Yes, it's true. HR specialist Carolee Colter's recent study of trends in the national Co-op GM Compensation Database reveals a disturbing trend of gender disparity. At every size of co-op from the smallest to the largest, female GMs earn less than their male peers.
How can co-op operations leaders begin to be innovative about what it will take to manage finances wisely during and after the COVID-19 pandemic – whatever “after” will look like? No one can accurately predict what the future of the co-op grocery world will look like, but Columinate consultants are on the leading edge of figuring out what can stay the same and what [...]
How can a Board and individual directors support their GM during a pandemic (or other crises)? Most of what you will find here will be generally useful even in “normal” times. During times of great crisis, these guidelines become even more important. Stay steady. Continue with your existing board work plan and responsibilities -- except when it makes sense to make exceptions. Stay [...]
Updated in 2017-18, this manual is the result of a collaboration between Columinate and National Co+op Grocers. It guides boards of directors of food cooperatives through the steps needed to ensure a clear and professional process, resulting in the hiring of a well-qualified manager. Those steps are: Arrange for interim management Set up a committee to coordinate the hiring process (the Search Committee) Define [...]
Maple City Market Goshen, IN Year founded: 1976 Membership investment: $100 Number of members: 3,000 Number of employees: 25 Recently, Goshen, Indiana was named “Community of the Year” by the state’s Chamber of Commerce. For many years, this northern Indiana town on the border of Michigan held many undiscovered charms. No longer. It’s an increasingly diverse town recognized for its civic pride, hosting many [...]
The Board’s Job Creating board policies is no easy task. Clearly articulating the board’s expectations of a general manager takes a lot of energy and focus—so boards can justifiably congratulate themselves once they’ve written down their expectations in a way that a manager can easily understand. But the board’s work doesn’t end there. Many boards, once they’ve created their policies and learned to empower—rather [...]
When Anne Carter came to Medford Food Co-op in Medford, Oregon, the startup co-op had been open for two years and was still establishing its operations and governance. Their internal situation was mirrored in the community-at-large. Medford was once a logging town, and the current 225,000 inhabitants were transitioning their economy to tourism and business services. That new dynamic, and a focus on health and sustainability, also led to the creation of the food co-op.
There is nothing more fundamental to cooperative governance than the board-GM relationship. After all, the entire leadership of the co-op rests on how the board and the general manager work together in their respective roles, which are unique and non-redundant. The work that the board must do to lead and execute its board duties is not the same work that the general manager must [...]
By Michael Healy 189 March-April 2017 Boards of directors regularly struggle with the concept of “speaking with one voice”— primarily because the concept has a dual meaning. Within the context of Policy Governance, which many food co-op boards use, the principle of board holism is sometimes described as “speaking with one voice.” However, the same term is also used to describe or prescribe how [...]
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 [...]