulated their vision for the organization and the way the organization would provide distinctive value to its clients. In addition the leadership team wanted to leverage their growth by positioning the company as one of the leading construction firms in the Rocky Mountain area. The leadership team knew it would be a necessity to engage employees in the leadership platform and the behaviors necessary to differentiate the firm in the marketplace.
Research Drives Brand Platform Development
The Brand Tool Box client team started the internal brand-building process by gaining a through understanding of GE Johnson’s business and its culture. The first part of the process was the development of a Brand Platform – “the GE Johnson Way.”
To assist in gaining a better understanding of the current brand both inside and outside the organization, Brand Tool Box completed a Brand Discovery and both internal and external Brand Assessment Research studies. The Brand Discovery process concentrated on the brand that was being communicated to the marketplace through its communications and the brand on the inside was identified through interviews and strategic document review.
The external brand assessment research study focused on GE Johnson’s customers and key subcontractors. The results of this research were instrumental in providing key insights to understand how customers and other leaders in the construction industry perceived GE Johnson. In addition to understanding perceptions externally, GE Johnson asked all 300 of their employees to complete a comprehensive internal brand assessment research study. This helped Brand Tool Box to understand what the brand was on the inside of GE Johnson and also to understand employees’ perceptions of how clients perceive the GE Johnson brand.
The second major milestone of the project was the development of the Brand Platform. Combining the information from the Brand Discovery and the perspective of the leadership team, the Brand Tool Box team developed a recommended Brand Platform. At the core of the Brand Platform was the brand ethos, the defining element of the uniqueness of the “GE Johnson way” of general contracting.
After the development of the Brand Platform, Brand Tool Box implemented an internal brand-building program throughout the organization. The first step in the internal brand-building process was conducting three sessions of the Brand Tool Box® Internal Brand Leadership workshop. Brand Tool Box Certified Facilitators conducted seven sessions of the Brand Tool Box Brand Alignment workshop in three different locations with all 300 of GE Johnson’s employees.
New Brand Results in Solid Leadership Direction
The leadership team at GE Johnson Construction Company was able to use the recommended Brand Platform to clearly and succinctly articulate its leadership signature. In addition the Brand Platform was used to develop a unique set of key messages to position GE Johnson Construction Company in their marketing and new business development activities. More importantly, the internal brand-building process created a pragmatic framework to manage teams on the job site and in the recruitment process. The Brand Platform is alive and well in all leadership discussions and strategic planning processes.