Field Guides

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 [...]

Study Guide for Cooperative Values:  Fostering Racial and Economic Equity in Cooperatives

Discussing each principle and value through the lens of racial and economic equity will provide a starting point for promoting a more inclusive and effective movement. This is a resource for boards of directors, management teams, and study groups who especially want to explore the impact of dominate white culture on co-ops, and who want to find a way to create a dialogue to [...]

Study Guide for Cooperative Principles: Fostering Racial and Economic Equity in Cooperatives

Discussing each principle and value through the lens of racial and economic equity will provide a starting point for promoting a more inclusive and effective movement. This is a resource for boards of directors, management teams, and study groups who especially want to explore the impact of dominate white culture on co-ops, and who want to find a way to create a dialogue to [...]

How to be an Effective Board President

What’s the difference between an excellent board president and a so-so one? Being an effective president requires a host of proficiencies, attributes and knowledge—it’s no easy job! A mix of people skills, the talent to manage and a curiosity and willingness to develop a keen understanding of your co-op’s business are key traits of any good board president. From facilitation savvy, the ability to [...]

Board Communication: Using the Board’s Unique Perspective to Increase Owner Engagement and Participation

There’s commonly a remarkable diversity among how the members of a co-op’s board of directors and how co-op staff see and understand the co-op. And the perception of the myriad owner members are as distinct and individual as the members themselves.  And yet each group is holding a unique piece of wisdom about the cooperative. This field guide offers boards tools and resources to [...]

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 [...]

Video Field Guide: Membership Growth

Ben Sandel is a board leadership consultant and capital campaign expert working with startups and established co-ops helping them to reach their fundraising goals using best practices and clear planning gleaned from a multitude of successful fundraising efforts from food co-ops and startups nationwide. In this short presentation, Ben imparts some great top-level wisdom about how to plan and organize a successful campaign and [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]