I remember the
feeling when I walked into my classroom as a child and saw my desk with
my name on it or a cubby at day care with my child’s name one it. As a
child, I felt I belonged and as a parent, I felt my child was welcomed
to join the school adventure. These simple systems create an ownership
thinking – I am important and I belong. When I had my day care center
in the early 80’s, each of my charges had a “tote bin” that could be
stacked, easily moved and had their name on it. They also got a tee
shirt with “Fairweather Fun Center” on the
back and each child customized their own with a graphic or their name.
Simple stuff to help kids feel like they belonged and keep clutter in
it’s place.

Last week when I went to get a massage at Ultimate Body Mind and Spirit,
I spied some colorful 12″x12″ bins labeled with each health and
wellness professionals’ name that was part of the team. As a customer, I
liked seeing all the different people that worked and performed
services. I can’t help thinking that this small organizer also creates a
sense of ownership and “I belong” to a team of health professionals.

According to Brad Hams, author of “Ownership Thinking“,
to create an ownership mentality is to have your team think and act
like owners creating wealth (assets) and a cultural model that provides
retention and profits. Simply put, ownership thinking is creating a culture of accountability, purpose and profit. Hams premise to get to ownership thinking is starting with the

Right People, but also sometimes the right people are there but just don’t know what is expected. That leads to the second key which is the

Right Education.
Employees are taught the fundamental metrics of the business so they
can make good decisions that will excel the business financially and in
customer satisfaction. This leads to the

Right Measures
where the business is following. These are the Key Performance
Indicators that are also used to help forecast the business future.
Finally, the

Right Incentives are necessary to help keep the company profitable and the employees engaged.

Ownership is
something that is not measured in stock or options but the behavior of
each individual employee as part of the greater whole. Check out Jeff’s
“in the trenches” below story about helping an employee take on the
ownership of his job.