In search of "Common Sense"

Mar 8, 2010

The Mondragon Model - A New Pathway for the Twenty-First Century

A paradigm shift - as big as it can be.

Joel Barker who coined the term Paradigm Shift describes an organization model innovation that has worked over half a century fabulously. http://www.globaldialoguecenter.com/Joel-Barker-Mondragon-article.pdf

In a nutshell it is reversing one of the most important premises of capitalism. The old rule of business is this:

When you are faced with the choice of risking your capital to protect jobs or risking jobs to protect your capital, always protect your capital.

The reversal is:

When you are faced with a choice of risking your capital to protect jobs or risking jobs to protect your capital, always protect your jobs!

The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation (MCC) has been the mother lode of fresh ideas on economic democracy and social entrepreneurship worldwide for 50 years. Started in 1956 with five workers in a small shop making kerosene stoves, MCC today has over 100,000 worker-owners in some 260 enterprises in 40 countries. Annual sales are pegged at more than 16 billion Euros with a wide range of products--high tech machine tools, motor buses, household appliances and a chain of supermarkets. MCC also maintains its own banks, health clinics, welfare system, schools and the 4000 student Mondragon University--all worker-owned coops.

Time.com ran a report on this a few weeks back. http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1947313,00.html

The United Steel Workers Union, North America's largest industrial trade union, announced a new collaboration with the world's largest worker-owned cooperative, Mondragon International, based in the Basque region Spain. http://www.fourwinds10.com/siterun_data/government/labor_and_unions/news.php?q=1259429784

Enjoy reading!