March 1, 2021

Why You Should Attend the Annual NCEO Employee Ownership Conference


First and foremost, I am on the board for the NCEO, so I may be a bit biased! But hands down, one of my most favorite events is their Employee Ownership Conference. Connecting with everyone, sharing stories, and being part of the ownership tribe is an uplifting experience. And now, as we are less than two months away from the 2021 conference, I again start to feel uplifted. 

The conference was created so that there is a track for you no matter where you are on the ESOP journey. We started our journey in 2011, and I always continue to learn more and push our thinking around ownership. The sessions that I am incredibly excited about are:

Re-imagining your company in a changed world.

We have an initiative right now on how to re-imagine work. This pandemic has had so many silver linings; one of them is how to look at the workforce in a way that operates for both employee and employer. We were fortunate that technology was already in place, so we had the entire agency working from home within days. And now, as we are building a new building downtown (yup, you heard me right), we are thinking through how we can make the environment inspiring. How do we re-imagine a culture that is a hybrid—some home and some in-office? How do we think through what purposeful collaboration looks like?

How great ESOP companies generate more ideas from more people. 

As we continued to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just words but part of our ethos, we quickly realized the “I” (inclusivity) is a significant anchor point to innovation. An inclusive culture means you have talent that is excited and feels safe to generate and share ideas and thoughts. The output of ideas creates innovation, which leads to a sustainable competitive advantage. And in a world that is moving so fast, we need to continue to challenge ourselves. And we need to continue to understand that push can come from any one of our owners, not just leadership.