Ken Lindsay – Developing impact in the role of Employee Trustee/Director

The Employee Owned sector is a great place to work for many reasons.

Employee owners are empowered to have a say in and do great things that impact the business and the communities they serve – from making key changes that impact positively on their customers to supporting the communities in which they are based as the custodians of the business for future generations.

As I have met more and more businesses across the sector, I have been constantly impressed by the way they value and treat their people, trusting them to try new things, new roles and new responsibilities, and then supporting them to rise up to meet the challenge.

This trust in people, who are empowered by having a stake and say, is the bedrock of employee ownership, and is part of what makes it such a wonderful and dynamic way to run a business.

As part of this culture, many businesses appoint employees to their boards of directors or to act as trustees of their own business. This brings real insight and frontline experience into the boardroom.

However, as well as being an amazing opportunity to represent employee owners views and give insight into helping to drive both operations and strategy for the business, for many employee directors and trustees, this first step into the boardroom can also be a daunting experience.

The opportunity to actively challenge your own directors and influence their decision making is a big responsibility. And being a director or trustee of course also comes with legal responsibilities and duties that need to be understood.

It is this challenge and opportunity created in employee owned businesses that has seen me come together with the EOA to develop and run a course that supports employee directors and trustees through practical learning to have the best impact they can.

Together we have developed an immersive two day course designed solely for businesses that are employee owned, so we focus on the things that matter and are important us. It is highly practical too so, whilst of course will cover the relevant legal requirements, it does so in a way that is based on the real life situations employee directors and trustees will find themselves dealing with.

The course has been designed to be comprehensive, so we will also teach participants how to interpret financial information and other board reports – things that can seem like a different language when you’ve never had to deal with them before – so that participants know what to look for and the questions to ask. We will cover some of the other essential skills of being a director or trustee too – how to help build a strong EO culture and how to perform effectively in the boardroom.

Finally, the course will give EO businesses of all shapes and sizes the chance to learn from one another. We have lined up speakers from several EO businesses – including, GLIDE, MyCSP and Union Industries – to share their own stories of success and failure and the lessons they learned along the way about making EO work for them. And participants will have lots of opportunities to network with each other too and share their own challenges and successes.

The course assumes no prior knowledge of anything, and is a safe environment where no question is too silly to ask. This is training for the EO sector, delivered by the EO sector.

We think we have succeeded in developing something that is impactful and fun, and I can’t wait to see it start to help employee directors and trustees from all across our sector feel more confident and comfortable in what they do.


Ken Lindsay

A Chartered Accountant and experienced Non-Executive Director, Ken has more than 25 years experience of sitting on boards, as well as the training of board members and advisors, of numerous companies of all shapes and sizes.

Following his retirement from full time work as a partner in a leading private equity investment firm, Ken continues to act as a director of several companies including: Chairman of Cambridge Weight Plan (the award-winning employee-owned business), Non-Executive Director of a building and garden products business, and Non-Executive Director of the trading subsidiary of a UK charity.