Ownership Culture Building Blocks: Training, Communication and Decision-Making

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A Democratic Management Crash Course

Upon completion of this day-long program, business owners and managers will have greater understanding of two critical areas of effective participatory management: communication and decision-making and understand the training needed to support developing these skills. Instructors are respected, experienced consultants in the field of employee ownership.


Mapping the Ownership Training Challenge

The task of creating a democratic workplace involves a wide range of practical and human challenges. Start-ups and conversions alike must clarify and prioritize the training that member-owners will need to function effectively. This session will introduce a full spectrum of training topics and invite participants to rate their companies on a readiness scale to help think through their future training strategy. We will also focus in on a specific tool that assesses who holds influence in the workplace to support decision-making clarity.  

Christopher Mackin is the founder and President of Ownership Associates, Inc. of Cambridge, MA.  Chris was one of the founding members of the Industrial Cooperative Association, now the ICA Group, that provides technical assistance to cooperatives. At Ownership Associates, he provides “after the transaction” training services to companies broadly owned by their employees using both cooperative and Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) structures. He serves as a Lecturer at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations where he teaches employee ownership.  He earned a Doctorate in Human Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1984.

Kyla Alterman has been an intern with Ownership Associates since 2018 and also works in Revere, MA as the Community Engagement Manager for The Neighborhood Developers. Kyla’s zeal for co-ops and worker ownership was nurtured through her work as a Resident Organizer in New York City affordable housing cooperatives and as a barista in a Boston, MA cafe for the legendary worker cooperative Equal Exchange.

Communication — Engaging in Difficult Conversations

To work effectively with others and to create truly inclusive and democratic workplaces, we often need to engage in challenging conversations-- giving and receiving feedback, navigating disagreements or frustrating experiences that we have with each other. This session will cover helpful tools, and practical skills to engage in difficult conversations.

Linshuang (pronounced “Lin-Shang”) Lu, MSOD, is a Principal at Praxis Consulting Group. She currently provides organization development, strategic planning, leadership development and culture change services to nonprofits and employee-owned companies. She is passionate about helping organizations develop their leaders and foster deeper staff engagement in order to create better workplaces and achieve greater impact. She has served on the Board of the ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership.


Presented by the Democracy at Work Institute, in partnership with Rutgers University School for Management and Labor Relations. Participants will become familiar with ownership culture concepts. To learn more about participatory management:

  • Attend a FREE 60 minute Democratic Management Skills Check-Up webinar. June 13, 2019 9 pacific/12 eastern Register here
  • Obtain a certificate in Participatory Management offered in partnership with Rutgers University. The certificate program will run from October 7 – 11, 2019. Learn more about scholarships here and register here.
June 21st, 2019 from  9:30 AM to  4:30 PM
40 Broad Street, Floor 5
Conference Center
New York, NY 10004
United States
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