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School's Out! A Reflection on Employee Ownership. 

Posted by Phil Simon on May 13, 2016 2:00:00 PM

If you have school-aged kids, May is the time of year when they become like a dog at the park that sees a rabbit running in the distance; excited to the point they’re almost uncontrollable.  They can sense summer vacation coming in every field trip, extracurricular activity and sunny afternoon recess. Our company’s transformation from private ownership to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan is similar to kids leaving school for the summer.

Two years ago, before we began our ESOP journey, all of us here at NCI were in class, working to the meet the expectations of our “teacher”, if you will.  We’ve made friends, grouped up into teams, and worked both together and individually to learn the subject matter and hopefully, we tested well.  We spent the pre-ESOP school year working towards graduation and our post-ESOP lives.  We had our May before summer vacation at that time, and the excitement was just like those kids sitting in class today, waiting for that last day of school.oldschoolplayground.jpg

Now school is out, and our post-ESOP summer vacation isn’t just a carefree time to reflect on what we’ve learned, it’s the chance to apply it to the activity that we’re engage in without classroom supervision.  We’re the ones that pick our playing field. We set the rules and compete against the other kids in the neighborhood.  Cloud data storage is our neighborhood kickball game.  Hosted voice systems is our piano practice.  Sharepoint site design is our red rover.  The games change and evolve over time as does the equipment we use to play, but the lessons we’ve learned help us adapt and become a better team as we seek to achieve the goals we’ve set collectively and individually.  We’re still learning and testing but the dynamic has changed.  The difference is now is we’re all playing for each other as well as ourselves, because we all get to keep a part of the bragging rights. 

We loved our school and will always remember the lessons that allow us to continue our success long after the last bell rang.   It was a great experience and the memories are treasured.  But just like the kids counting the days to June, we love summer vacation!

Click the link below to learn more about how technology solution provider Network Center, Inc. (NCI) enhanced its culture in 2015 by becoming a 100% employee-owned company.

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Topics: ESOP

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