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Two words that can shift a company

Posted September 13, 2018 by EnerBank USA

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Do you remember the very first car you owned – the one you purchased with your own money? Can you recall its make, model, and color? Did you clean it obsessively? Did you tell others they couldn’t eat in the car? Let’s compare these feelings to the last car you rented. Can you even remember your last rental car or its color?

What’s the difference between these two scenarios? It’s called ownership – a feeling that comes when you view something as yours.

Now, let’s look at how this feeling of ownership can be applied within a business organization.

Ownership at Every Level
If you were to ask any owner or corporate executive about what makes their business successful, there’s a good chance they would tell you they want employees working for them who treat their work, projects, departments, and clients in a way that fosters ownership.

Gene Hammet of The LiiVE Company® conducted a study of 51 of the fastest growing private companies in America, and one of the common themes he found across organizations was the mentality in their workplaces of ownership at every level of the company – a concept that he summed up in two words:

Own It
In today’s fast-paced world, a new level of thinking is required for businesses to stay competitive and serve their customers. The challenges and innovations needed for growth are not solved in eight hours; the brain is solving business issues when away from the office too. Fostering employee ownership is more critical than ever for success.

Here are examples of how ownership has been critical to growth for a few of the companies included in the LiiVE® study:

  1. Neeraj Singh, CEO of BigBinary, whose company has grown 537% between 2015 and 2018, said that in the early days of the company, he would work on projects from beginning to end. Now he says, “Our employees have a sense of ownership with the projects that don’t require me to be there as much as I was.” Singh can now focus on leadership instead of the day-to-day grind.
  2. Carvana is a disruptive force in buying cars and has grown 7,925% between 2015 and 2018. Their CEO, Ernie Garcia, shared that ownership comes from the team being a part of the mission and vision of the company. Garcia said, “Our employees know they are creating value in the world and contributing to the business. This gives each person a sense of ownership.”
  3. Don Caroll, VP of business development for Vantage Point Logistics, creates new opportunities in the world of logistics through its employees. They have a phrase that drives the whole company: Own it – which focuses on owning your piece of the business. Caroll said, “Our growth over the period of 2015 to 2018 of 3,422% comes from employees that ‘own it’ in every way.”

It’s more than just responsibility
Ownership is more than just a responsibility. You could say that the gap between responsibility and ownership is similar to the difference between how you treat a rental car and your very first car.

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