KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID - Cooperative Principles PLUS

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Cooperatives are intended to be controlled by ordinary people and run for the benefit of ordinary people. Therefore, they must be designed and run so that their members can readily understand and control them. This is why cooperative organizations must be designed and run in accordance with the KISS  principle. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore 'It'(simplicity) should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. This principle needs to be applied to every aspect of a cooperative's activities, including its purpose, function, form of organization, governance structures, policies, practices and systems.

The KISS principle needs to be applied to all aspects of designing and running a cooperative, in particular:

  • A COOPERATIVE is people working together to get a better deal, a better organization and a better future

  • A COOPERATIVE IS NOT a charity nor a commercial business

  • The PURPOSE needs to be set out in terms of the specific outcomes that the membership want their enterprise to achieve on their behalf

  • The FUNCTION of a cooperative enterprise is to intervene in a specific marketplace in the sustainable interest of its members

  • A MARKET INTERVENTION STRATEGY that can deliver the outcomes what the members want is essential

  • ORGANIZATION and GOVERNANCE should be uncomplicated and as transparent as possible.

Collage of coops

September 2014 © Edgar Parnell 2014

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