Anne-Claire Broughton on ESOPs, Co-ops, and International Players

Posted by Anne-Claire Broughton on May 17, 2022 12:45:00 AM
 In this episode, Steve Baker highlights Great Game Coach, Anne-Claire Broughton's work with her international client Chillibreeze. She shares about their initiatives to provide financial literacy training, their own signature "Inspire" course on their company values, culture and work ethic, and how they maintain up to 15 impactful MiniGames at once.

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Episode with guests: Anne-Claire Broughton

The Great Game of Business Certified Coach™

(This episode was recorded in April of 2022.)


Key Episode Take-Aways: 

1. Engagement, alignment and empowerment, and wealth building for everybody, especially frontline people. Anne-Claire discusses broad-based employee ownership in different forms including ESOPs and co-ops, and the differences in each. 

2. International player, Chillibreeze, creating jobs and developing their people. Their mission statement on "Releasing potential in clients, customers, communities and stakeholders" and their "Inspire" course to teach their basic values and culture

3. Engagement strategies including book clubs, Financial Literacy, the GGOB Community platform, and up to 15 MiniGames at once.


Continue scrolling to read the full episode transcription.



Announcer 00:00

Welcome to the Change the Game podcast, where we share stories of open book management and highlight capitalism at its best.



Thanks for tuning in to this episode of the Change the Game podcast with special guest and Great Game of Business Certified Coach, Anne-Claire Broughton. In this episode, Steve Baker highlights Anne-Claire's work with her international client Chillibreeze. She shares about their initiatives to provide financial literacy training, their own signature "Inspire" course on their company values, culture and work ethic, and how they maintain up to 15 impactful MiniGames at once.


Announcer 00:34

Here's your hosts Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker.


Steve Baker 00:38

Welcome to the Change the Game Podcast where we are changing the game by doing business differently and highlighting stories of capitalism at its best. I'm Steve Baker with the Great Game of Business. And today we have a very special guest, one of our top coaches of the Great Game, Ann-Claire Broughton. Anne-Claire is the principle of Broughton Consulting and is super active in educating transitioning business owners about the possibilities that they have in exiting via ESOP, worker coops, or other ways. She's a founder and board member of the North Carolina Employee Ownership and a tireless, fearless evangelist about employee ownership, as are we at The Game. She's a prolific writer on business. Some of her writings have included the Hitachi Foundation's "Human Capital Advantage: A Curriculum for Early Stage Ventures," the Hitachi Foundation's "Business Action Guides (plural) To Innovative Employee Engagement Strategies." She's also written, "Employees Matter: Maximizing Company Value Through Workforce Engagement," and "Embracing Open-Book Management to Fuel Employee Engagement and Corporate Sustainability." She's spent over 13 years advising early-stage businesses as a co-founder and senior director of SJF Institute. That's a business accelerator affiliated with SJF Ventures and Investors' Circle. And she brings all of her unique experience and with her into her role as one of our great coaches at the Great Game. Anne-Claire, that's a lot I know. But I didn't even touch the surface. Welcome to the podcast.


Anne Claire Broughton 02:17

Thank you, Steve. I'm glad to be here.


Steve Baker 02:20

One thing that I didn't tell anyone is that I was at an Ozark Mountain Daredevils concert recently, yes, some of them are still alive. And one of them was playing an electric, violin or fiddle. And I immediately sent that picture to you, we have to address it up front. You're a very creative person, and one of your outlets is the electric fiddle. Tell us about that?


Anne Claire Broughton 02:40

Well, I've been playing the violin since I was in fourth grade. And I do play in two groups pretty actively one is classical. So I've been meeting with five other people to play classical sextets. We're working on some Brahms right now. But then I also play in a rock and roll band with my brother. And so yeah, all kinds of music. And I do have an electric violin, it's red and shiny, and really fun to play. You can just listen with headphones, so you can practice late at night, or you can plug it into the amp. And I did that at church one day, and it was really quite fun.


Steve Baker 03:19

I love it. I love it. I think the more I get to know people affiliated with the Great Game, and people who are, you know, let's just say they have a propensity for this sort of business, have a real creative side to them. And I think that can manifest beautifully in the way that we enhance other people's opportunities and their lives through work and business. So I love it. Thanks for sharing that. So Anne-Claire, we've listed a lot of your accomplishments. We talked a little bit about, you know, the personal side with your violin. Let's learn a little bit more about what makes Anne-Clare Broughton tick.


Anne Claire Broughton 03:55

Sure. So I did work for many years for SJF Ventures and SJF Institute. And this was an impact investing fund that was created to help create good jobs, invest in companies that created good jobs for people. And that was what I was in charge of was our impact. And then I ran our business accelerator that helped many companies that we couldn't invest in. And so I got really excited about going into many companies and learning about them and how some companies you would walk in and everybody was engaged and excited. And the energy was fantastic. Other companies you walk in and the energy is terrible, and you feel bad. And so I started studying what makes some companies feel great and some feel you know, like you would really rather be anywhere else and sort of built up a practice around employee engagement. How do you get everybody aligned? Excited, moving in the same direction. And that's what some of those publications that you read out are all about is how do you hire the right people, recruit them, train them, get them engaged, share ownership, share equity, so that everybody is excited and moving towards the same goal. And everybody stands to gain from that goal. And there's many, many ways to do that. But I found that open-book management and employee ownership are two of the top ways. So my personal "why" is around empowerment and wealth-building for frontline employees. And all the work I do is toward that end, that's, that's why I get up every day.


Steve Baker 05:41

I love it. What a fantastic "why." When you talk about engagement, empowerment, alignment, wealth-building, you know, these are words we use all the time at the Great Game. I'm curious which came first? This is a chicken and egg question, probably. But did you learn about open-book management as a function of your awareness of the you know, some cultures are great, some are not what is the magic sauce? Or did you learn about employee ownership first, so open-book employee ownership, which one came first for you.


Anne Claire Broughton 06:15

So when I worked for the impact investing fund, we were investing in these companies that create a good jobs for people. But with venture capital, you invest, you grow the company, and then you sell it, and there's a liquidity event. And we were committed to benefiting more than just the top executives. So I had the great fortune to set up broad base stock option plans for a number of companies. So that when those companies grew and were sold, we made money as the investors, the management team made money and the lowest paid people also got a chunk of cash to pay off debts and even maybe buy their first home and move into a better economic situation. So that's what got me hooked on wealth building. And I started going to the National Center for Employee Ownership Conference that's coming up in a few weeks. And that's where I learned about ESOP's. And that's also where I met you, Steve Baker, and Rich Armstrong, and learned all about the Great Game of Business. I was not familiar with open-book management before that, but I got excited. In fact, I went to my first break game conference. And when I came back and gave my report to my co-workers, they said Anne-Claire, we have never seen you this excited. So that was a little preview that perhaps GGOB was in my future.


Steve Baker 07:31

You were on to something. It's such a good feeling, isn't it when you when you go out it the other way? Honestly, I learned about open-book management totally by accident. And it was just so foreign. I'd never worked anywhere where there was transparency, much less I'd always worked for family-owned company. So employee ownership, I learned through working at SRC. I've seen the words before, but it really meant nothing. And I think that's one of the challenges that we have, as evangelists for this movement is, what does it mean? And why isn't it much more widely known and understood? So you have been around employee ownership for a long time. That's the beginning of your come from if I could say that, and you talked about how you learned about it? Have you been an employee-owner?


Anne Claire Broughton 08:18

I have not been an employee on our own, although, to go back even further. When I was in college. The students at my college, Oberlin actually managed half of the Student Housing and Dining through student cooperatives. So I did learn about how if we pool our resources together, we can do more. And I did a summer internship with the National Association of Student Cooperatives. And we went on a tour of a bunch of worker cooperatives. So even before SJF, I had heard a little bit about cooperatives.


Steve Baker 08:55

You know, to the average listener, a worker cooperative, sounds like a bunch of hippies. So let me let me just dive into that for a minute. Because what a unique thing to see as a young person in college, a different way of doing things, it's like you were kind of inoculated with this good stuff. You know, when most of us were, you know, barely coherent at all. I'd like to know if you could define what a worker cooperative is. We're talking about employee ownership and other things. But this is a form of employee ownership. That's different than what we typically hear about, or what we have at SRC, which is an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP. Tell me about coops and your experience with them.


Anne Claire Broughton 09:42

Just to say a tiny bit more about ESOP's, they are actually a retirement plan, and they are regulated by Federal Retirement Law. And so there's very specific ways that you have to set up an ESOP and they are fantastic succession option for some companies. And a great way to engage people and a great way to build wealth for people. I love stories of frontline workers who retire with five or six-figure ESOP accounts and, you know, can actually change the trajectory of whole families in a super positive way. So there's probably about 7000 ESOPS's in the US. Coops, there are many different types of coops. So there's producer coops, like Ocean Spray is a cranberry producer, Coop, there's electrical coops, there are credit unions. And then there are some companies that have started off as worker coops. So they have just been set up that way, sort of one member, one vote, but they're not, you know, a free for all in terms of governments, they're usually very clear about how they're governed, and they still have managers. But again, people are set up to have some share of the profits and some voice in how things are run. And I've been pretty active in bringing open-book management to cooperatives because I want, you know, those are often smaller businesses. And I want them to have this tool as well, although there is a very large worker coop in this country called Cooperative Homecare Associates out of the Bronx, to a lot of homecare workers, and they have about 2000 employees. So you could have a larger cooperative as well. But what we're seeing in recent times, because this is a very particular moment in history, where a lot of baby boomer, private business owners are retiring, and if they don't have a child to take over their business or ready buyer, they need to figure out what to do with their business. And I actually get calls from small businesses saying, I was considering closing, and then I heard about you and some of the work you do, and could you help me sell to my employees. And so that's another part of my personal mission is keeping those small businesses open, that otherwise would clothes that the community relies on, that we love.


Steve Baker 12:01

And is really the backbone of our economy. Anyway, we need this small to midsize businesses. And I gotta tell you this sad, because I do hear about it a lot. And we see it, sometimes people just are ready to lock the doors and walk away, they just don't have it. In one example, we had someone in our workshop two weeks ago, who I've known for, well, all the 16 years, I've been here and he's got an engineering business. And, you know, for him, I mean, the way he stated it was, don't have any kids in it, and very much what you just described, and in professional services, it's like, I don't really have any assets, maybe a CAD machine or something. But, you know, I think I'm just going to close it down. And it really, I could feel it, right. It was like, I knew he didn't want to do that. But it was like, I'm just tired, you know, I want to do something else. And I love that you have this opportunity now that these functions and this knowledge, different ways to let people go forward. So gives opportunities for the owners exiting, but also for the young folks coming up saying, hey, wow, I could actually have something with brand equity, with a reputation and something that we could actually leverage. So you're seeing open book, and employee ownership of all types as being synergistic, because the smarter we are as employee-owners, well, the better owners we make better employees we make and hence we should be driving our own value.


Anne Claire Broughton 13:30

Absolutely. And you can't just turn a company over to the employees to an ESOP or a worker coop or some other form and expect them to be able to think like owners, you have to train them to think like owners and so that's where open-book is so key.


Steve Baker 13:48

The education, the transparency without the education is ridiculous. Ownership without education is stupid. I mean, it's just a huge miss, right? But we have a lot of opportunity yet. So that simply means for our listeners, there's there's a lot of folks who have share ownership out there that could still do a lot better job in educating so we can always get better. So I love your personal why, your mission. It really speaks to me and I wish I would have found employee ownership at a much younger age. Let's let's talk about you know, I think I've been thinking very domestically and around employee ownership. Let's open it up. You coached more folks than just employee-owned organizations or folks that are considering it. We've known each other for quite a while now. I happen to know that you are probably one of the more most rather authentic and genuine people I know who Anne-Claire Broughton is and most people do when they first meet you "What You See Is What You Get." The only thing we don't know is the true depth of your knowledge and your passion for this subject. You care about business and how it impacts people, you've already talked about that these lives, these really mattered to you. And you don't limit yourself to the US or North America, you've got a client, a company called Chillibreeze Solutions out of Shillong, India. They came to us through, you know, some of our virtual stuff during the pandemic, which was really neat to open up even more international opportunities. And I remember when they were first there's, you know, up in the middle of the night, their whole team is just like, feed us. Tell us more. And I'm so glad you got involved with them. Tell us a little bit about that journey. How did you get with Chillibreeze? And you know, who are they and what's going on with them?


Anne Claire Broughton 15:44

Yeah, so I, you know, you can't have favorites with your children. And you can't have favorites with your clients. But I do love Chillibreeze, they're a fantastic company. They're actually a family of companies based in northeast India. And India is a very large country, northeast India is an indigenous region of India. It has incredible natural beauty. I can't wait till one day, I'm able to go there and just hike across the natural bridges and see the waterfalls. And the people are just incredible. So Chillibreeze specializes in graphic design, and PowerPoint formatting for Fortune 500 companies in the US such as Microsoft and PepsiCo. So if you are here, they are about nine and a half hours ahead of us. So you Steve could kind of sketch out a PowerPoint that you need first thing tomorrow morning and send it to Chillibreeze. And in the morning, you're gonna have a gorgeous PowerPoint that's been very nicely formatted with all the charts and graphs that you sketched out on your piece of paper. So yeah, they've been very, very successful with that. And when they became so successful, they decided to launch a number of other ventures that are focused on supporting local farmers, local craftspeople and growing that local economy. So two of those are Zerah, which sells spices such as a very particular kind of ginger that is delicious, incredible tea and honey. And then Musart, which sells a special kind of silk called eerie silk. It's very good, breathable sell, they sell the yarn and the fiber. And they've started a coffee business and several others. Overall, they employ about 150 people. And they're super focused on building a very engaged high discipline, very strong culture business. So their CEO, Ralph Budelman, remembered reading the Great Game of Business when it first came out. And they decided that GGOB would be a great addition to their company and would actually help with his succession plan. So he's been talking for a while about inverting the pyramid. And, you know, not just having one person sort of at the top, but rather having the whole company thinking, feeling, and acting like owners. So like you said, in the pandemic, they joined the Community, they completed a lot of the courses. And then they decided they'd really benefit from a coach. So they interviewed several. And I think they decided I would be a good fit, they had a whole team of people interviewing me, they grilled me, they wanted to know times in my life that I showed grit, because grit is very important to them. And I had just broken my shoulder early in 2021. And I had, you know, found the grit to recover from that and keep on coaching despite a certain amount of difficulty. And so they kind of came into coaching at a much more advanced stage than some of my other clients, because they had already read the book, completed some of the courses. So they were a delight to coach. I kind of had to tailor my coaching a little bit to bring them what they needed, but so much fun. And they asked great questions.


Steve Baker 19:00

I love it. You know, when I first got to know Joanna and her team, and just part of the team, of course, one of the things that they taught me was that in northeast India, there is also cultural stuff to get over hurdles, which is, you know, there's certain people that and I can't remember how she described I pictured is like a caste system within the caste system, like, you know, you really want a job with the government and things move really slow. And this sort of thing to sort of bring this sort of culture, if you will, to their culture is really sort of like we ran with be very careful about who we pick, and who's who's ready to rock and roll and let's go so I love that they were asking you and grilling you about, you know, your tenacity and your ability to keep going through adversity because they know they have a lot of challenges, and they're great at overcoming and maybe, maybe that's a good entree to my next question, which is, I know that they've been doing some great MiniGames stuff. So tell me about what is happening, what's your favorite MiniGame story?


Anne Claire Broughton 20:05

Well, so I really love the way they have set up their Great Game practice and their sort of continuous learning practice. And I would encourage all companies to do this. They've got book groups, based on your department in the company. So they've got book groups that are reading the book, that are asking questions, that are getting trained in financial literacy. And then each of their departments has developed MiniGames, and they're probably on I forget their fourth or fifth round of MiniGames. So they'll have 12, or 15 MiniGames going at any one time. And some of the first MiniGames they just went after the low-hanging fruit, like, where are we not efficient? Where can we create standard operating procedures? Where can we benchmark how long things should take and keep to that time? How can we meet our commitments? So they had a lot of MiniGames like that. And one of the first things they did with me was to bring me in as the judge and Michelle Bridges was actually a judge with me on their first set of MiniGames. And so we came up with a scale to grade those MiniGames on creativity, outcomes, and behavior change. And, of course, how well they did on the MiniGame. And so they actually have a little trophy that they award to the best-played MiniGame. And so I judge their MiniGames a couple of times. But I love how they use them to immediately go after the low-hanging fruit and just get more efficient in every way.


Steve Baker 21:36

I love that. So that's an interesting thing. We just had a large client in for a private today, Get in the Game Workshop and one of the nuances of Great Game of Business and MiniGames that they really needed help and learning was they really wanted to set up MiniGames to compete with one another. And instead of competing against the number of the marketplace, so we just kind of shifted their thinking. And one of the ideas came out they already had an award that they called the cup, you know, a trophy, if you will, that was given out for exceptional performance. And I suggested that they just use that existing award as a way to have a friendly competition for bragging rights. But each of the MiniGames was set up not against one another, but toward the number the marketplace. It sounds like they naturally went there. Yes, the group win was important because each of the MiniGames were executed well, but the best of the best got special recognition is what I hear. That's absolutely right. Yeah, that's cool. Well, they are a neat organization. I know you have lots of really cool clients and some All-Stars as well. Going back, though, briefly about Chillibreeze, because again, they've got a lot of issues that they are dealing with that some of us here in the states don't have to deal with. They are you know, international, their timezone is different. So you guys got to connect at different times and that sort of thing. But they're super people-centric. And I already know that you have the heart for people you want to change lives. They are really working hard to create a lot of jobs, good jobs, sustainable jobs in northeast India, would you talk about what that means to the economy? They're in that portion of India, that providence and how they're going about job creation? Absolutely. So I want to read you their mission statement. And we actually read this every time I coach them because I just felt like it was so important to keep in front of mind. So "Our purpose goes beyond being a profitable company. Through the diligent work of a healthy company., we're creating wealth providing purpose and releasing the potential of customers, employees, families and community. As a role model Chillireeze's influence spreads throughout northeast India and beyond." So they are one of the main employers in Shillong. And as you mentioned before, their biggest competitor for talent is the government and those jobs are have a very different culture. So people will show up and put in some work and take a tea break and take another tea break and go home. So they really want a very different culture where people are getting developed and are actually learning that kind of grit and that higher purpose for a lot of these young people Chillibreezes their first job. So Chillibreeze has been really intentional. And they've put together what they call an Inspire course. And it goes beyond Chillibreeze. They want lots of people to go through those courses to learn some of the basic values and culture and discipline that Chillibreeze has cultivated so well. But certainly other potential hires have to go through it. So the first part of the course teaches the basics about Chillibreeze and its culture and its values. And then the second part is to train people on the basics of PowerPoint and graphic design, and how to use it to serve customers. And they learn some basic work skills like discipline and punctuality. So they're trying to have a bigger impact beyond just their own employees. It's really brilliant because it makes the community better offers opportunities and everything else. But it also could be a really, if there's a way to say diabolical in a positive way, just build your own talent pool, right? Everybody really gets turned on by the course. They're like, yeah, I want more. Well, why don't you come on board for an internship or something? I love it. That's good. Often we look that word up, whatever the positive way to say diabolical is because that's great. Well, I love what they're, you know, it's their heart goes out, as you think you mentioned, the releasing potential in customers, employees, families and communities, I kind of heard all those things. They're really living it. Because, you know, that's not it's easy to say it's easy to put on the wall, hard to do really hard to do and hard to keep up. So we touched on the talent challenge, he gave a great example of the way they're building community, they spent, Chillibreeze and their family of companies spends a lot of time in the Great Game of Business Community platform, our online community membership site. And at last count, what I heard was, I was given the number of about 170 people in the Great Game Community that's more than any US based company has in our Community right now, what are they using it for? And how is it helping them with the talent stuff, right, the retention issue. So there was a MiniGame in the Community site around completing a certain number of courses. And they, I think, were one of the finalists, because they, they challenged everybody to get involved. And they're very competitive and very dedicated. So a lot of people went through training through the Community gather, just basically recognizing that the Community is a great resource, and they're using it to train everybody to understand GGOB inside and out. I mentioned before their emphasis on learning their book groups. They've read, of course, the Great Game of Business, Get in the Game, they've read a lot of books by Patrick Lencioni. So GGOB definitely helps with their retention overall. And lots of employees, especially my design team said that Chillybreeze has helped them develop as an employee and as a person, and help them have this larger purpose. They work super hard and long hours, and they still have some turnover. But I think that their connection to the Community is great. And the other thing I like about it is they get exposure to not just me as their coach, but to lots of other coaches and other leaders. And so they're, they're just maximizing the resource, in a great way. They've been very patient with me, I can tell you that.


Anne Claire Broughton 28:07

Well, I just was in their team's channel just before this. And you had given them some feedback on their MiniGame, and they had quoted you. So here's what the Baker says about our MiniGame.


Steve Baker 28:20

Oh, wow. Well, that's kind of flattering. I didn't know anyone listened to me.


Anne Claire Broughton 28:25

They absolutely. Do they take everything that the Community offers, and absolutely implement it.


Steve Baker 28:32

Well, there's a ton on there for sure. I'm glad to hear it's making a difference because that's why we do it right is how can we make the feeling of the Annual Conference last all year, that collaboration, the learning, the sharing the celebrating, and there's so much we have to offer one another. Before we get off of Chillibreeze, I had one more question. Could you kind of compare and contrast you know, this group of companies is family of companies in India, with your stateside clients, you know, what is it? Like? How are they alike? And how are they different?


Anne Claire Broughton 29:05

How they're like, I mean, they are, most of the businesses I work with are purpose-driven in some way. And they're trying to use business for good and to create good jobs for people. So that is very similar. And I get a great degree of excitement, engagement and with all of my clients. Chillibreeze, they take it to a deeper level. They are on fire, they have a hunger in their belly to learn and to improve and they're constantly asking me how can we do this better? What can we do? How can you connect us to like the hunger that I see is a little bit striking and a little bit different than a lot of my US clients they also use rupees in some sometimes they use dollars because they've got us clients. Sometimes they use rupees, so I had to get used to it. different notation. But overall, and they work really long hours to Steve, like, they would stay late and have their GGOB coaching in the evening after they had work during the day to serve their clients. And the level of engagement in their book groups, I think is higher than what we might see here.


Steve Baker 30:22

Yeah, no, that's good. I think we can all take a lesson from it. You're right. And I like the words that you used the hunger, right, for growth and for knowledge. I mean, that is something we kind of take for granted here. And I almost feel like it's, we have a land of plenty. And so a lot of us don't really have that hunger, you know, it's satiated by other things, entertainment and distraction, and whatever, and entitlement to so maybe that's a lesson we can take away from this conversation as well. I'm curious if, if out of, of all the US clients, all your international clients, all of your experience, is there a piece of advice that you would give to our listeners that could help them maybe get out of a rut or go next level?


Anne Claire Broughton 31:10

I mean, that a couple of us coaches, were talking offline this week about going after everybody. You know, there might be a few people that say, Ah, Great Game is fine, but I don't really understand it, I, I'm better off if I just keep doing the job, and missed the huddle. And we were saying, No, we need you to connect to every single one of your people, care about every single person and find ways to reach them. Talk to them one on one, find out what questions they have what how are they still feeling intimidated by the financials? What concepts do they find difficult? Mentor them, because that extra time and attention always pays off, and it's not my client, but I just had a tour of Ambac International in South Carolina last week, which is one of Kevin Walter's fantastic clients, and they really have engaged every employee at every level, like the employees clearly own the company own the Game, run the huddles, they're working on connecting, you know, absorption. They've got there. How much labor hours they should be using for every single thing that they do. Like they really get it in a deep way. So, but they take, you know, Robert Isherwood is their CEO, and he takes time to empower them and to talk to every single person and nobody gets left behind. So I guess that's my biggest piece of advice. Don't leave anyone behind.


Steve Baker 32:41

Yeah. As we, as we have always heard, it seems trite. But our people are our biggest asset. Why not treat them that way? For sure. That's great. Well, Anne-Claire, before I do my sum-up, we historically have asked this question, we'd like to wrap it all up. Right with the big question, "what is the question we're missing?" What should we be asking? Anne-Claire Broughton?


Anne Claire Broughton 33:06

Um, well, I guess I take my work seriously, but not myself. I like to have fun. And I think that adults learn better when they're having fun. So we call it the Great Game of Business. Ways that I keep it fun- Of course, I love the Great Game of Bouncing Balls, I try to start every all team launch with that, and even some initial on sites I had one a few weeks ago in Tennessee, and that's the first thing we did is play the Great Game of Bouncing Balls. And then I love Kahoot quizzes, they are really fun. And I have played Kahoot with teams all around the world. So I've played it with ChilliBreeze with 100 people, and I've played it with people all around this country. I've played it with people in person. So it's a lot of fun. I have been known to put on music and get everyone up and dancing after 90 minutes of financial literacy. So I am known for my dance parties. And I will sing, so watch out.


Steve Baker 34:02

That's great. I love it. Well, we need to have you back on to talk about some of your other clients' stories and that sort of thing. But I do have a summary here of what I've been taking away. These are my big takeaways. And what I'm wanting to do is just read them to you and our listeners and have you make sure I didn't misinterpret or misunderstand some of the key things. First of all, I think I could say that the whole conversation really shows me not only your character and your come from but also you could take on a lot more clients if you wanted to, but you choose to go for purpose-driven companies that use business for good and create good jobs for people. I think that's pretty amazing. And, you know, that's a choice. And that's a really deliberate way to go through life and I think you're a very happy person from my perspective. You mentioned at the very beginning that you know, some companies' energy is great, some is awful. Why is that and that that's when you got fascinated with this idea of engagement, alignment and empowerment, wealth building for everybody, even frontline people, especially frontline people. We talked a lot about broad-based employee ownership and different forms. And I will mention That's the National Center for Employee Ownership. If you have more questions about it, they have great resources. They're a clearinghouse for information on all types of employee ownership, and great partners with us. You talked about the difference between ESOPs like we have an SRC that's a retirement plan governed by ERISA federal guidelines. Whereas a worker cooperative is different. It's worker-owned, you have to put your own money in whereas an ESOP is granted to us every year and a contribution to our accounts. So one member, one vote, and they can get out whenever they leave the organization. And that there's far more cooperatives than we're probably aware of. We did talk quite a bit about job creation. Specifically, we went into the international mode and said, What, what's an example, we talked about Chillibreeze and their family of companies, and how they're creating jobs in a part of India that, you know, there's not a lot of options. This is something that's new and very accretive to the value of their community. And part of their mission statement was releasing potential in customers, employees, families, communities, all the stakeholders are covered. That's pretty bold, I mean, really bold, in my opinion, because it's very easy to say, let's take care of us first, well, let's take care of us first might be a really good way to look at it. And you talked about how they use things like book groups, financial literacy, they might have 12, to 15 MiniGames going on at once there, they're living the game. Absolutely. And then using those MiniGames to really drive learning and performance, but also not against one another, but toward a common goal. And then using kind of an overall bragging rights kind of call it the cup, you know, the bragging rights trophy, if you will, to recognize the real top performers without leaving everybody else behind. You said they have a course called Inspire, which is the basic values and culture, they teach this both inside the company and to the greater community, which I think is pretty awesome. I mean, it's very generous, and also pretty good for the company, they probably find some talent. And we also talked about how they use the Great Game Community platform in a very robust way to enhance the learning and connection. One of my favorite parts of the conversation, Anne-Claire was when he talked about their hunger for growth and knowledge. And that really separated them from some of the companies that we see in the US, you know, what if we could actually bring some of that hunger to our young people here in the States. I'd like to see more of it for sure. We're lucky to have it in the folks that work at Great Game. Like to see more. You talked about something that I haven't heard before. And I'm so glad you shared it. You have a great relationship with the other coaches. And you talked about how you all were talking as colleagues to say, you know, we really need to be going after everybody, not just the people who quote-unquote, get it. So in implementing the Great Game of Business, find ways to find every single person where they're at, and then find out what they need. Give a great example of Ambac and Robert Isherwood's team of taking that extra time you said it always pays off. And then of course, the big takeaway for the day, I think is people learn better when they don't take themselves too seriously. So keep it fun. Keep it a game. That was so fun Anne-Claire. Thank you. I can't wait to have you back.


Anne Claire Broughton 39:03

Right. Thank you, Steve. Always love talking to you.


Steve Baker 39:06

My pleasure, folks. Let's keep the conversation going. Send us your questions, your stories, of course, those best practices and ideas, your challenges, and most of all your victories because that is capitalism at its best. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time.


Announcer 39:23

The Change the Game Podcast is produced by the Great Game of Business. To learn more, visit


Topics: Employee Ownership, international, employee-owned

About The Podcast

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Hosted by Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker the Change the Game podcast highlights true life stories of organizations influencing positive change by doing business differently. They’re teaching people how business works and closing the gap between the haves and have-nots. It’s capitalism at its best. Inside each episode, you’ll discover stories of entrepreneurs who are Changing the Game.

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