Okay, so you are starting on a new something and have decided that a co-operative venture would be the best way to go about it.
You have found the best people to work with and everybody has great ideas and excitement fills the room. That is good. We are at a point where there is a great need for strong communities in business.
People working together instead of each one setting up their own shop has a number of benefits beyond “two (or more) heads are better than one”.
However, there are a few points to keep in mind when going about this. Such as a good balance of expertise and partner synergy.
“Co-operatives are autonomous associations formed and democratically directed by people who come together to meet common economic, social, and cultural needs…” – Co-operative Learning Centre
The different faces of a co-operative venture
[highlight]Shared responsibility. [/highlight] This is of course, provided that you are working with people who pull their weight.
Finding people who share one common vision might be a darn hurdle. But once you’re over it, you’re in business with what could be the best team for your dream. Where everybody knows and understands their roles.
The ideas just flow and deadlines are met, and should something go wrong, then everybody steps up because everybody is invested in the success. What could be greater than that?
Watch this talk! How co-operative businesses can answer tough business challenges
[highlight]Trial and error. [/highlight] Well, there should always be this to consider – it’s not all sunshine and roses.
Remember that you’re working with people, and people can be a general nightmare. And as I mentioned above, it is very difficult to find people who are exactly on your wavelength.
Even with all the processes in the world and all the trial and error you have the patience for. In any relationship, there will be disagreements and subsequent compromises.
The trick is to consider whether or not it is to the benefit of the bigger picture that you’re all working on.
And the ugly
[highlight]Individual goals vs co-operative goals. [/highlight] Things can get truly and oh-so unbelievably ugly in co-operative ventures. We are now past the small arguments on who sits at the head of the table. We are now in the dark and murky waters.
Where the arguments are concerned with the future and direction of the venture. This could very well be the most destructive topic in any partnership because that’s where every faction sees an opportunity to realise their own goals.
There’s obviously a lot more to consider when entering into a co-operation with other people. But there’s also always the possibility (or really just hope) that we are nothing like the millions that came before us, and that we’ll have nothing but smooth sailing.
Do you think co-operative ventures work better than going solo?
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