Encouraging a Team Mentality Inside and Outside of the Business
Remember the old adage, “Two heads are better than one?” This same mentality is what cooperative capitalism is essentially founded upon. In other words – like-minded people working together to achieve a single goal.
Unlike competitive capitalism, which follows the principle that 1% of the population should own 99% of the wealth, cooperative capitalism is based on the belief that trust in business can be built through transparency, accountability, and honesty. At its basest level, cooperative capitalism is about people working with each other instead of against each other. So how does this next-generation belief system apply to small business, and can your company really benefit by adopting this mindset?
Cooperative Capitalism Fosters Stronger Business Relationships
For many small businesses, success is made or broken by the strength of their business partnerships. Those companies that tend to follow the competitive capitalism path are frequently seen as high risk partnerships, and are usually not conducive to long-term business relationships.
But, when a company practices cooperative capitalism, it holds its reputation in high regard, and these businesses tend to operate with a higher degree of integrity, which is instrumental in building lasting relationships with other businesses and entrepreneurs.
How to Build a Cooperative Mentality In-House
Just as important as building a good relationship with businesses outside of your company is building an environment within your company that adheres to the cooperative philosophy. And believe it or not, creating a supportive atmosphere at work really isn’t as hard as most people think. Here are some tips to help you get started.
The first step in building a cooperative environment at work is to be highly selective of your employees. Look for candidates who exhibit not only exceptional talents and enthusiasm, but those that are also highly cooperative, supportive, and positive. The ideal candidate should be able to give and receive constructive feedback easily, and offer help without having to be asked for it. Hiring from the top-down according to these criteria will help your business and its employees fall in line.
The next step is to provide adequate and ongoing training for your employees. In some cases, your employees may even be able to benefit from training outside of their specialty. For instance, provide supplemental sales training for your marketing team or vice versa. This will help make for more well-rounded employees who are more capable of meeting the daily challenges they have to face.
Lastly, start building a supportive collection of business partnerships by networking with cooperation in mind. Meet with other business owners and ask them about their businesses, their challenges, and how your business may be able to help. Align yourself with those business owners who express a desire to work with you toward the success of both of your businesses and bypass those who express an interest only in helping their own business succeed.
By fostering a cooperative mindset in both your in-house employees and your external business relationships, your business may be poised for greater things.