I started work at a retail co-op in the North of England. where I was soon managing shops and department stores and then turning-around declining retail co-ops in the UK. since then, I have managed, studied, researched and advised co-ops and a wide variety of other types of self-help enterprises, in more than 40 countries. During the late 1960s and the 1970s, I worked on setting-up and developing co-ops in post-colonial countries. Following the collapse of communist regimes in central and eastern Europe, here I focused on introducing market-based co-ops. I have also worked in countries where co-ops replaced government-sponsored marketing boards. In 1980 I joined the Oxford-based Plunkett Foundation and was its chief executive from 1984 to 1998; after which I became an independent consultant, working internationally. During my career, I worked on projects for significant co-ops, governments, European and United Nations agencies, and was a representative on national, European and international bodies dealing with co-ops. I have had experience within a myriad of different forms of organizations, which has provided me with a unique perspective as to what makes organizations work and how they so easily become distracted from their true purpose.