Beyster Institute Reorganization; Reasons to Consider Employee Ownership

As I mentioned in an earlier post, UCSD is reorganizing the Beyster Institute. If you haven’t visited the Institute’s website lately, you should take some time to have a look. The people there are doing good things in the areas of entrepreneurship and employee ownership, which as you know are two things I am very interested in.

Dean Robert Sullivan at UCSD’s Rady School of Management has decided to split the Institute into two groups. One group will focus on entrepreneurship and the other on employee ownership.

The job of promoting entrepreneurship in the United States and around the world is moving to the Rady School’s Center for Executive Development, where it is being given a new title: the Entrepreneur Development Program. It’s my understanding that this group will continue its existing entrepreneurial training programs.

The employee ownership program will remain within the Beyster Institute, here at Cave Street. The plan is for this employee ownership group to continue working with individual companies; developing and conducting live and online classes and seminars, creating academic case studies and other educational materials, and encouraging and participating in research on employee ownership as a way of doing business.

I am pleased with the work both groups are doing, and I hope these changes make them even more effective in getting out the word on entrepreneurship and employee ownership.

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The latest issue of the Beyster Institute’s online magazine contains a list of the Top Ten Reasons to Consider Employee Ownership. I suggest you take a look. Here are the top three as an appetizer:

  1. It improves the bottom line.

    Study after study confirms that companies that put ownership interests in employee hands improve their performance as a result — and outperform companies that are similar but have no employee ownership.

  2. It makes managing the business easier and more fun.

    When the employees share a fundamental concern for the performance and success of the venture, it’s easier to get them to do what needs doing. It’s gratifying to be able to share celebrations of successes — and sleepless nights during the rough patches.

  3. It supplies the glue with which to build a business-oriented culture.

    When everyone in the business shares a strong interest in the financial success of the venture, people pay attention to business priorities and cooperate productively to get things done. People can rely on each other.

You’ll find the other seven reasons here.

I personally think one of the most important reasons for considering employee ownership is that it helps facilitate business acquisitions. Employee-owned companies are more attractive to highly motivated and talented people, and there is a greater chance they will stick around after the acquisition.

What are your top reasons for why companies should consider employee ownership?

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Last Thursday I had lunch with one of my favorite scientists from SAIC, Jordan Becker, who has worked for the company for about 20 years. He’s an expert on networking and telecommunications, but also knows a lot about other subjects. He has a very enquiring mind, and I enjoy seeing him.

On Friday we took Solutions to Oceanside, this time with John Tishler — a corporate lawyer who helped me out when things got difficult at SAIC — and Matt Binninger, who trained here in San Diego at Cal Western Law School. Matt’s father was one of the early weapons effects experts at SAIC. Needless to say, we had a wonderful time as we usually do.

Last Sunday I went to the Civic Theatre with Betty, Mary Ann, and Zondra Rhodes to enjoy the opera Madama Butterfly. This is the first opera I’ve gone to in the last ten years, and it was a wonderful presentation.

— Bob