I’ve been collecting examples of documents that describe how and why other co-operatives work. I’m also interested in the “handbooks” some non-cooperative companies publish, particularly when they discuss collective decision making, workplace democracy and so on. The ones I’ve collected are all broadly in the “tech” sector but I’d be interested in ones outside our industry.
I enjoy reading these things, and I thought others might be interested too. Here’s my list so far - if anyone else has some examples let me know and I’ll add them to the list:
- Enspiral’s handbook: New Zealand collective of “social ventures”, some of which are co-operatives
- The Loomio Co-op Handbook
- Feeltrain’s operating agreement (Portland-based co-operative)
- Root Systems
- Outlandish have described their process of becoming a co-op including links to e.g. this doc which describes Outlander benefits, responsibilities, membership requirements and process
Other tech companies/ networks
- The Valve Handbook
- Basecamp Handbook
- Thoughtbot playbook: the section on how the company works in particular.
- Crisp DNA: “The inner workings of a rather different consulting company”
- Hanno’s playbooks: covering culture, operations, remote working and engineering.
- OuiShare Handbook gives insight into the structures and practices of OuiShare’s distributed network
- Gini Handbook (Josef: I don’t know about Gini myself, but I saw someone, an Enspiralite I think, perhaps @richdecibels, link to this recently)
More good stuff
Open Enterprise White Paper (.pdf) by Better Means
Josef: any interest in building a tool like this? It was the best proof of concept I’ve seen in the space - check out this video tour of the software and the other Better Means videos - but was abandoned when they couldn’t sell enough running it as SaaS - but at least I got them to open source the code before shutting down, but my understanding was it basically just a dirty hack of Redmine. @chrislowis perhaps Go Free Range lots might want to take a look at the Better Means code? (it’s ruby on rails)
The Liquid Organization White Paper by Cocoon Projects in Italy
The Open Organization Project web archive of excellent resource from 2002, see e.g. Guidelines for Open Organization (.pdf)
The Viable Systems Model Guide by Jon Walker
“How to design a healthy business: The use of the Viable System Model in the diagnosis and design of organisational structures in co-operatives and other social economy enterprises” or “A manual for the diagnosis and design of organisational structures to enable social economy enterprises and function with increased efficiency without compromising democratic principles”