Author Margaret Heffernan Discusses Baird on Wisconsin Public Radio

A Bigger PrizeMargaret Heffernan, internationally recognized author, entrepreneur, CEO and speaker, recently appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s The Joy Cardin Show to discuss her latest book, “A Bigger Prize.” In an interview about how to motivate people through cooperation and collaboration, Heffernan cites Baird as a “great example of an incredibly successful organization that is built on and driven by a passion for collaboration.” Her excerpted remarks about Baird and the benefits of the firm being employee owned are below:  

“There’s something else I’ve been thinking about since we’re in Wisconsin, which is what’s really set me down this path was in my previous book, called “Willful Blindness.” I wrote about the degree to which almost all the banks had embraced sub-prime mortgages because that’s what everybody else was doing. They were just so competitive they didn’t stop to think how damaging these were. But not every bank did that, and one of the banks that didn’t do it is in Wisconsin, which is R.W. Baird. And Baird is a great example of an incredibly successful organization that is built on and driven by a passion for collaboration. One of the things that’s really incredible about Baird is that Baird is owned by its employees. And as a consequence, they know that if they help each other they’re not going to lose their ranking, they’re going to help the whole business. And since the whole business is something that they have an ownership stake in, they’re profoundly motivated to help each other, to trust each other, and so on. I think this keeps them very much more grounded. I think it means that instead of thinking about “what’s the competition doing?” they’re more thinking about “how do we best serve our customers, because that’s what we’re here for and that’s how the company grows.” And I think those of you lucky enough to live in Wisconsin should be incredibly proud of the fact that one of the few really healthy institutions in the banking crisis was right there.”

Baird is also discussed in Heffernan’s latest book, “A Bigger Prize.”

Listen to the full interview.