As I am attending a variety of conferences lately, this time the Vermont Employee Ownership Conference (VEOC), this time as a speaker on coaching and mentoring at PC Construction, I gleaned some insights on what works (and doesn’t) in Employee Stock Ownership Plan companies.
Here are a few I think are worth sharing:
1. There is no power where there is no collaboration
Actually, I knew this one already. But it struck me as bold to say it in this way. Usually power and collaboration aren’t used in the same sentence. There’s maybe power ‘over’, or power ‘to’, but here it was: power ‘with’.
In a company, just like in any ecosystem, collaboration bridges boundaries so that decisions and actions can be more informed and effective. If your system has no bridges the power gets interrupted.
2. Be in the bigger conversation vs. the subsets
In ESOPs the bigger conversation is how to educate, inspire and engage employees so that they think and act like owners. Why limit this to ESOPs? What if we all thought and acted like owners at work? When employees feel like they are at the mercy of the owners they actually subvert the goals of the organization.
3. ESOPs are part of the move from the extractive economy to the generative economy – or can be…
The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) says on its website:
“ESOPs are most commonly used to provide a market for the shares of departing owners of successful closely held companies, to motivate and reward employees, or to take advantage of incentives to borrow money for acquiring new assets in pretax dollars. In almost every case, ESOPs are a contribution to the employee, not an employee purchase.”
And, let’s face it, a lot of ESOPs are still run like old fashioned top down organizations (power over) with updated retirement plans.
The VEOC was a great place to be in conversation about what all of us in business need to be talking abut…what goods and services will be important in the NEXT economy as we move from the “me” society to the “we” society.
PS During lunch we were treated to a fiery speech by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – a long time supporter of ESOPs.
Tags: Bernie Sanders, best practices, change game, change in organizations, change management, coaching, coaching center of vermont, coaching skills training, culture change in organizations, ESOP, evolutionary change, innovation, lea belair, lowering risk in change, make change easier, PC Construction, VEOC, Vermont Employee Ownership Conference, vital business, www.vitalbusiness.biz