Just as our wider world is seen, more than ever, through the lens of competition, the world of business and markets is in fact more aware than ever of the benefits of co-operation. Here are my top five books on co-operation and social enterprise for 2014:
1. Redemption: the cooperation revolution, by Berny Dohrmann – why co-operative models of organisation and business innovation are taking off across the business world
2. Grow a Grocery: a guide to starting and growing a wholefood co-operative, Unicorn Grocery Worker Co-operative – an insight into one of the UK’s most inspiring worker co-ops… and how to get one of your own on your doorstep.
out soon in 2014
3. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, Simon Sinek (January) – leadership in a mutual organisation is different to the corporate world of hierarchy, because ownership and therefore control are more dispersed. Sinek argues that great business leaders in fact foster that very culture of mutuality because it is the key to collaborative success.
4. A bigger prize: why competition isn’t everything and how we do better, Margaret Heffernan (February) – this is going to be one of the leading business books of 2014 in my view. UK-based business school academic and best-selling author of Blindsided, Margaret is turning her attention to the case for business co-operation.
out later in 2014
5. Tomorrow’s Bottom Line: The B Team Playbook for Market Gamechangers, John Elkington and Jochen Zeitz (September). The idea that business is about shared benefit is on the rise – where the most future-proofed enterprises are those that recognise the interplay of a triple bottom line. The B Team is a Richard Branson (et al) idea for future business, but yet fully to take shape – this book will fill it out.
I’d welcome your suggestions too for reading… and if you need a good, efficient, tax-paying place to buy these or any books online in 2014, why not try News from Nowhere, Liverpool’s celebrated radical – and co-operative – bookshop.