Mutuals on the High Wire

I have been thoroughly enjoying Charles Leadbetter and Ian Christie's 1999 Demos pamphlet - 'To our mutual advantage'. ...

December 1, 2004

I have been thoroughly enjoying Charles Leadbetter and Ian Christie’s 1999 Demos pamphlet – ‘To our mutual advantage’.

They sum up the challenge of mutualism thus:

‘Successful mutuals operate in a narrow strip, poised between two different threats.

When their membership becomes too large, dispersed and diverse, the sense of membership they thrive upon becomes diluted.

When the membership is too closed, stable and tightly-knit, a mutual can become conservative and inward-looking.’

Avoiding these twin perils demands discipline and imagination – the ability to respect your members’ legitimate stakes, while remaining open to change and mutual education. Mutuals must adapt at a speed that continually reinforces value for all participants but does not compromise their values.

The challenge, and therefore the opportunity, for mutuals, lies in the development of an effective learning process. And what drives this process?

The Corporate Brand of course…

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