In the Blue Zone, the Sky’s the Limit


In Knowledge Management (KM) I concluded that changing the way workers work would only solve half the problem.

Business was loath to give up command and control. Labor saw knowledge as power to be hoarded, not shared.

I’ve developed an alternative business model that will change the game.

And COWORK Entrepreneurs, where everyone owns his or her own work and shares in the profits.

This is No Sales Pitch. You can do it DIY if you or your colleagues have some business acumen.

When launched, COWORK Entrepreneurs will have a team of experienced coaches for the company and its franchisees.

In the Blue Zone I’m going to share with you how we’re going to do it. No secrets.

Self-management, Opportunity Rule

Halfway through the development of NotMyEconomics I concluded that changing the way workers work would only solve half the problem of capitalism gone mad.

Only changing the way workers work would not be enough.

In the NME course you have learned the causes and effects of out of control American style capitalism. You’ve learned how to gain the advantage — one at a time — in the economy as it is. That is, in a place where capitalism is for the capitalists and workers are disposable commodities.

I’ve encouraged you to think independently, like capitalists, and to become capitalists as indie employees. To get on the right side of capitalism, make it work for you, not against you.

In the current workplace, there is no commitment or loyalty on either side of the employer/employee divide. No promises. No real incentive. No room for independent thinking or innovation. No corporate ladder to climb.

Instead of forever working in a hostile environment, I’ve encouraged you to develop your own ladder, your own strategic plan. Instead of working in fear of the pink slip, you have learned to think about traditional employment as a short term opportunity for learning, but not likely a career. It’s a jumping off spot for moving onward and upward. To the next job or to entrepreneurship.

I’ve admitted the NME strategy will not guarantee job security, but it will keep you “one step ahead of the sheriff.” You will take charge of your own destiny. Not leaving it to others.

And I admitted the NME course is not enough. Thinking independently in the current work environment is not enough either.

Changing the way people think and work in a workplace where management remains the same addresses only half the problem. We need to change how management manages. We need to manage our own work.

Accordingly, I’ve developed an alternative business model that will change the game. And I’ve developed COWORK Entrepreneurs, where everyone will own his or her own work and earn compensation through profit sharing.

Where everyone owns their work, there is no need for bosses. The motivation of independence and personal opportunity are the forces that drive performance. Not command and control.

The idea of “companies of one” first appeared prior to the new millennium when knowledge management (KM) was to be the next best thing after information management (IM).

Information, as it had turned out, was just data. When corporate archives filled to overflowing, the Information Age was a disappointment.

Information, after all, has no soul or specific purpose. It can’t activate itself. Data can’t innovate. It is inert, leaving the promise of its power wanting.

The Knowledge Age was next in line. Human capital raised its head and made management nervous.

The primary principals of KM were:

    • Knowledge is an asset held by people.
    • Therefore, people are assets, not cost centers.
    • Knowledge is an intangible asset.
    • It can’t be managed like tangibles (money).
    • Command and control is out. Leadership is in.
    • The power is in knowledge sharing.

I joined the army of advocates who believed we could use KM as a way of changing management mindsets.

As advocates, we did not expect the bean counters to move people from the liability column to the assets column on their balance sheets.

But the greater problem was in the business model

The question became “how to change the ways of both management and labor?” For the last century they have been on both sides of the fence — adversaries, not partners.

Business was loath to give up the command and control style of management. Labor saw knowledge as power to be hoarded, not shared. Let alone invested.

Neither changed their ways.

Employers began mining the minds of its employees, seeking to turn the intangibles owned by people into information owned by the company. Then they would sue the same people for using “company assets” for their personal gain. Departing employees were actually threatened if they did not leave what they had learned behind!

As you might expect, employees continued to keep as much of their knowledge as possible to themselves.

In the Blue Zone I am going to share with you how COWORK Entrepreneurs is going to do it differently. You are going to discover a place where management and labor are one.

This is not a sales pitch. I’ve brought you here to consider what you need in order to do it yourself. If you and/or your colleagues have or acquire a working knowledge of business practices, you can DIY.

Most of the processes under the old management system remain in place. The difference in the SSP model is who manages and for what purpose — self-management, ownership of ones work and a commitment to work for the common good.

Those who transfer from the old to the new will have to be able to adjust to those requirements.

For those who don’t have the savvy or the ability to change, COWORK Entrepreneurs will assist franchisees which do need or want a support system in establishing the SSP business model. I will be backed by a team of seasoned professionals with deep experience in human capital development, marketing and business development, finance and organizational capital, information and communication technology, socially responsible investing and fulfillment.

There Are Fives Types of Franchises:

  • Job Franchises: A home-based or low investment franchises that are used by someone who wants to start and run a small franchised business as a solo independent worker.
  • Product or Distribution Franchises: Based on supplier-dealership arrangements.
  • Business Format Franchises: They share their trademarks as well as their entire system to operate the business and market the product or service.
  • Investment Franchises: Typically large scale projects which require a large capital investment.
  • Conversion Franchises: Convert several businesses in the same industry into franchise units.

COWORK Entrepreneurs Is a Business Format Franchise

Business format franchising is the most popular type of franchise system and is the one generally referred to when talking franchising. Businesses from more than 70 industries are business format franchisees. I bet you thought it was fast food or retail. Wrong.

As a business format franchisor, our COWORK Entrepreneurs franchisees will get our trademark and logo, but more importantly, they will get the entire system to manage their businesses, markets, products and/or services.

COWORK Entrepreneurs is the only franchisor using the Socially Responsible, Self-managed, Profit-sharing (SSP) business model because I invented it. Our franchisees will learn the details and receive guidance from me and from my team of professionals from startup and beyond.

Like everyone else in an SSP company, our leadership team will own their own work and earn a fair share of the profit. The team members will own their departments under the same type of contract as all the other indie entrepreneurs own their own work.

Again, this is not a sales pitch. COWORK Entrepreneurs is real but not yet open for business. Meanwhile, you may be able to do it yourself. Or prepare yourself for great possibilities.

Please share.

Please move on to the second essay in the Blue Zone
Power and Duty Await You


Not My EconomicsIn the Blue Zone, the Sky’s the Limit