From The Editor | January 18, 2013

RSPA Inspire 2013: In-Depth Education Sneak Peek

Education IT News For VARs — November 26, 2014

Business Solutions editor-in-chief Mike Monocello speaks with Tom Bouwer, Ownership Thinking, the keynote presenter at RSPA INSPIRE 2013.


What are some topics you'll be covering during your keynote at Inspire 2013?

The Ownership Thinking Management System™ is based on 4 primary components: The Right People; The Right Education; The Right Measures; and The Right Incentives.  We will go in-depth into each of these areas:

  • The Right People: Create an environment that promotes learning and development, while at the same time increasing visibility and accountability. Your best people will excel, and your poorest performers are generally self-selected out by their peers.
  • The Right Education: Teach employees the fundamentals of business and finance, how their company makes money and how they add or take away value.
  • The Right Measures: Identify the organization’s Key Performance Indicators and teach employees to forecast results in an environment of high visibility and accountability.
  • The Right Incentives: Create incentive plans that are self-funding and clearly align employee’s behavior to the organization’s business and financial objectives.

We will be learning and discussing how these concepts can help RSPA members navigate their rapidly changing environment.  For example, “how can this model help companies move from an up-front payment model to a SaaS model?”  “How can we make our companies more profitable in the face of market convergence?”

One of the keys to this is to eradicate entitlement thinking which is pervasive in companies today.  Companies need to replace this entitlement mentality with a culture of earning; a culture of high visibility, accountability and purpose – that purpose being to create wealth where wealth may not have otherwise been created. 


What key takeaways are you hoping attendees leave the event with?

Attendees should walk away with a solid understanding of how the 4 components of Ownership Thinking (i.e. The Right People, The Right Education, The Right Measures, The Right Incentives) can be applied to their business.  At Ownership Thinking, we want to provide businesses with applicable tactics and strategies that can have an immediate and positive impact on profitability.

We will provide concrete steps and tools that can help attendees improve their business.  Scoreboards and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are a good example.  Most businesses use KPIs that are historical (e.g. profit, sales cost, employee cost).  In many ways, this is like being an NFL coach and waiting until Monday morning to find out the score of the game.  Attendees should leave with a good understanding of how to identify forward looking KPIs and how to use these to identify and solve issues before they become major problems. 


One of your session titles includes the concept of entitlement. Describe what you mean by entitlement and how it relates to those attending the event.

Many attendees may have heard their employees say things like, “you owe me”, “I deserve this”, “I need a raise” or “I came to work last year (most of the time) so I deserve a raise”.  This is the result of an entitlement mentality.  It is an insidious disease that is crippling companies, destroying our economy, and crushing potential. 

The industry is going through rapid change.  Wouldn’t it be great if owners did not have to take the entire burden of change on their shoulders?  Ownership Thinking creates organizations where employees think and act like owners.   This is a culture of high engagement and accountability; a culture that has the three characteristics of the best companies in the world – they have fun, they care and they hold each other accountable to extremely high standards. 

In the Retail Service Providers Industry, companies that can engage their employees to help navigate the rapidly shifting environment will be more successful.  In fact, studies have shown that companies with Ownership Thinking values outperform their industry peers by 30% on a profit before tax basis.  Further, Ownership Thinking companies retain better people and have turnover rates that are 50% less than comparative companies.  This is all a result of ending entitlement thinking and improving employee engagement.


Attendees are able to meet with you one on one at the event. What typically comes out of those one-on-one meetings?

The one-on-one sessions provide an opportunity to customize the Ownership Thinking Management System™ to a unique business with specific challenges.  We have worked with over 2,000 in many different industries.  Each company is unique.  Business owners will walk away with very specific actions that can be taken to solve their specific issues and to take advantage of their opportunities. 


What else is worth mentioning about your presentation that hasn't been covered?

Our presentations and workshops are very interactive.  Attendees should come expecting to participate and learn.  Each session has at least 1 break out session where attendees will work with the tools I’ve provided to apply them to their business.  Our workshops are a great learning experience and attendees should walk away with specific actions they can take to immediately improve their profitability.