Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Young adults want to transform capitalism

According to this research, young adults have the worst opinion of capitalism in recent history. The current system isn’t fair. Some hardworking people can’t get ahead while well-connected, wealthy families prosper. But they don’t prefer socialism. Instead, they are advocating for worker owned enterprises.

I’ve long been a fan of worker owned cooperatives. The Mondragon Cooperatives in Spain are famous for providing prosperity, focusing on maintaining employment rather than profit margins. The US has many successful worker owned cooperatives too.

A few words of advice. If you have to choose decision making power or ownership, choose power. The United Airlines ESOP failed because it gave employees stock without any control.

Second, build systems to manage involvement and group decision making. Some people will need help stepping into this responsibility. You’ll need clear principles that guide decisions. In W,hy Teams Can Fail and What to Do About It, I document how I used to prepare staff. Balancing rights and responsibilities is key.

If you can’t imagine a workplace where frontline employees make major business decisions, I encourage you to read Maverick by Ricardo Semler, Flight of the Buffalo by Ralph Stayer, and this article about AES.


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