On May 1, 2022, Lauren Johnson-Lake of the Cincinnati Container Company assumed the role of President. Former Vice President of Operations, he replaced his father, Paul Johnson, as the company’s fourth-generation president. Paul remains as Vice President of Technology and Chairman of the Board.
“Being the next generation of our family to lead the Cincinnati Container is an honor and a privilege,” Lauren shares. “Especially since we are a family business, I know I have big shoes to fill. As such, I also know that the work we have done to prepare and ensure a smooth transition will help me be successful in the future. We’re building a team that can be successful even in challenging times, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the Cincinnati Container.
To prepare for this business transition, Cincinnati Container joined the Goering Center in 2017. They joined the Next Generation Institute (NGI) ®, the Center’s flagship institute designed to prepare for the smooth transfer of ownership for to owners and leaders of family businesses, their heirs, and other family members who may or may not work or have an interest in owning the business.
The Next Generation Institute ™ provides a space to face difficult questions together, have difficult conversations, and gain a holistic perspective on the journey. The program helped the Johnson family determine what questions to ask and how to start productive conversations about challenging topics, as they went deeper into their sequence planning.
“The Next Generation Institute ™ helped us develop the language and tools needed to solve some difficult issues and shifted our focus to working in our business versus it. The institute encourages us to create this transition plan and ensure we have business continuity in the future. I can’t say how helpful the entire staff at the Goering Center has been for our family and our business.
In 2018, Cincinnati Container signed their entire management team for Communication & Culture Institute ™ (CCI), designed for family and private business owners, heirs, and leadership teams. The program helps participants acquire and practice the skills needed to create and enhance performance culture and change any behaviors that contribute to a dysfunctional culture. CCI emphasized the importance of consistent team communication, leading Cincinnati Container to share more about their transfer plan and vision for their company’s future with their employees.
Last January, Lauren was named a Goering Center Rising Leader Finalist for excellence on Outside Boards, one of the 10 Best Practices for Successful Family and Private Business. The 2021 – 22 Rising Leader Finalists are not only shaping the future of their companies, but collectively growing the economy of the Greater Cincinnati region. With the help of Jim Miller and David Deye, Lauren recognized the amount to be held on an advisory board for her company and its final transfer. Through the Business Boards Institute ™ (BBI) at the Goering Center, he led the search for a candidate for the board, and led quarterly meetings by writing the president’s report and agenda. The board provides insight into some areas of the company and where to further investigate, including navigating the pandemic, adopting the Entrepreneurial Operating System (Traction) approach, and assisting with succession planning discussions.
Lauren now participates in a peer-group Roundtable, an additional space within the Center for business leaders looking for a balance between their work and family life. By joining several Goering Center institutes and seeking unique opportunities to strengthen their leadership team and expand the company’s resources, Cincinnati Container is well prepared for this year’s family business transition. .
As a result of the NGI sessions, the Johnsons held a monthly dinner to discuss what they had learned and thought, and what everyone wanted to include in the relocation plan. “It really feels like we’re getting more value from the programs in addition to the time spent in class.”
The Goering Center team is proud to partner with the Johnson family and other family businesses and family businesses throughout the Greater Cincinnati region, providing resources and skills to use on their successive journeys and beyond. Every business has unique issues, challenges, and priorities – the Goering team will continue to meet with members where they can help ensure a prosperous future.
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