Step 3 – Design your organization
In Steps 1 and 2, you helped participants identify a project in which they engage cooperatively and design the key points of their strategy. The next step is now to help them define how they will work and organize themselves under the cooperative way.
- Choose the name and define your team for your cooperative project
- Apply the cooperative principles (step 1) to design the structure and way of working of your project
- Define roles and tasks to start the activity together
1 The cooperative organization
Organizing a business project in a cooperative is a double challenge
A worker cooperative is a cooperative whose main mission is to provide employment to its members, who are simultaneously workers and owners of their enterprise The “worker-members’ hold the majority of the shares (at least 51% of the capital). As members, they contribute to both the operational functioning and strategic management of the company.
The cooperative, another relationship to work
The cooperative model helps encourage workers’ motivation through autonomy, recognition, listening, and sharing in a mutually supported business.
This is the key factor of success in a cooperative.
2 The cooperative governance
What are the differences between a conventional business and a cooperative ?
In a conventional company, there are the shareholders on one side, those who own the company and decide its main strategic orientations, and on employees on the other, who work to achieve the objectives decided by others. In a cooperative they are the same people to own the business, take the big decisions, and work to achieve common goals. This is the “dual quality” of cooperatives: being an association of person and an economic actor, they keeptogether the political and economic dimension of the company.