The newest incarnation of worker cooperatives are worker self-directed enterprises (WSDE). WSDEs combine aspects of capitalism and socialism, resulting in an improved version of a centuries-old idea. Not only do the workers decide together when and how much to produce, but they themselves choose, via a democratic process, how to use the enterprise's net revenue. Suddenly, government agencies dependent upon enterprise tax payments become dependent not upon the CEOs, but on the workers themselves.
Should managers focus on making workers happy, even before satisfying the shareholders? Yes, according to Dr. Kazuo Inamori, management expert, billionaire entrepreneur, and Buddhist priest. Inamori has spent decades applying and honing his organizational philosophies, and he's done so with great success. He created the $64 billion phone carrier known as KDDI Corp, and he rescued Japan Airlines from bankruptcy just a few years ago. His ideas are unique, complex, and yet also super-simple in the essence: "If you want eggs, take care of the hen. If you bully or kill the hen, it’s not going to work."
Pope Francis is doing quite a bit of traveling in the Americas during the next few months, and he'll be speaking on a variety of topics along the way. His popularity among both Catholics and non-Catholics in the U.S. is quite high, so the ideas he lays out tend to receive a good bit of coverage. Whatever your faith, it's interesting to consider the ideas the pope has been busy presenting these last few years, particularly his ideas on the topic of work and workers. He'll likely add to these discussions in the months to come. Let's take a closer look.
For better or worse, Black Friday, the informal commercial holiday that follows the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day, has been a widely accepted fact of life for retail workers, and shoppers, for decades now. However, in the last few years, an effort by brick-and-mortar stores to compete with online retailers has led to earlier and earlier kickoffs to the official start of the holiday shopping season. Many stores now open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. This practice, along with other demands placed on retail workers by their employers during the holiday season, has serious consequences for these employees, and many are saying that enough is enough.
MEC is a media agency with an office in Manhattan that is committed to keeping their employees happy. The company recently offered happiness workshops for a small group of employees who work out of the Manhattan offices.