As I travel around the country giving talks about the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), the interest in this new form of succession planning has been extraordinary.
I have been discussing the concept of employee ownership with hundreds of people. In particular the differences between EOT and privately owned companies. This has led to the creation of the Eternal Programme, an online tool designed to help companies transition to employee ownership
I have, however, also realised that there is one preliminary question that owners seek to have answered before any other:
Is a sale to an Employee Ownership Trust the right thing for me, my family and my business?
As a consequence, the first part of the Eternal Programme addresses this question. The cost is £300pm, but there is no obligation to continue the programme for any specific period. Owners can work through the first few stages in order to work out whether the EOT is right for them, and therefore if they wish to carry on with the programme.
The programme is in three modules:
Module one: for the owner. Firstly to decide if the Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is the best form of succession, then to prepare the narrative in order to bring on board the leadership team.
Module two: for the owner and leadership team. To help the leadership team understand employee ownership; the cultural differences required; the role of the leadership team in an EOT business; then build a plan to include all employees stop
Module three: for all employees and owners. To transition the business ready for the EOT.
The online learning platform we are using allows for debate and discussion, both with fellow members, and also with Chris Budd and the many other associates who are helping to design and deliver the course. This can either be in the form of a quick question in the forum, or booking a consultant to help deliver particular aspect of the course.
This means, in the early stages, owners can discuss the pros and cons of selling to an EOT with people who have already been through the process. Only when they are sure that this is the right route should they engage with key employees, and even then only on planned and structured basis.
This carefully considered and methodical approach should ensure that the owners get the end to their entrepreneurial story that they want, but will also give it the best chance of success.
The eternal business programme will be launched in 2018. To be informed when the course is open, or if you would like to be one of companies testing the material before launch, you can contact Chris on firstname.lastname@example.org