Introducing the Four Pillars

Introducing the Four Pillars

  |  January 1, 2014

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 Pillars of Cooperative Governance (4PCG) is the culmination of many years work to find an answer that question. Food co-op boards, in collaboration with the CDS Consulting Co-op board leadership team, have worked together to strengthen cooperative governance, and to give it value to local co-ops and their communities. The 4 Pillars is a model that clarifies different components of cooperative-specific governance by defining four distinct roles and responsibilities. The Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance are teaming, accountable empowerment, democracy and strategic leadership.

In this issue of Solutions, we are pleased to introduce to you this exciting concept of the Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance. It is a model built upon a foundation of the Co-op Principles and cooperative values, and it is the result of continually envisioning a better way to govern our co-ops. The creation of the Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance is a breakthrough in governance theory and practice that allows co-op leaders to focus on their work to ensure the cooperative’s success.

This is also the Cooperative Board Leadership Program’s (CBLD) 10th anniversary providing ongoing governance support to over 115 food co-ops nationwide. We are proud of all that has been accomplished by both our consultants and local food co-op directors over the years. We look forward to another fruitful decade of groundbreaking work.

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