John Abrams knows a thing or two about the employee-owned business model, having founded the design and build firm the South Mountain Company 34 years ago and helping steer it to this day. His book is Companies We Keep: Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place, and he’ll be teaching a two-day course at Yestermorrow in Warren, Vermont, at the end of this month.
Here are the details:
Yestermorrow, Warren, VT
Two Day Course for March 28-29, 2009
14 AIA Learning credits
REINVENTING SMALL BUSINESS
Surviving in a Tough Economy, Thriving in the New One
It’s often the case that small businesspeople concentrate on what the business does – what it produces – and fail to devote attention to what the business is – its purpose and its meaning to stakeholders and community. In addition, many business owners – who have poured heart and soul, and the better part of a life, into creating a business entity – have no idea what to do with it as they begin to age and wish to slow down. When we build a business we build a community that has a life of its own. Just like children, we must prepare it to stand on its own two feet (and provide for us in our retirement!)
This course is for businesspeople young and old, experienced or not, at the start-up phase or the legacy phase – who want to think together about how to create living, thriving, prosperous businesses that are positive contributors to community life, honor the employees who create the wealth, and adapt appropriately to the circumstances of today’s world. It is based in part on the book COMPANIES WE KEEP: Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place. It’s about designing and building a business.
The 2 day class will mix philosophy and practice, and will tackle employee ownership, growth issues, personnel issues, benefits, community service, multiple bottom line thinking, and long term business planning and succession. There will be time set aside for participants to bring their own business issues to the class and engage in creative problem-solving with other participants and the instructor.
JOHN ABRAMS is cofounder and CEO of South Mountain Company, a thirty four -year-old employee owned green design and building company located on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and the author of COMPANIES WE KEEP: Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place.