A Cooperative Solution

An excellent 3,300 word article in Strategy + Business on the cooperative advantage. A very good read.

Cooperatives are often assumed to be merely local affiliations of small and midsized companies, and therefore limited in scope and reach. But their deep roots in their countries of origin — as well as their surprising pervasiveness and stability — are exactly what puts cooperatives in a strong position in the new global economy. Through their highly participative governance models (involving both members and employees in making decisions), the cooperative system is particularly well suited to combining entrepreneurial and social objectives. Because it encourages internal checks and balances and general transparency, cooperative structure also makes it easier to avoid the ethical and legal lapses that have brought down the management of many investor-owned companies.

Also quotes my SoL colleague Arie de Geus, former head of Royal Dutch/Shell scenario planning and author of The Living Company on the value of cooperatives for being people-based and long-term focused. (Thanks Chris.)