Michael Healy

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So far Michael Healy has created 55 blog entries.

Assessing Emerging Expansion Opportunities

As co-op leaders recognize that reinvestment in their business is critical to long-term sustainability, they need some tools to help them assess whether any particular reinvestment makes sense. When business expansion is on the list of possibilities, the risks are higher and so the assessment needs to be more rigorous. Leaders must certainly undertake adequate due diligence before finalizing an expansion project, but how [...]

A Process for Board Appointments

By Michael Healy Do you have a mid-term vacancy on your board? Are you considering appointing someone to fill that position? Here is a suggested process that has worked well for a number of boards: Collect names of potential candidates. Sources may include your existing pool of candidates suggestions from current directors suggestions from the GM or membership manager or other staff people who [...]

Strengthening Co-op Elections: How Boards are Ensuring that Members Can Vote for Excellent Candidates

In her book Democracy’s Edge, Frances Moore Lappe makes a strong case that a healthy democracy is about much more than elections and voting. Even so, board elections are still a particularly important and visible part of cooperative governance. A successful board election includes at least two critical elements: enough qualified candidates on the ballot and enough information so that members can make educated [...]

Relax! You Are Linked

Cooperative boards of directors are small groups of people who influence the future of the world. They are committed citizens who think and learn and work together for something that together they find relevant and compelling. Directors are practically the direct descendants of the Rochdale Pioneers. Like their “ancestors,” the goal of cooperative boards is to make their utopian way of thinking about the [...]

Responding to Employee Concerns

Co-op employees will at least occasionally bring complaints and concerns to the board or individual directors, yet the board itself is ill-suited for the task of handling these concerns. Employees deserve to have their concerns addressed professionally. In addition, direct board involvement can interfere with the authority already delegated to the GM, or can exacerbate already sensitive issues by inserting even more personal relationships [...]

Understanding the Meaning of “Speaking With One Voice”

By Michael Healy 189 March-April 2017 Boards of directors regularly struggle with the concept of “speaking with one voice”— primarily because the concept has a dual meaning. Within the context of Policy Governance, which many food co-op boards use, the principle of board holism is sometimes described as “speaking with one voice.” However, the same term is also used to describe or prescribe how [...]

Policy Register Template Users’ Guide

Co-op boards that use Policy Governance® write policies as a way to codify their agreements for how they will work together, how they will delegate responsibility to management, and what authority they will then actually delegate. Our CBLD team of consultants created this set of template policies based on what we saw does or doesn’t work for most food co-op boards, and we periodically [...]

Committee Charters Field Guide

All board committees should have a charter – a description of the committee’s purpose and authority. One person, generally the board secretary, should have primary responsibility for drafting charters as directed by the board. This helps the board have a consistent approach for how charters are written. Committee charters should include: The lifespan of the committee (An ad hoc committee should exist only as [...]

Good Reporting: Helping boards understand workplace conditions

By Michael Healy 184 May-June 2016 Co-ops bring to life their member-owners’ common values, and for most co-ops these include a desire for the co-op to be a great workplace. In the event that your co-op’s board of directors hears employees assert that something is amiss in the workplace, how will the board react? One end of the range of options often involves the [...]

Board Decisions Between Meetings

  By Michael Healy, CBLD Board Consultant As a general practice, boards should avoid making decisions between regular meetings. A large part of the value of having a board in a leadership position is that good decisions can come from incorporating many peoples’ perspectives; making decisions without meeting deprives the board of the opportunity to glean the wisdom of all directors. Secondly, it can [...]