COWORK Entrepreneurss is socially driven from beginning to end.
When I began developing the NotMyEconomics online course, I wanted to help people cope with an economic system that works against them.
A plan free and available to those who needed it most.
I wanted them to understand the true source of their condition. Free of finger-pointing and full of ideas that would help people help themselves in a hostile economy.
And when the idea of a Socially Responsible, Self-managed, Profit-sharing (SSP) business model began to form, it was because I wanted to change the behavior of both business and labor.
We’ll do it to capture the power of capitalism while directing its purpose for the common good
And we’ll make the workplace a happy place.
One Place, One Person at a Time
On the national and world scenes, I believe change to be an impossible task. Big Business and Big Government are too far out of control and disconnected from social responsibility, regardless of recent talk.
But we still live in a democracy.
On Main Street, each of us is a critical double link in the money chain both as workers and consumers. Even though capitalism is not a democracy, we have the forgotten power we have to make a difference for ourselves, our families and friends, our communities and our country.
Social responsibility is not only an ideal. It is an essential component of everything we do in both life and work. And it’s personal. Feel-good is really okay
Contrary to the chaos as seen on TV, I believe the average American means well but is kept off balance by the noise.
COWORK Entrepreneurs uses all three components of the SSP business model (social responsibility, self-management and profit) to inspire the practice of social responsibility inside and outside the workspace.
SR Begins in the Workplace
To bring social responsibility to the workplace we abolish the command and control style of management. In place of a stack of bosses, each person takes responsibility for his or her own work and pledges allegiance to a mutuality of purpose among teams of talent and desire.
In addition to faith and trust we give them a framework in which they are both independent and committed to collaboration and respect among colleagues.
We tear down the wall between business and labor and supplant it with an environment where everyone owns a piece of the company or a piece of the work.
They think like capitalists and work for the common good. They do their part and they do it well because they work at something they believe in and for a share of growing profit, not fixed pay. They are individual contractors, not employees, investors of their human capital, not the indentured servants of economic capital.
And, as consumers, they will learn by experience the importance to themselves of keeping their money circulating in the local economy where it will be spent again and again. Boosting prosperity in the community which, in turn, boosts the opportunity to attract even more business for their company and their work.
Eventually, I dream there will be a networks of companies in the communities where workforces will be eager to support each other for common purpose.
Knowledge Sharing Give and Take
In COWORK Entrepreneurs, colleagues are no longer in competition with each other. They have a stake in each other. It changes the social map entirely.
Instead of hoarding what they know, they share it and gain more knowledge and ideas from the exchange than they give. They grow their knowledge and gain unlimited human capital. It can be worth more than money.
Indie entrepreneurs not only own their own work, they own their own knowhow. There are no company secrets to carry away. Entrepreneurs own what they know. A COWORK Entrepreneurs colleague cannot be held captive by being threatened if they depart without leaving his or her learning behind.
Economic Growth for the Community
The upbeat outcomes created by social responsibility in the workplace will be transferred to the community in which you, your friends and your neighbors live
In the economic system of the Bigs, all their profits are shipped off to corporate headquarters some place else. It’s used to amass greater wealth for some one else. I like to think of it as the great sucking sound of modern economics.
It is particularly grievous to me when I watch it happen in some of my favorite Appalachian towns. People cash their Social Security checks, welfare or disability checks.
The total is not enough to live on.
So they go to the Big Box (the modern company store) where they buy cheap stuff from China.
Whoosh! The corporation has snatched yet another stack of government checks for corporate gain.
Then many of these same people hobble back to the company store for another day of slave labor.
Virtual slave labor is the reason they need government assistance in the first place. To supplement the lack of income from their jobs. The subsidy is actually a double take for the employer — subsidy for their privilege of paying too little, plus profit from sales to the same employee who is forced to shop at the company store.
That’s not just bad economics for the immediate victims. It’s not good for anyone in the neighborhood or community economy.
COWORK Entrepreneurs’ greatest social responsibility is to the community where we do business and where our colleagues work.
Every cent of our profits will go to our local indie entrepreneurs who will be encouraged to spend as much as possible locally. If not for their own sakes, then for the sake of the community in which they live.
After all, we stand to change the way capitalism works. Not just in the workplace. But in the marketplace.
SR is Good for Business
Even the Bigs are beginning to talk about the need for social responsibility. But that’s all it is. Talk
Big corporations are driven by either personal greed or shareholder value.
Their motivations for social responsibility are not driven by the desire to serve the common good. It is from the fear of the loss of competitive edge, market share, profits, stock value and reputation. Their “magnanimous” gifts for the “unfortunate” make good press but don’t solve the problem for which they are primarily responsible.
I don’t put much “stock” (pun intended) in the promises of major industry. If they do a little “do gooding” here and there, it will be for the good of themselves, not the many.
Meanwhile, Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) is growing by leaps and bounds as more and more people are specifying they want their money to earn money through investment in socially responsible enterprises.
Nevertheless, capitalism as it is now practiced simply will not allow radical change.
COWORK Entrepreneurs is a small startup. And so we do not need to change our company. All we have to do is design our company to change the way capitalism works for us.
We’ll do it to capture the power of capitalism while directing its purpose for the common good.
And we’ll prove to the big corporations that they are correct. Social responsibility is essential for business. Perhaps we’ll even turn their small talk into real action.
That’s okay. By then, we’ll have more business than we can handle.
And SSP in Corporate America would be quite a coup!
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Pay + Profit = More