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Mini-cast 227: Jesse Tyler's Reflections From #NCEO23

EsOp Mini-cast: Jesse Tyler's Reflections from #NCEO23

Bret Keisling is joined by Jesse Tyler, host of the Owner to Owner podcast, who shares some great tips and tricks he learned at The National Center for Employee Ownership's Annual Conference in Kansas City about the best ways to use short videos to educate and motivate employee owners.

The secret, discussed in several conference sessions, is to "gamify," i.e., implement aspects of games that everyone likes in order to make training more fun, more interesting, and more effective. The latest trends are not fancy expensive video shoots, but rather short and fun video modules that can (and should) be shot on personal cell phones.

Jesse Tyler's reflections are excerpted from an upcoming episode of the Owner to Owner podcast, which is produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network.


Mini-cast 227 Transcript

[00:00:00] Bret Keisling: Welcome to the EsOp Mini-cast. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Bret Keisling, and as it says on my business cards, I'm a passionate advocate for employee ownership. Next week on Wednesday, May 10th, 2023, we are dropping Episode 42 of the Owner to Owner podcast. I will be Jesse Tyler's guest and we'll discuss all the great things Jesse experienced and learned at The [National Center for Employee Ownership] NCEO's annual conference in Kansas City.

[00:00:34] One segment of the episode, which I'm going to bring you now, includes tips and tricks for using video to educate and train the employee owners. As Jesse notes in the full episode, these tips were culled from a number of sessions. So, he's not able to provide credit specifically for where they came from, but it shows just how great the information is that gets provided at every NCEO conference.

[00:00:56] Enjoy this excerpt of the Owner to Owner podcast.

The National Center for Employee Ownership 2023 Conference, #NCEO23; Photo Credit: Jesse Tyler
The National Center for Employee Ownership 2023 Conference, #NCEO23; Photo Credit: Jesse Tyler

[00:01:01] So Jesse, all of the things have a common thread, which is how do we educate, how do we train? And you picked up some thoughts about gamified learning.

[00:01:09] Jesse Tyler: Yeah, that was a theme, big, loud and clear theme through the sessions that I attended and conversations around them. And the way that I typed up my notes was that if lectures ever worked, they don't work now. And I don't remember who said it, but it was something close to that as a quote. And I just laughed out loud.

[00:01:25] And they said, if you don't have video modules about employee ownership, how an ESOP works, you're missing many of your workers. And I thought it was just very succinct and, and I shared that back at the company. But it's the gamify, I want to go back to that point that you brought up, it's make it engaging. Make it palatable. Make it attainable. Make it reasonable. Have it sound more like, this is my way of saying it, have some of the language be around more the way they speak their language. And so that you're not risking turning people off with financial terms. So, that's a key thing. Gamify. I'm going to do that a little bit more with my sessions than I have in the past because of that.

[00:02:02] But then, I think the other main theme that I really appreciated, and there was a lot of chatter around, was several different sessions talking about video modules for ESOP learning. And that was, I think, really the biggest culture topic. So, I had a couple tips that I gleaned, I'm sorry, I can't give credit to each of the folks where I got this.

[00:02:20] But start with, what is everything we want them to know? And then some discipline to have two-to-five-minute videos. You know, two to five minutes in duration. And then the other thing, the tip that a couple different people said is just film it with your iPhone or Samsung. Don't do a video camera, don't do a big production. You can get free editing software. These don't have to be polished and they're almost more palatable for people if it looks a little more TikTok, looks a little bit more Instagram, looks homemade, looks company made. But you can skip a lot with that and just keep them general. No sensitive company information. If they get out, they can be a brand boost.

[00:02:56] And then two groups were talking about send one video per month so that you can spread out Ownership Month over the year. A common thing is, you know, among ESOPs we do so much during October Ownership Month, how do we spread it through the year? And they said, just be intentional and send, one a month. Some of the advice was start with, we own this company, we own the buildings and land and get to what's an ESOP, and then teach how the company makes money and then build from there.

[00:03:21] And then one group had QR codes around campus, so that folks when they had slack in the line in production or were walking by, could just do a quick scan and the video would come up. But then right after the video, there was a quick quiz and then the...

[00:03:36] Bret Keisling: I love that!

[00:03:37] Jesse Tyler: So, you know, checking for understanding, you know, from earlier in the conversation. And so, what they did was the first three employee owners to pass the video content quiz were entered in a raffle for EO schwag to wear around.

[00:03:49] And so I think an un -- an obvious but undiscussed is that part of ownership culture that at large and small ESOPs I've talked to is owners really like beating each other at things. They like competing. They like talking a little, talking a little trash, having a little bit of fun and winning.

[00:04:04] So, I thought this was a remarkably clever way to instill learning as something fun. The serving size is nice and small. They can see it on a company computer, or they can see it on their personal phone. They could watch it on a break. They could, you know, it was, I thought it was a very clever way to pierce through.

[00:04:18] So, I hope my sharing this sort of mélange of advice that I took helps other ESOPs that are listening.

[00:04:24] Bret Keisling: So, let's talk a little bit about action. It occurs to me that you make these videos and, and the suggestions are in terms of, you know, passing them out to the company, et cetera, et cetera, but not including sensitive data.

[00:04:36] And there are two groups that had come to mind. And the first is, I did a Mini-cast last October about Henderson Engineers that did an ESOP rap, and it was actually a rap video that they put on LinkedIn and social media. If people want to check it out at my website,, it was Mini-cast 207, but they did this rap and they shared it with the world.

[00:04:58] And then, another person who came to mind, who is a friend of both of us and our podcasts, she's been on both of them, is Dani Green of ProAct.

[00:05:05] Jesse Tyler: Yeah.

[00:05:06] Bret Keisling: And Dani is doing site visits to other employee-owned companies and then recording a visit about who they met, what they learned, and what lessons from ESOPs that can be shared among everybody. And she's sharing them out in the public, allowing other companies to learn and perhaps incorporate them.

[00:05:24] So, if companies begin and follow your advice and follow the advice given at the conference, and start creating this content, drop it to the world, share it to the world! You'd be surprised at the feedback and the relationships you're going to build.

[00:05:36] Jesse Tyler: Yeah. And, and I absolutely, and Dani is awesome. ProAct is a great company. I actually got to see Dani in Kansas City and meet more of her team and some of her leadership. It was great to do that. But it was fun to see after they came to visit us at Hypertherm Associates and she dropped her vlog, Salty Snacks and I was thinking that's what the next rising voices of ownership are going to be.

[00:05:58] Bret Keisling: I hope you'll look for Episode 42 of the Owner to Owner podcast when it drops next week on May 10th. And you can check out all of Jesse's episodes at

[00:06:10] Thank you so much for listening. This is Bret Keisling. Be well.


[00:06:14] Bitsy McCann: We'd love to hear from you. You can find us on Facebook at EO Podcast Network and on Twitter @ESOPPodcast. This podcast has been produced by Bret Keisling for the EO Podcast Network, original music composed by Max Keisling, branding and marketing by BitsyPlus Design, and I'm Bitsy McCann.

Standard Disclaimer: The views expressed herein are my own and don't represent those of my own firms or the organizations to which I belong. Nothing in the podcast should be construed as guidance or advice of any kind in any field and the fact that I mentioned an organizational website or an advocate or a company on a podcast does not reflect an endorsement, but if you've heard your name or your group's name mentioned on this podcast, I'd love to have you come on and talk about it yourself.

A note on the transcript: This transcript was produced by Descript, an automated transcription service. While it has been reviewed by The EsOp Podcast, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the transcription. Please refer to the original audio when citing sources.


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