Monthly Archives: January 2014

How to create a vision for your company

“To the person who does not know where he wants to go, there is no favorable wind.” Though 2000 years have passed since the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger wrote those words, they’re still true today for people and organizations. Whether you're making operational improvements or organizational restructuring plans, none of those efforts will matter if you don't have a compelling, clear vision of [...]

Safety, Security, and Loss Prevention: Strategies for success

By Michael Feiner, Paul Feiner 170 January - February 2014 Food co-ops may be some of the best-intentioned enterprises across the retail spectrum. They are guided by core values of shared responsibility, environmental stewardship, support for more equitable communities, and conscious consumption; it’s hard to imagine a more mindful and ethical social venture. Yet even the best intentions do not make a co-op immune [...]

Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance

By Marilyn Scholl, Art Sherwood 170 January - February 2014 Great leaders demonstrate how to be a force for good in local communities and beyond. Our cooperative heroes—the Rochdale Pioneers—were striking weavers who opened a grocery co-op in 1844 in Rochdale, England, to help themselves and others get free from indebtedness to the company store. The Pioneers asked and answered some compelling questions: Shouldn’t [...]

New Governance Model: The Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance

The cooperative board room does not share all the same purposes as investor-owned corporation or nonprofit boards. Co-ops are organized to benefit their owners, and that is more important than a financial return on investment. We have been asking ourselves if there should be a model of cooperative governance and if so, what would it need to look like to support and drive forward [...]

Featured Video: Why Growth Matters

At the Cooperative Café in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2013, participants discussed the question of growth and Sarah Christensen, general manager at GreenTree Cooperative Grocery in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., addressed the group about GreenTree’s approach to growth in the past and how they are addressing it now. The co-op had been founded in the 1970s and had stayed a small storefront for many years because [...]

Introducing the Four Pillars

What sets co-ops apart from other companies is their ownership structure, cooperative values and democratic governance. That’s why co-op leadership that is focused specifically on those things that define cooperation is so critical. It’s the reason why food co-op leaders have continually been asking the question: How can co-op governance ensure the success of the cooperative as an association and a business? The Four [...]