February 25, 2014

The Koch Associate Program: A Personal Perspective

By: Mitch Whitus

As a recruiter with the Charles Koch Institute, my responsibility is to connect people to our educational programs and job opportunities. Being a current participant in the Koch Associate Program, I am often asked by interested candidates what I enjoy most about participating in KAP. The question is difficult to answer; I enjoy the non-profit work experience, the reading discussions, the guest speakers, and the group projects, among many other components of the program. KAP also provides an opportunity to learn more about economics and leadership, while the respectful debate that follows can challenge my fundamental assumptions about the way the world works.

However, my favorite component of the program is learning about Market-Based Management® (MBM®).  The MBM curriculum equips associates with the tools they need to create value in their jobs – hopefully allowing associates to better advance liberty and well-being throughout their careers.  In a nutshell, MBM thinking incorporates the principles of a free society into an organization, thereby bringing the successful principles of a free market to the workplace.  

For me, MBM has created a shift in the way I view my work.  No longer do I think of success as just a daily completion of job responsibilities, or just a favorable review from a supervisor.  Instead, I now strive to be entrepreneurial in my role.  I focus on outcomes, rather than on tasks with no overall vision.  In short, an MBM mindset encourages me to innovate and think beyond a job description.

With this mindset comes an opportunity to learn and develop professionally and to take on responsibility.  For example, I have “decision rights” over attending and recruiting at certain conferences.  At the end of the day, I am responsible for the success, or the failure, of the recruiting strategy at those conferences.  Because of this, I have an incentive to create a high quality product and a recruiting strategy that will hopefully create the most value possible.

MBM empowers professionals to apply market-based thinking in their jobs, and this thinking can foster an incredible degree of productivity and fulfillment for employees.  In short, what I enjoy most about the Koch Associate Program is the ability to acquire the tools and knowledge necessary to be better at my job. The Koch Associate Program is a great resource for those who want to advance liberty in their careers, particularly because of the tools offered through MBM. Taking one day out of the workweek to engage in professional education offers a huge return on investment. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in learning how to create more value and be more fulfilled in his or her role. You can find more information on our website, Koch Associate Program – the deadline is coming up in March!

Mitch Whitus is a Recruitment Associate at the Charles Koch Institute. 

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