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Gainesville Regional Utility

Client: GRU
Industry: Economic Development/Government


GRU had become the center of public concern as a result of prior management’s decision to sign a major contract with a bio-fuel supplier that fell short of pre-agreement expectations.  Despite strong customer satisfaction across a wide range of utility services, the publicly owned utility was categorized as an unresponsive government agency with high utility rates.


A change in senior management ushered in a new era of operational goals that emphasized adaptive business-based decision-making.  HCP was engaged to construct a strategic plan with the objective of developing a synergistic coalition among management and a platform to build confidence among government officials.

HCP began by conducting in-depth interviews with the executive management team followed by surveys of all key managers.  The goal of inclusiveness in the evolution of the plan was paramount, while the one-on-one interviews offered the opportunity for each to provide unrestricted input on multiple factors judged as critical to the mission.

Extraction of insights from the interviews and surveys coupled with a review of secondary data on customer issues, exploration of community news and a review of the communities (government) strategic plan offered additional background information to formulate key elements to be addressed within the plan.  A full day session with senior management was used to further extract priorities, refine mission statements, and define the ways in which the company would be measured.

The end product of the assignment included a whitepaper outlining the mission, broad strategy and priorities.  This document formed the basis for a presentation to company employees, suppliers, the elected city officials that oversee the organization, and their most important stakeholder group—their customers (the community).

Broad acceptance of the direction coming from this assignment has resulted in a unified mission for the company and set the stage for aggressive refocusing on the role of the utility in the community.