By Susan Soroko, Director Creative Economy, Arlington Economic Development
In many ways, rebranding a 100 + year old legacy corporation through the lens of equity and inclusion put Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) ahead of its time. For a company that originated the ‘management consulting’ model largely for federal government and defense contracting services, there had to be compelling reasons to disrupt the traditions that had made this firm operate successfully for more than a millennium. Who wants to change something that’s worked for so long?
Arlington’s Return on Creativity series has hosted creative thought leaders like Michael Dumlao to talk about innovative problem solving; an asset for many Arlington companies.
For BAH, the writing on the wall was an invitation. It was 2015 and advances in technology were encroaching and the service model and the impressions clients had of the value of the company. Was it time to look inward as well as outward? That question and more were what Michael Dumlao, then Director of Brand Management, took to task and to heart.
To start, the company looked inside. It took more than five years, but communicating within the company revealed the need and opportunity to reconfigure the corporate culture among employees. What were the values they were striving for externally and internally and how would they align technology advancements with brand evolution? The efforts required input from thousands of employees, clients and stakeholders world wide to attract new talent and shift this company’s expertise to a powerhouse of technology consulting, cybersecurity and engineering.
“Under the new identity, our values – unflinching courage, passionate service, ferocious integrity, collective ingenuity, and champion’s heart – align with our purpose statement: Collectively, we celebrate the ideas and ingenuity of our people, the purpose that drives what we do each day, and the passion with which we serve our clients, communities and colleagues, ” said Michael Dumlao.
By 2019, Booz Allen Hamilton received the Communications Award from Gartner, a Silver Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of America and touted an extensive list of measurable targets they’d exceeded. For Michael Dumlao, the experience uncovered his own relationships with family and compelled him to write a book, The Wisdom of Guncles, due out in August 2021.
Hear more from Michael Dumlao on the Return on Creativity podcast from AgileWorld with host Greg Kihlstrom.
Register for the next Return on Creativity event: Return to Work, a virtual event, on July 13, 2021.