In 2023 we are going to focus on updating the brand for the Genuine Contact Way as a collaborative project. And you are invited to join us! Our goal for this work is to prepare the GC Way brand for the next generation. The GC Way brand is considered prepared when people working with Genuine Contact can clearly describe the story and spirit of the Genuine Contact Way consistently and in a way that others can say “I understand, and I want this too.”

This project is being led by a newly formed team - The Brand Owls. Together, we are Birgitt Williams, Bora Lee, Gowoon Lim, and Rachel Bolton.

It should come as no surprise that we approached the development of this project the Genuine Contact Way :-).

There's a lot of information on this page! We know it can feel overwhelming to read so much, so here's a quick overview of what's included. If you're looking for something specific, the links will take you down the page to just the right spot.

  • Our process and how it's built the Genuine Contact way
  • Leadership involved in every step of the process
  • Who could participate (hint: if you're reading this, it's probably you)
  • What we've done so far including in-depth reports from each step in the process
  • What's coming up as next steps that you can participate in
    • Discernment Phase - What is already known about the GCW brand and who will be involved in the process.
    • Readiness - Through the key activity, the brand persona, an open space is provided for the members of the GCO to be ready for the branding process
    • Engagement - We search for the brand direction and set bridging steps between the present and future.
    • Construction - Determine the brand direction and concept. Create a simple and unified story. Decision-making.
    • Implementation - 100 days of implementation. Realizing the gap between existing branding plans and the new branding direction. Updating existing team plans to align with the new branding direction.
    • Monitoring & Adjustment - 100 days of monitoring and adjustment. Monitoring how the plans are being implemented and making adjustments if needed.

If you're looking to quickly find the documentation from each of the completed parts of this process, you'll find them here! A more full description of each step that is still to come is found below in "What's coming up next."

Session Outputs - Whiteboards & Reports

  • You'll find the whiteboards and reports from each stage of this work here as it unfolds.

Our process is designed in 6 phases

Six Levels of the Evolutionary Spiral

A guiding principle within the Genuine Contact way of working is ‘go slow to go fast’. This Six Level Evolutionary Spiral provides a framework for us to do just that. Typically, when people undertake a project or initiative there is insufficient, if any, consideration that they are undertaking something requiring skillfulness in working with change.

It is common to start a project or initiative by setting a vision (expected outcomes), targets, goals, objectives and so on. We refer to this as getting quickly into construction to ‘drive’ to the desired outcomes.

To thrive in today’s performance environment of constant change, when working on a project, team, organization, or even a family unit, go slow at first so that it is possible to go fast. Don’t assume that by going fast to ‘drive’ to the outcomes you want is actually the fast way to go.

Our model for thriving as we work with intentional change is the Six Level Evolutionary Spiral. The diagram is read from the bottom up. Each level can be worked with the Medicine Wheel Tool (MWT) as a platform meaning as you go through each of the six levels, you go through six rounds of the MWT. The choice of what tools to use within these MWT rounds, how long to spend in each, what questions you wish to ask in each round is the artistry of working with this tool.

The Six Phases

  • Discernment is for exploring the topic itself and discerns what appears to be fact from the perspective of those involved. If the topic is about ‘change’, the discernment is about ‘change’, if the topic is about ‘improved innovation’, the discernment is about ‘innovation’, if the topic is about ‘preparing the brand for the future’ then the discernment is about what we already know about the brand and what is needed to prepare it for the future.
  • Readiness accomplishes exploring how ready the organization is to undertake the intended change in terms of its own health and balance.
  • Engagement accomplishes sorting out the engagement for moving forward and requires engagement of people who are implementing the change what it is constructed.
  • Construction accomplishes the design of what is determined to be the best approach, a proposed brand strategy and supporting materials, for going forward to achieve identified results (outputs and outcomes).
  • Implementation is that phase of implementing, making changes to how we work with the prepared brand to accomplish the brand strategy. In this project, we're supporting 100 days of implementation.
  • Monitoring and Adjustment is usually thought about during the construction phase regarding a plan for how progress will be monitored and the mechanisms to make adjustments. Monitoring and adjustment will happen for 100 days alongside the implementation. After that, the ongoing implementation, monitoring and adjustment will be the responsibility of the functional teams of the GCO (Leadership Team, Membership Team, and Co-Owners/Stewards).

Leadership involved in every step of  the process

Something that is critical not just for the update of the Genuine Contact Way brand, but for ensuring we successfully implement it, is leadership that is involved in every step of the process. Our GC Way Branding Project process has been designed with this guiding principle in mind.

  • As people working in the Functional Teams of the GCO, at least 1 member of our Leadership Management Team (LMT) (Doris Gottlieb and Rachel Bolton), 1 member of the Membership Team (Ann-Heidi Paulsen Orvik and Anna Caroline Türk), and 1 Co-Owner/Steward participates in every whole system meeting (described below) and every meeting of the Functional Teams (FT). This participation ensures that the members of these teams are collaborating on the leadership of this process and are in agreement with decisions being made as they unfold.
  • With at least 1 member of the Functional Teams attending every meeting, they have undertaken the responsibility to update the rest of their team members on the progress of the work. They have agreed to have a standing agenda item in their regular meetings to discuss the implications of this unfolding work on the activities of their team and to share these implications with the Brand Owls. This supports our collaboration and ensures that decisions individual teams are making are supported by the rest of the organization as it moves forward in this work.
  • And the leadership that is within each of us as stakeholders of Genuine Contact. When you choose to participate in this process, you are enacting your leadership by showing up and being fully present and contributing what has heart and meaning to you. These individual contributions are recorded in each meeting's notes and will be considered by the Brand Owls as the proposed brand strategy and its supporting materials are developed.

Who should join in?

In order for a collaborative process like this to be successful, it's important that a diverse group of people come together to offer your collective wisdom. If you're reading this, you are exactly the right person to join in! While all of the parts of this process are connected, each part has been designed to be a stand-alone experience.  This means that you can come to only 1, a few, or even all 7 parts of this process, and your contributions will always be welcome, invited, and valuable.

We are inviting participation from people who have:

  • every level of involvement with our international Genuine Contact Organization - whether you are a White, Orange, Green, Blue, Co-Owner, or Organizational member...or even if you're not a registered member at all.  What matters is that you are interested in the Genuine Contact Way of working and living.
  • every level of engagement with your learning of the Genuine Contact Program - whether you've taken 1 workshop, a few, the entire program, or even if you're simply curious to learn more one day soon.
  • every length of participation in our organization and community - whether you've been here for the last 20 years, the last 20 minutes, or anywhere in between
  • every way you are working with Genuine Contact - whether you're a Trainer offering workshops, use the Genuine Contact way of working for some or all of your coaching and/or consulting assignments, in your day-to-day work inside organizations, or are wondering whether this way of working can be of benefit to you and your clients

In short, if you have interest in the Genuine Contact Way, we hope you will participate in this process. You can read about the whole process below or see a brief list of the 7 sessions with links to RSVP here.


Opportunities for Participation

Within the 6 Levels framework, there are also 6 steps in this strategic plan refresh process in which you can participate.

Genuine Contact Way branding project overview. A flowchart of the 6 phases of the project.

You'll find details below about what has happened or what is going to happen soon for each of these phases of the GC Way Branding Project.


What's happened so far...

The GC Way Branding Project has been in development since August 2022. Birgitt Williams, Gowoon Lim, Bora Lee, and Rachel Bolton worked together to define the scope of work through this Service Delivery Model and and Work Plan that outlines all of the steps to be undertaken between now and October 2023.

They invited the Functional Teams of Genuine Contact (Leadership Management Team, Membership Team, and Co-Owners/Stewards) to a meeting to share this planned work, ask for feedback to ensure the plan had been well thought through and described, and ask for a commitment from the Functional Teams to support the work. This commitment was made through a 5toFold decision-making process. You can read more about the meeting here.

Now (December 16, 2022), we are undertaking the next steps of our work plan - inviting you to join us!


What's still to come...

Phase 1: Discernment

Orientation & Storytelling
Tuesday, January 18

This meeting begins the GC Way Branding Project for all members of the GCO. In this meeting, we will co-create a WPPF container for the whole GCO for this segment and future segments of the branding work.

We'll also be inviting you to share and document your stories of the Genuine Contact Way of living and working since the beginning of Genuine Contact - how you apply the GC Way of working to your personal life, organization, family, community, and/or clients.

The stories shared will help shape our collective understanding of the brand persona of the Genuine Contact Way. Together, we'll be documenting them in a way that will help to develop a collection of case stories that can be published and then shared with potential clients, the organizations we each work with or for, and people interested in taking workshops.

To learn more about how we'll invite stories, document them, or share them with you and others, please review the statement of ethics for story-sharing.

RSVP to participate in this session

Output Documents will be available here after the meeting.

  • Whiteboards / Meeting Notes
  • Report

Phase 2: Readiness

Brand Persona Spectrum Data Gathering Part 1
Tuesday, February 21

In this second meeting of the GC Way Branding Project, all members of the GCO are invited to participate in developing data together about the GC Way Brand Persona Spectrum. This is a second tool to help us collectively discern and define what the GC Way is.

The meeting happens in 2 parts - February 21 & 28, 2023. While it will be most beneficial to your own experience to attend both, it is also possible to attend 1 part or the other as your schedule allows.

A persona spectrum helps each of us to focus our attention on a range of motivations, contexts, abilities, and circumstances. Describing specific motivation and the ways it’s shared across multiple groups. It shows how that motivation can change depending on context. For members of our Genuine Contact Organization, we each experience and work with the Genuine Contact Way within our own unique context - this process will help us to unearth what is common in the Genuine Contact Way brand that is then expressed differently depending on that context.

Through your contributions, we will co-create a picture together of what the brand persona spectrum is for the Genuine Contact Way of working and living.

RSVP to participate in this session

Output Documents will be available here after the meeting.

  • Whiteboards / Meeting Notes
  • Report

 

Brand Persona Spectrum Data Gathering Part 2
Tuesday, February 28

In this second meeting of the GC Way Branding Project, all members of the GCO are invited to participate in developing data together about the GC Way Brand Persona Spectrum. This is a second tool to help us collectively discern and define what the GC Way is.

The meeting happens in 2 parts - February 21 & 28, 2023. While it will be most beneficial to your own experience to attend both, it is also possible to attend 1 part or the other as your schedule allows.

Through your contributions, we will co-create a picture together of what the brand persona spectrum is for the Genuine Contact Way of working and living.

RSVP to participate in this session

Output Documents will be available here after the meeting.

  • Whiteboards / Meeting Notes
  • Report

Phase 3: Engagement

Finalizing Brand Persona and Story Guide
Tuesday, April 18

In this third meeting of the GC Way Branding Project, all members of the GCO are invited to clarify and finalize the brand persona and brand/direction story guide that have been developed based on the contributions so far. These 2 documents will support and guide the next steps of developing the brand strategy and preparing for its implementation.

RSVP to participate in this session

Output Documents will be available here after the meeting.

  • Whiteboards / Meeting Notes
  • Report

 

Organizational Engagement for Implementation
Tuesday, April 25

In this fourth meeting of the GC Way Branding Project, you are invited to help us collectively understand what already exists in the organization, how it needs to be modified, and what needs to be in place for successful implementation of the updated GC Way brand. This is an opportunity to experience using the ERIC model as one of the GC Tools.

RSVP to participate in this session

Output Documents will be available here after the meeting.

  • Whiteboards / Meeting Notes
  • Report

Phase 4: Construction

Proposal Development Meeting
Tuesday, June 13 (within the GCO Monthly Meeting)

In this fifth meeting of the GC Way Branding Project, a proposal will be shared by the Brand Owls for an updated brand strategy including supporting materials. In this meeting, all members of the GCO are invited to learn more about the draft proposal and offer feedback on it in preparation for decision-making. This step is a part of our GC Decision-Making Process.

RSVP to participate in this session

Output Documents will be available here after the meeting.

  • Whiteboards / Meeting Notes
  • Report

 

Decision-Making Meeting
Tuesday, June 27

All members of the GCO are invited to this sixth meeting where a proposal will be presented for the updated brand strategy and its supporting materials. In this 5toFold collaborative decision-making process, all members can participate in the decision-making by asking clarifying questions and sharing their perspectives. All Stewards (Co-Owners) who are present will be making the final vote, taking into consideration the contributions during the process.

RSVP to participate in this session

Output Documents will be available here after the meeting.

  • Whiteboards / Meeting Notes
  • Report

Phase 5: Implementation

Ongoing: July - October 2023

Assuming that the 5toFold decision-making results in the project continuing to move forward, implementation will happen within the Functional Teams and any other activities happening within the organization. This implementation will be supported by the Brand Owls for 100 days after the decision is made. During this time, existing work plans and materials will be updated to be aligned with the approved brand strategy. The scope of work that needs to be done during this initial phase of implementation will be identified and included as part of the proposal presented in the Construction Phase.

Phase 6: Monitoring & Adjustment

During the first 100 days of implementation, teams will conduct their work in accordance with the brand strategy. They will regularly review and reflect on the experiences of this work and offer their feedback and insights to the Brand Owls to monitor and make recommendations for any needed adjustments.

After this 100 days of implementation, an organization-wide meeting will be held. We anticipate this will happen in mid or late October and the date will be scheduled in September. This final meeting will be an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments so far and discern next steps together.

Future implementation, monitoring and adjustment will be the responsibility of the Functional Teams. We anticipate that during this first 100 days of implementation the necessary skills and capacity will be developed to continue this work.

Output Documents will be available here after the meeting.

  • Whiteboards / Meeting Notes
  • Report including recommended next steps