Seldom do the United Steelworkers, the United Nations, and film director Michael Moore express the same idea at the same time. But all have, in their own way, promoted the benefits of cooperative businesses in recent months.
Cooperatives–worker-owned businesses–are not at all a new idea, but I am glad to see it is gaining favor again. It is something I wanted to do with my restaurant some 26 years ago. The article cited here focuses on how cooperatives might help the US economy back to growth and high employment, but the real value of cooperatives is the proper placement of incentives.
Profit is typically the incentive of investors, but if it were also the incentive of workers imagine the potential for a really productive enterprise, with people going about their work because they really care about it.
Time to finally behead the paternalistic monster. That kind of management is not suited for a cooperative (it does not work anyway) and people are perfectly capable of motivating themselves if it is for the right reasons.
Utopian literature often introduces cooperatives as a model for their communities. Some people say it will never work, but I think it depends on the level of cooperation and realistic expectations.
(Don’t forget to visit alphainventions.com)