Article by Hope Katz Gibbs
Portraits by Steve Barrett
On the office door of Jim Bognet’s office is a sign that reads: “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
William Foster said that. He was a 28-year-old United States Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty” during the World War II Battle of Okinawa, where he died on May 2, 1945.
Such a sentiment is part of what Jim and his business partner Jeff Kaiser call “The Bognet Way.”
“At Bognet Construction, we are driven by a set of principles that define everything we do,” says Jim. “It’s our mission statement and our corporate philosophy. Every one of our employees is held to this standard of behavior.”
With the help of strategy consultant and organizational development coach Dave Ramos of the Dashboard Group, Jim and Jeff came up with the idea to create such a statement a few years ago. To accomplish their goal, Dave interviewed dozens of employees and clients to identify the characteristics they thought best summed up what made Bognet Construction unique.
In the end, Ramos, Jim, Jeff, and vice president Jennifer Bognet (pictured below), agreed on six tenets. Ramos made them easy to remember by starting each one with an initial from the company name. See if these principles represent the good work you do at your firm.
THE BOGNET WAY
B = Build Long-Term Relationships. We strive to build long-term relationships with every member of the project team. Because we are focused on the long-term, these relationships are a critical element of how we work, how we solve problems, and how we compete. The Bognet Executive team is highly engaged in every project.
O = Operate As One Team. We strive to provide strong leadership to all parties in the job (architect, tenant, construction manager, building owner, subcontractors, etc.), with the goal of working together as one integrated team. Bognet holds our subcontractors to the same standard of The Bognet Way. Only subcontractors who meet this standard will work with us for the long-term.
G = Go the Extra Mile. We are relentless about the details of every project, and aggressively follow-up (emails, phone calls, etc.) until the job is done. We do whatever it takes to make the project a success. We are relentlessly proactive and always look ahead to anticipate potential problems. At Bognet, before every employee leaves for the day, they ask themselves, “Have I done everything possible to anticipate tomorrow’s problems today?” This question defines the Bognet culture.
N = Never Stop Improving. We are committed to looking for innovative new ways of doing things, applying the latest tools and procedures to improve efficiency. We work hard to stay on top of industry trends. This includes innovations in LEED building standards, new technologies, and our investment in continuous training for our staff.
E = Engineer Win-Win Solutions. We strive to balance the needs of all parties in the project to find the win-win solution. Bognet works closely with all members of the team, including tenants, brokers, building owners, construction managers, and architects to ensure that projects are delivered on-time and on-budget. We look for creative ways to solve problems and deliver exceptional quality. We strive to resolve conflict in a productive manner.
T = Take Ownership. At Bognet, we will do whatever it takes to deliver on our promise. Our executive team is highly engaged in every project. We are big enough to provide a full range of services and small enough that the executive team is involved in the details. We do what we say we will do, when we say we will do it.