How To Create Your Future Company

After I had been CEO for almost two years, the founder of the company passed away, leaving us without a plan for a change in ownership. The company was already 40 percent employee owned, and we had decided together to take it to 100 percent. Some of the money had to be generated internally, so we had to become more profitable. Some of the money had to be borrowed, which forced us to put together a written business and marketing plan.

How To Create Your Future Company

How To Create Your Future Company

After I had been CEO for almost two years, the founder of the company passed away, leaving us without a plan for a change in ownership. The company was already 40 percent employee owned, and we had decided together to take it to 100 percent. Some of the money had to be generated internally, so we had to become more profitable. Some of the money had to be borrowed, which forced us to put together a written business and marketing plan.

Creating a goal like this one generates unbeatable motivation. Suddenly, our definition of winning was more similar to an athletic game—there was a real dollar number we had to meet or beat to win. This was the genesis of the game plans I've used. They gave people real reasons to hold tight on expenses, and develop new products—reasons that people could get excited about for personal reasons. Every person working at the company had a reason to step up to the plate.

We decided to set up committees that would meet weekly and make sure the plans we made were being implemented. The two major committees monitored profitability (mostly from the revenue side) and expenses. Re­porting to these committees were other subcommittees devoted to new products, customer service, strategic alliances, and other business func­tions. I asked for volunteers to serve on the major committees, and made sure that members from each department were present.

The committees used many of the ideas and worksheets in this book to monitor performance and progress toward our goal of 100 percent employee ownership. The worksheets allow for self-measurement. Em­ployees become responsible for deciding what work needs to be done, and then for measuring what they do.

      Merritt Publishing became a 100 percent employee-owned com­pany. This was not the end of the game—new challenges immediately confronted us, which meant, once again, a reevaluation of who we were and where we wanted to go. It meant a new business plan and a new game plan.

      we were approached with a new opportunity, and the employees voted unanimously to sell the company to a large computer-based train­ing company. They believed in their abilities and wanted to participate as a player in the e-learning market. Many employees had ambitions to start and run their own companies where they would deal with the challenges and opportunities of growth and people management like we did as a group