The concept of “Ownership Thinking” is getting a closer look these days by businesses that are seeking solutions to attract and retain quality staffers in response to the Great Resignation. Founded on Brad Hams’ philosophy of building business wealth, the methodology focuses on instilling a mindset of ownership among employees. It can answer, in part, workers’ needs to be heard, have more autonomy, make a difference, and be afforded opportunities for growth. By addressing these needs, the business owner sees more involvement, improved performance, and increased retention.
Ownership Thinking is a culture – or component of business culture – based on the conviction that most employees want to engage, want to contribute, and build self-esteem when they are enabled to achieve. Hams’ research found that employees are more fulfilled by their work in an environment that cultivates these opportunities, and that creating a mentality of building business wealth, by instilling a mindset of ownership among employees, results in more opportunity for all. It advocates transparency, which leads to trust, then engagement – which is necessary for a healthy culture and thriving enterprise.
Elements of the mindset and program include:
- Employee incentive programs
- Employee empowerment
- Employee ownership training
- Opportunities for ownership
A natural progression of ownership thinking is the identification and development of key employees – the individuals, who will become the anchors of the company. You may have positions to fill or may wish to enhance the opportunities for those who are already in key positions, with this innovative approach. It is also of great benefit to your business in terms of its cohesiveness, vision, and direction, if your ownership team – shareholders, partners, and members – buy into this mindset as well.
At a recent Exit Planning Peer Advisory Board meeting, the members identified – from an ownership thinking perspective – four key positions and the qualities and capabilities they felt should be nurtured.
- Visionary and the ability to share the vision
- Ability to inspire and lead
- Sense of urgency
- Excellent communicator
- Committed to accuracy
- Sees the big picture
- Someone who owns the numbers
- Results oriented
- Self-aware, authentic leadership style
- Detail oriented
- Excellent communicator
- Respects and maintains confidentiality
Ownership Thinking and Exit Planning
A culture of ownership thinking can be a vital component of exit planning in terms of the assets – financial and otherwise – that will go along with the business when it is eventually sold or otherwise transferred to a new owner. But the practice of ownership thinking will also be instrumental in achieving and maintaining the business value you need to make that transition. Some specific benefits include:
- Increased value – a stable, motivated, high performing team is typically the #1 business value driver
- More potential buyers
- Broader options for those who step into your business when it is transferred
- A business that is not owner-dependent which can continue to operate seamlessly without him/her
Highly effective key employees are essential to building and maintaining the value of your business and its success. Being able to exit your business on your terms, when the time comes, is dependent on achieving your value objectives. Consider integrating the ownership thinking mindset into your own culture for a more highly engaged, committed, and productive workforce from which your entire organization will reap rewards.
Feel free to contact me if you would like to be our guest at a future Peer Advisory Board meeting or would like to set up a complimentary consultation to discuss the positioning and strategy for your own exit.