Monthly Archives: March 2011

Boards Are Empowered by and Accountable to Members

Members are the foundation of all cooperatives. They are the source of capital and control as well as patronage of the co-op. The co-op’s purpose is built around their shared values and their needs, and based in the concept of democratic member control. As co-ops grow larger, some of these connections may not be as easy to see. How do thousands of owners exert [...]

Officer Elections

Within a well-functioning democracy, the process by which we choose our leaders is at least as important as whom we choose. The quality of the conversation we have about elections, board culture and leadership qualifications matters as much as the election itself. This Field Guide describes an effective process for board officer elections and provides some specific tools and ideas for creating and implementing [...]

Precautions and Protections: Summarizing legal responsibilities of cooperative boards

By Thane Joyal, Dave Swanson 153 March - April - 2011 As cooperative directors, it's important that we know our jobs. Some parts of that job are personal to us: we bring interests, skills, and perspectives that make our contributions unique. It's our responsibility to use those personal attributes to participate constructively in the group that makes up the cooperative board. A key way [...]

Hiring for Motivational Fit

Why do some people enjoy a job and stay with it for years while others seem unhappy and leave—or stay on but complain, come to work late, and call in sick more than others? Why do some people enjoy a job and stay with it for years while others seem unhappy and leave—or stay on but complain, come to work late, and call in [...]

Why Rehash the Old When You Can Start New? Try Fresh Start Bylaws

It is the duty of boards to keep the co-op’s bylaws up to date on behalf of the membership, yet board members sometimes feel it is an overwhelming and potentially tedious task. That’s why CDS Consulting Co-op members Michael Healy and Thane Joyal developed the Fresh Start Bylaws template to help give boards a more user-friendly process for updating their bylaws. According to Healy, [...]