A Stake in the Game

Musings on the structural factors that help people feel ownership of their work

One of the most important tasks for any leader is to make it possible for people to feel that they have a real stake in the success of your organisation.

In my experience, not everybody is ready to take proper ownership of the outcomes they are working towards and so part of a leader’s job is to prepare them for that. It’s also a matter of belief for me that almost everybody will actually want that stake in the game – when they are ready. A great leader will help connect the dots for you, so that you know how your effort leads to a positive outcome and how it’s possible for you to feel ownership of that outcome.

These last two years or so I’ve also become interested again in the more structural factors around feeling that you have a stake in the game. In particular, about actual ownership.

There’s a growing Employee Ownership movement here in the UK, including some of our most successful and resilient companies. In other European countries this movement is already even bigger and is a growing force in the USA. Recent events at the Co-Op, the pioneer of shared ownership, have reminded us how important that idea is as well.

I wonder if we’ll look back at the 20th Century corporation as something of an aberration and be puzzled why anybody with the choice would ever have worked for an organisation that they didn’t directly own a part of?