Develop Your Leaders

Discussion and Process Guide for GM Evaluation

This discussion guide is meant to accompany the process for Evaluating the General Manager  described in the Cooperative Grocer article published in July/August 2009. Please review article that before implementing this guide. This process is based on CBLD Policy Template D4 Evaluating the GM. If your board has a different policy, be sure to follow the policy you have. Under Policy Governance the board [...]

Columinate: Who We Are

At Columinate, we are catalysts for common good. Our member-consultants share strategies, tools, and skills to help purpose-driven organizations build and empower community. From the city to the suburbs and beyond, co-ops are both the foundation and the backbone of strong communities. Our role is to illuminate solutions to guide these organizations forward. Founded in 1994, Columinate works with mission-driven organizations on their most [...]

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 [...]

How Coaching Benefits You as a Leader

In a competitive economy with slim profit margins, hiring a consultant or a coach can feel like a luxury line item.  Yet feeling overtasked and having to do more with less is the perfect reason for hiring a coach.  Coaches can help leaders prioritize and focus their energies, leverage their skills, and learn new ways to respond to both interpersonal and marketplace demands.  In [...]

Leadership Development for Expansion Readiness

Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op Middlebury, VT Year founded: 1976 Member investment: $300 Number of members: 5,300 Number of employees: 85 Retail square feet: 9,000 The Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op is uniquely situated in small town Middlebury, Vermont. Rather than becoming one of those places that time forgot, it has maintained a vibrant community in a place known for its natural beauty and arts and [...]

Deliberative Improvements: Facilitation Techniques for Meeting Success

From a director’s perspective, what are the core ingredients of a great board meeting? Starting and ending on time probably top the list for most people, followed closely by everybody arriving prepared to do work that’s worth doing. A bit of dinner or at least a communal bar or two of chocolate, shared in a comfortable and welcoming space, can also be a make-or-break [...]

Perpetuating Board Leadership Through Co-op Storytelling

Board perpetuation is a perennial topic for boards. Turnover happens year to year as a cyclical part of board service. So, finding ways to maintain consistently strong governance needs to be a priority and continual task. Things can never stay exactly they as they are (or used to be), so how do boards keep positive momentum going? How do they individually and collectively share [...]

Good Governance Makes Community Stronger

Maple City Market Goshen, IN Year founded: 1976 Membership investment: $100 Number of members: 3,000 Number of employees: 25 Recently, Goshen, Indiana was named “Community of the Year” by the state’s Chamber of Commerce. For many years, this northern Indiana town on the border of Michigan held many undiscovered charms. No longer. It’s an increasingly diverse town recognized for its civic pride, hosting many [...]