accountable empowerment

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 [...]

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 [...]

Components of a Successful System of Accountable Empowerment

Accountable Empowerment It is always important for a co-op board of directors to have good systems of accountability in place to provide proper and strategic oversight of the general manager.  With strongly increasing demand for natural and organic products resulting in more pressure from competitors, cooperatives need to strengthen operations, and at the same time effectively communicate the value the cooperative brings to its [...]

Policy Governance Quick Guide

In this new Policy Governance Quick Guide, you'll find an overview for how this operating system for boards provides an underlying framework on which boards can build further agreements and activities. Policy Governance does not mandate specific decisions, but does highlight the kinds of decisions a board should make. In the Quick Guide, the ten principles of Policy Governance are outlined, providing boards a [...]

Dealing Responsibly with Operational Concerns

Directors who are diligently trying to fulfill their fiduciary duty regularly notice things within their co-op that may be cause for concern – or at least worth asking about. At the same time, these same directors want to honor the Board’s clear delegation to the GM and that GM’s professional judgment. How can responsible directors do both? This Field Guide will outline an approach [...]

Audits & Reviews

An essential part of a co-op board’s fiduciary duty is the annual external monitoring of their co-op’s finances and financial systems. This Field Guide introduces a process for making important board-level decisions about the two standard types of external monitoring: audits and reviews. Choosing audits or reviews An audit of financial statements is a thorough examination of the cooperative’s financial statements, allowing the auditor [...]

Maintaining the Governance Position in Grievance Procedures

How can the board express its values regarding staff treatment, and hold management accountable and be accountable to the member owners without getting directly involved in HR and staff issues? Human resource and staff issues, in particular, staff grievances, can become emotionally charged, affecting relationships throughout the cooperative and community. We advise that the board use a standard process of: set pre-established criteria assign [...]