27-28 November the annual Employee Ownership Association conference was held, in Liverpool.
Like last year, we ensured we were there to absorb as much knowledge and inspiration as possible!
What is it?
A conference, with lots of big names (companies and individuals) from the sector attending.
Over 60 speakers, 28 exhibitors, and 800 attendees filling the Liverpool venue.
Plenty of opportunity to network with businesses already employee owned, those thinking about it, and professional advisers to the sector.
Plus there’s an awards ceremony, and all the coffee you can drink!
What’s the benefit of going?
For us, it’s the inspiration, and networking side.
It’s great to meet other professionals in the industry. We all have different areas of expertise and work alongside each other.
It’s great to meet business owners considering an EOT. We can discuss pros/cons, and establish how viable it may be for them.
Plus it’s great to meet long term employee owned businesses. They’ve all got a different story to tell. What’s worked well, and perhaps more interestingly what issues they’ve encountered, and how they dealt with them.
There’s a wonderful sharing vibe, everyone keen to share their experiences to help others.
Everyone goes away feeling inspired, and raring to get stuck back in to whatever they do!
Humans are all different!
We are all different. We all want different things, and are motivated in different ways. Discovering this, and finding out what’s important to each individual is key to get the best from your team.
Some want to lead. Others make an amazing right hand man/woman, and would hate to be in charge.
Some love the concept of employee ownership and will engage in innovation, pushing the business forward. Others just want to do their job well, get paid, and get home.
There’s no right/wrong. Businesses need all sorts.
Our particular highlights
We really enjoyed the opening keynote speech by Joe Garner (previous CEO of Nationwide). Multiple valuable messages in there, but key for us were:
– leaders can be confident and humble. The two aren’t incompatible.
– mistakes will happen. You will fail. It’s how you deal with it that counts.
– and there are times when you should not do what your regulator tells you(!)
We built relationships with a couple of complementary providers in the Employee Ownership space. People we’ve spoken to via email and Zoom, but not met in person before. We’re keen to build on this, to provide great affordable options across all facets of EO.
Oh…and our founder’s old school friend and fellow EO advocate Andy Brown singing “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen.
Will Go EO be going next year?
Try stopping us! Yes, indeed we hope to both exhibit and also run a workshop on EOTs for smaller businesses. Details TBC!
Big thanks to the Employee Ownership Association for bringing the 2023 EOA conference together!
There’s growing demand for EOTs. Whilst there’s plenty of advisers, few focus on the small end. Making transitions easy and affordable. Plus giving a good understanding of what EO really means, and what it takes to succeed.
If you are interested in finding out more about transitioning to an EOT, get in touch with us at Go EO to see how we can help.