Incoming leader rallies employees by committing to purpose
Business leaders transitioning in have the challenge of alleviating employees' fears and rallying them behind a new focus and direction. Jim Manskey, President at TBG Partners, shares how their newly defined purpose helped both him and the company successfully transition.
Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, VP of Strategy at Savage Brands, and my guest today is Jim Manskey, President at TBG Partners. So Jim, welcome to Brandonomics.
Jim: Thank you, Robin. Great to be here.
Robin: Well I’m glad that you’re here because I want to talk about your leadership transition, and how that impacted this idea of looking at a brand transition at the same time. So from your perspective, why was it important to you that you did that at the same time you went through this transition with your leadership team?
Jim: Great, great question. We were 27 years old as a firm at the point where I stepped into the presidency, so we recognized we weren’t broken. But we also recognized that to make an impactful transition and not scare a lot of the employees across 6 offices, 6 regions, we needed to rally around a common purpose, a common acknowledgement of the user experience as opposed to what we had historically done. Not unlike our industry — designing physical built environment — we wanted to really acknowledge the user experience. And that’s really where we arrived at our purpose, in terms of making this sort of a more memorable place.
Robin: So this idea of keeping the entire team at this rally point around that transition was important to you, and you’re saying where you ended up was this purpose statement. So can you explain to us what that brand foundation of the purpose statement was?
Jim: Well, we stepped back and acknowledged – and again it’s a part of our maturation as a firm – we acknowledged that we’re great designers of the built environment, but at the end of the day it’s the experience of the user and those memories that are created in physical places that resonate and create the legacy impact of our work. And so that’s really what created the foundation for our purpose. And quite honestly, it was a pretty easy purpose to communicate across the firm once we really understood it and how it resonated through the work that we do.
Robin: Well I’m glad you shared that. It sounds like it gave the employees a great point in time to rally around something that helped them energize the company looking forward into this new era.
Jim: Absolutely it did.
Robin: Okay, thank you.
Jim: Thank you.
Robin: This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies.
TBG is a landscape architecture firm specializing in community development, corporate campuses, civic spaces, hotels, hospitals and educational facilities. Over the past 28 years, the firm has grown from a single office to an integrated practice with more than 125 professionals working on projects around the world. http://tbg-inc.com/