The Power of Shared Leadership: A Look at Our Cooperative Model

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“Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” – we have all heard that before. And it holds true, but it doesn’t say much about the specifics. Everybody who enters the workforce faces all kinds of challenges (yup, even the lucky ones who did find the job of their dreams).

Challenging projects, fast-approaching deadlines, and stressful meetings have become something ordinary to so many people. They take a toll on one’s motivation. According to the State of the American Workplace Report by Gallup (February 2017), 67% of employees are either actively or passively disengaged.

Many feel disconnected from their coworkers, misunderstood, and not valued enough. When an open dialogue with those above us is impossible, something in the structure is terribly wrong. In this article, we’re going to show you an alternative solution.

Business for the people, by the people, are not just some sweet words, it’s a reality. Let us tell you more about it.

What is a company without bosses and what does shared leadership mean?

Each business functions thanks to an organizational structure. Think of it like the spine of the company. It signifies the way a company arranges its roles and responsibilities. It also defines how tasks are communicated, divided, and coordinated. 

In order to explain the essence of shared leadership, we’d have to clarify a few things first. Let’s take a look at the main differences between a hierarchical structure and an alternative approach – the “flat” organization. 

A hierarchical structure has many levels of management, this is why it’s often called a top-down structure. Decisions are usually made by those on top and the discussions rarely reach the staff members at the bottom. Job positions are quite specific and fast, with strictly designated responsibilities and job descriptions. Autonomy and flexibility are limited.

A “flat” structure represents a more modern approach, where we observe only a few layers of management. The focus is on decentralized decision-making and open communication. This is the model we use. 

What’s more, if the company is founded on principles such as equitable participation and shared benefits, it’s called a cooperative

Cooperatives can be self-managed companies that are owned by usually by workers. There are dynamic leadership roles, rather than static job positions. Everybody is empowered and enabled in the decision-making and is actively involved in the organization’s life. One might say that’s a company without bosses and they won’t be wrong. Why? Because the emphasis is on collaboration and empowerment – employees are encouraged to take initiative and contribute their ideas.

How does that function? In essence, employees have greater autonomy. Leadership is shared and the responsibilities are distributed among the team members based on their skills and expertise of course. They all work together towards a common goal. 

Cooperatives are a unique phenomenon in the global economy, gaining more popularity these days. Did you know that there are 3 million registered cooperatives, and at least 12% of people on Earth are a part of them? They are estimated to provide at least 279 million jobs around the globe.

Camplight is happy to be the pioneer in Bulgaria for software cooperatives.

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What are the benefits the cooperative model offers?

Feeling good at the workplace is a crucial component of every job. Businesses are profit-driven, yes, but financial success is not everything. What’s more, a cut-throat environment could harm not only the well-being of the employees but have negative costly effects on the business as well. Harvard Business Review comes up with a detailed article on the matter. That’s why we believe that moving forward employee ownership is important.

Setting up the right environment is vital for people to feel invited and unlocked to co-create the reality they would like to operate in. The cooperative model gives them this rare chance. Let us describe the benefits we at Camplight value the most:

Increased collaboration

Certain conditions have to be in place so that a company is successful. It is not possible to meet clients’ demands and create high-quality products unless your team collaborates. And as we know, it takes a village to do some hard work. We are not saying that our increased collaboration was easily achieved, but by upholding our high standards of a positive work environment, we obtained some good results. 

More transparent communication

If the worst distance between two persons is a misunderstanding, imagine how badly miscommunication can affect a team. To avoid that, we have implemented certain processes which help us communicate clearly with one another. Team members exchange knowledge, ideas, and feedback all the time. Our 10-year experience has taught us that the bus factor should not be underestimated. 

Enhanced creativity

People need inspiration to get creative and reveal their full potential. What could be more inspiring than working in a free-spirited place, where employees are led by curiosity, ambition, and motivation? We strive to build a place where everybody has open access to knowledge, and where we all feel free to speak up our minds, brainstorm, and create. The results of our hard work speak for themselves. We are proud of our projects. 

Improved productivity and efficiency

The cooperative model has another significant perk – it reduces the duplication of efforts. Due to straightforward communication and shared responsibility, we all know what we have to do, also how and when we have to do it. This way we raise productivity and improve efficiency. 


It is almost hard to believe that freedom and work can go hand in hand. Well, this is one of the main concepts behind the coop and an outstanding part of its unique philosophy. Cooperators have the opportunity to collectively decide on a business strategy, select the right implementation plans and distribute the profits. This is how the creation of a special solidaristic community is facilitated. We have our internal ecosystem which is open to anybody who’d like to start a daring but rewarding journey.

Flexibility and better work-life balance 

Camplight breaks the mold with the flexibility the company offers to its employees. We can totally understand if working on a tight schedule from 9 to 5 is not your cup of tea. And that’s precisely why you’re allowed to break free from the conservative working hours and do what fits you best! We believe that creativity needs its own space and time. As a camplighter, you’d have plenty of both to be who you are and to realize your potential. Having your needs in check is what leads to an authentic work-life balance. 

Overall better job satisfaction

Employees who are part of the cooperative model supply themselves with services on much more favorable terms than what the market has to offer. Nobody likes being treated as a cog in a wheel. We all look for chances for personal development, recognition, and self-fulfillment. 

Once involved in all the above processes, people develop a strong sense of belonging. Our shared purpose brings us Camplighters together and turns us into a cohesive collective, capable of overcoming barriers and achieving greatness. That’s the way we function.

Let’s wrap it up

We are passionate about the things we do. We are also passionate about telling others our story and showing them that it’s possible to run a successful business while creating a more equitable and sustainable economy. 

Camplight is demonstrating that alternative business ownership models can promote greater democracy, equity, and prosperity for all.

A company without bosses is not a distant mirage – it’s real and it’s here to stay. Do you want to learn more about it? Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We’d love to answer your questions and hear Your story.