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28th Jun, 2013

Board Discipline

By |2019-09-10T20:22:56-04:00June 28th, 2013|

In order to be effective in leading a retail food cooperative, a board must protect the integrity of its process.  Two keys to sound board process are the ability to speak with one voice and the ability to protect confidential information.  Most often these objectives are achieved with a shared understanding of the board’s roles and responsibilities, by establishing a set of clearly articulated [...]

13th Jan, 2012

Monitoring staff treatment using staff survey data

By |2019-09-09T20:09:44-04:00January 13th, 2012|

CBLD Policy Template and other resources (links to the CBLD Library) GM Report Support: Staff Treatment Related articles in Cooperative Grocer Colter, Carolee, and Mary Courteau. “Counting on Co-op Employees.” Cooperative  Grocer #141, March-April 2009. Scholl, Marilyn. “The Board Role in the Accountability Stream.” Cooperative Grocer #130, May-June 2007.

19th Mar, 2011

Officer Elections

By |2021-08-13T12:54:21-04:00March 19th, 2011|

Within a well-functioning democracy, the process by which we choose our leaders is at least as important as whom we choose. The quality of the conversation we have about elections, board culture and leadership qualifications matters as much as the election itself. This Field Guide describes an effective process for board officer elections and provides some specific tools and ideas for creating and implementing [...]

16th Sep, 2010

Meaningful Metrics: General manager reporting closes the accountability loop

By |2019-09-10T19:41:36-04:00September 16th, 2010|

By Todd Wallace 150 September - October 2010 Successful reporting is essential to maintaining a positive board-management relationship. A sound process—one that includes the creation of meaningful metrics—is a powerful tool that closes the accountability loop and demonstrates organizational accomplishment. Having these two components in place builds alignment, engagement, and commitment to the accomplishment of the co-op’s long-term goals. A board’s work includes two [...]

14th Apr, 2009

Executive Sessions

By |2021-08-13T11:47:01-04:00April 14th, 2009|

An Executive Session (sometimes called a “closed session”) is a meeting, or portion of a meeting, open to only members of the board of directors and individuals invited by the board of directors. All meeting attendees are expected to keep content of the meeting confidential unless the board decides to make it public. "Confidential" means that those present are expected not to share or discuss the information [...]

24th May, 2017

Responding to Employee Concerns

By |2021-08-20T10:25:19-04:00May 24th, 2017|

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 into [...]

22nd Feb, 2017

Key Financial Indicators

By |2020-02-13T21:41:42-05:00February 22nd, 2017|

The CBLD template Financial Conditions policy and sample report suggest that boards and managers regularly monitor a number of key indicators of financial health. Here are definitions and/or formulas for many of those indicators as they are typically used by food co-ops. Using common definitions makes it easier to compare your co-op’s performance to others. Many of these metrics are expressed as a % [...]

4th May, 2016

Good Reporting: Helping boards understand workplace conditions

By |2019-09-07T00:04:13-04:00May 4th, 2016|

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 [...]

27th Apr, 2016

Board Decisions Between Meetings

By |2021-12-28T18:51:50-05:00April 27th, 2016|

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 take a lot more time and energy [...]

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