The new year is a time for reflection and revision, and co-op boards are no exception. Whether your board has just decided to implement Policy Governance® or your board wants to refresh existing policies, the updated 2021 Policy Register Template provides a great opportunity to start these conversations.
By Carolee Colter, Columinate & Heather Wright, Esq, WrightJones PLC Columinate is recommending replacing the old Cooperative Model Grievance Procedure from 2009 with this new Workplace Conflict Policy. Why do you recommend changing the policy now? The old policy fit the needs of co-ops for many years. In the last year or two, however, there have been changes in labor law that have [...]
By Marilyn Scholl 084 September - October - 1999 The relationship between the board and the general manager is probably the most important relationship in a co-op. To be successful, a cooperative needs a strong manager AND a strong board AND a strong, effective relationship between the two. In 22 years of working for and with food co-ops, I have seen too many examples [...]
By Marilyn Scholl 078 September - October - 1998 Food cooperatives around the country are talking about Policy Governance -- a system of board leadership developed by John Carver. While people are drawn to the simple logic behind Policy Governance, it is quite different from previous board experiences. Governance is an important job and should be done well. As the Food Front Cooperative board [...]
Cassia is a dedicated activist, a skilled community development professional, and a proud Kentuckian who brings 20 years of experience to the Columinate network. She is deeply rooted in the Kentucky local food movement, having organized farmer’s markets, established the Louisville Food Policy Council, and co-founded Louisville Association for Community Economics, which is opening the city’s only cooperative grocery store.
Within the Policy Governance® model, a board delegates authority to the executive (General Manager, CEO, Executive Director, etc) through written policies. The executive then uses written reports to demonstrate accountability for the use of that authority. These monitoring reports are an important and primary component of the board’s evaluation of the executive; knowing what to include and what to look for can help the executive and board members create a highly effective and user-friendly system.
Use the Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance to increase effectiveness of the board’s work.
Cooperation among cooperatives is more than just a golden principle that all strive to achieve, it’s actually an organizational imperative that makes good use of collective time and resources. Columinate’s Cooperative Board Leadership Development program (CBLD) is built precisely to offer co-op boards the tools to make informed decisions and gain efficiency.
Supervision and evaluation of a general manager (GM) are some of the most important tasks that a food co-op board can have. Columinate Board Development Consultant Molly Snell-Larch has developed two useful guides for navigating the sometimes complex processes of general manager evaluation and compensation.