Monthly Archives: November 2014

Reinventing our Cooperative Democracy: A Conversation

By Art Sherwood, Todd Wallace 175 November-December 2014 In 2013, the International Cooperative Alliance, in its “Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade,” identified the elevating of participation as a key component of its 2020 Vision for more and stronger cooperatives. The “Blueprint” states that, “Democratic member participation is the best-known feature of the co-operative way of doing business and a major part of what characterizes [...]

Ensuring Meaningful Elections

By Thane Joyal 175 November-December 2014 Within a consumer cooperative, the purpose of electing the board of directors from among the owners is to democratically control the co-op. All fiduciary responsibility for the cooperative rests with the board of directors. Consequently, everything that happens because of the cooperative happens because of the board of directors. How do we make our board elections meaningful in this [...]

Featured Co-op Cafe Video: The Co-op Difference Starts with Staff

  Sean Doyle is the general manager of Seward Community Co-op, a rapidly growing food co-op in Minneapolis, MN. Doyle is an energetic advocate for staff empowerment, and in this video he makes the case that greater co-op participation is enhanced when people are engaged in a workplace where the values of cooperation are in place and part of every workday. “When we talk [...]

Establish Platform for Strong Cooperative Direction through Board-GM Relationship

The relationship between the board and general manager is of paramount importance to any cooperative because both parties provide a connection to the co-op’s main constituency: owners. The co-op owners trust that their elected representatives will provide good governance on their behalf, resulting in positive outcomes toward fulfilling the co-op’s goals. In turn, the board delegates responsibility to management to carry out operational strategies [...]