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If You Don’t Add Value – Why Are You There?

It is telling that someone like Doug Rushkoff can write these words;

Only individuals who create value for the company are awarded new stock proportionate to their contributions.

Douglas Rushkoff

… without questioning the principle.

The corollary is of course that there are people that work inside a company that don’t add value, which for yours truly is of course like a ‘red rag to a bull’ – because as the title of this post suggests, if you are employed by a company and not adding value to that company – then why are you there?

Stakeholder capitalism (apparently) ‘solves’ the problem.

‘Stakeholder capitalism’ is the buzzword du jour for business practices that strive to achieve more than profits and a high stock price. 

McKinsey

If you want to read more – you can:

Putting stakeholder capitalism into practice.

To be fair, the idea of ‘Stakeholder Capitalism’ has been around for several decades, although who actually coined the term is up for debate, with names including Klaus Schwab (Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum), Peter Drucker and Tom Peters.

Still wondering? This is not a bad primer.

So yes – it is not a new idea – it’s just that as the world’s conversation is moving into fairness and equality, as we see a (kind of) resurgence of Unions and as ‘capitalists’ are pushed into the corner of ‘defending their position’ … the term is emerging and arguably being positioned as the logical next step for a ‘sustainable economy’.

I wrote about this over three years ago when I shared a Ted Talk from Nick Hanauer. Today, that video has had over 5 million views. At the point of ‘first discovery’, I had not heard of Nick – but as I pointed out, the principles of what he was talking about are engrained in People First thinking.

Today, you can hear the same language when people talk about DAOs in the world of ‘Web3’ and quite a few other places.

But then many steps before ‘Stakeholder Capitalism’, there was something called ‘The Cooperative Movement’ which got its start in 1844 in Rochdale a small town in Lancashire, England.

So far, I have not read anything that clearly articulates the distinction between Stakeholder Capitalism and Cooperatives and which and why each might be better or worse than the other. Sometimes I wonder if ‘cooperative’ is too ‘radical’ in this world – so we keep inventing new words to describe the same thing.

I have always liked the New Values/Old Values – New Power/Old Power model originally developed by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms nearly ten years ago.

So, picking on a random target company like Uber, which despite hanging its hat on ‘the sharing economy’ is actually 💯 an ‘old thinking’ capitalist company.

Now consider a company called ATX Coop Taxi – a cooperative taxi service based in Austin that has been around for over 5 years. NO – they aren’t as well known – but their service is a ‘cooperative’.

The question is why hasn’t it taken off?

That is for another time.

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Finally!!

Really happy to report that the redesign here at People First is done. More to come, but first spending a little time cleaning up some a lot of the older posts.

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We Are Open – Again!

It’s a new year, and a spectacular new one at that. More of that to come – but good reasons for my extended absence.

As we reopen the doors, I have decided to offer up some shorter thought posts and links beyond the longer articles that I have put here in the past. So along with a new workflow that utilizes Drafts I am hoping that you will find more to read, more regularly – but not necessarily taking more time.

Might also be a good time to remind you that there is a newsletter available, that can get delivered to your inbox. Just like this blog and the podcast, it too has been in hiatus. It’s coming back – but not yet reached it’s weekly cadence.

Onwards – and my thanks for your attention and support.

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The Future of Remote Work

Over on the podcast and in the newsletter – oh and in the People First network, I have been ruminating about remote work.

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

Specifically about work visas and wondering where work is done and once you know where it is done – then – do you need a work visa?

Quick example. You LIVE in P0rtugal. You connect to servers in the US. You are paid in London. Your value is delivered (eg where the code (for example) is rendered and turned into something that can be charged for in Canada.

Where do you work?

Seems like I am not the only one, Adam Ozimek from Upwork shares his ideas about nomadic workforces with Matt Yglesias. He is really only talking about the US – but still raising valid and related questions about the other side of the where do you work equation – where do you go if you cant work. Which state?

They discuss the implications for migration, local governance, and the elusive concept of work/life balance. (Where have I heard that one before?)

Adam argues strongly for the whole work thing in America to be Federalized.

Listen to the podcast here. If you don’t have a full 60 minutes to listen – scoot through to minute 4o for the pertinent stuff.

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It used to be that we lived in private and chose to make parts of our lives public. Now that is being turned on its head. We live in public, like the movie says (except via micro-signals not 24–7 video self-surveillance), and choose what parts of our lives to keep private.

Ben Schott – 2010 – TEN YEARS AGO

Read More.

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American Business

It’s an old one that I rediscovered in the archives. Time to publish.

Killing Them Softly: America is not a country, it’s just a Business

It just seemed right, timely and very ‘People Firsty’.

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A Hidden Side Of One Of Our Podcast Guests