Helping organisations meet their strategic goals through cooperation
At MoreBrains, we have taken the cooperative approach and applied it to our own business of scholarly communications and publishing consulting. We have extended the cooperative values to include some that are particularly relevant to the needs of our community, such as openness, accountability, and innovation. These values support our way of working.
So, what is a cooperative? Put simply, cooperatives have no outside investors; they are run by and for their members, who may be workers, customers, or both. Cooperatives are driven by values as well as profit; they share internationally agreed principles of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity.
The cooperative business model started in the UK, with the founding of the Fenwick Weavers’ Society in 1769, and there are now 2.6 million cooperatives globally with over one billion members. Evidence shows that cooperatives are often more resilient than the investor-driven alternative — famous examples include Credit Agricole in France, Land O’ Lakes in the US, and John Lewis in the UK. MoreBrains is a member of Co-operatives UK.
We have also drawn from a movement called whole system consulting to develop our own approach: cooperative consulting. This means that we work with you, your managers, staff, and other stakeholders directly to redefine problems, articulate your desired future, outline the alternatives, and collectively agree a course of action. We do this together with you and your team, cooperatively.
It’s critical to the success of our approach that the people who will be implementing the plans are the very people who co-create them, with us, throughout the process. This improved buy-in and understanding of the solutions leads to better outcomes. It enables us to help you both solve the problem as it’s originally defined, and also build your capability as an organisation to manage and solve other problems in the future.
We live in uncertain times, with challenges and crises emerging that affect how we live, how we work, how we learn, and how our economic, social and scholarly infrastructures are sustained. If there was ever a need for taking a cooperative approach, it is now.
- Building resilience through cooperation: Two case studies. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1354
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