Connections

Including Members in the Ends Dialogues

By |2020-01-27T20:12:04-05:00November 2nd, 2016|

How is your board spending its time? It’s easy to get caught up in the delegation and accountability portion of a board’s job.  Yet there’s a whole other side to the work that is equally important, and the ultimate endeavor of the board: spending time thinking about the co-op’s desired outcomes, members and member needs. A board is accountable for results produced, but ends [...]

So Our Co-ops are Mostly White, Now What?

By |2021-12-07T13:24:40-05:00August 31st, 2016|

In the more than 30 years I’ve been involved with co-ops—student housing co-ops, food co-ops, even a worker-owned collective—almost all of the participants have been white. The same has been true for most of the co-op conferences, meetings, and trainings I’ve attended. Currently I work with food co-ops across the country in which the overwhelming majority of the directors, staff and customers are white. [...]

The Slack App: Weaver Street Market’s Internal Communication Transformation Story

By |2019-09-07T00:14:31-04:00July 3rd, 2016|

The roll out right before Thanksgiving turned out better than expected. Having a single centralized spot where everyone could see what was happening in real time was an incredible improvement to the status quo experience of phone tag or tracking people down during the holiday order rush. You could simply post a message and almost instantly see somebody respond to the issue. The staff [...]

Governance Considerations in Multi-Store Co-ops

By |2019-09-07T00:25:27-04:00May 4th, 2016|

We’re in a position not unlike the years after WWII when the small grocery cooperatives began to fold in the wake of full service supermarkets with vast parking lots. Jerry Voorhis, former president of The Cooperative League (now NCBA CLUSA), made these poignant remarks about the lessons learned from that time: 1. No cooperative business or institution ever stands still, it grows, expands, develops—or [...]

Board Leadership Development Starts with Commitment to Good Governance

By |2019-09-09T19:19:09-04:00February 4th, 2016|

Monadnock Food Co-op staff with board president, Kathy Burke (dressed as a beet)The Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene, New Hampshire has only been open for two-and-a-half years, and as the board president Kathy Burke put it, “a lot has been going well.”  The co-op has exceeded its sales projections and is seeing a profit that has the board fast-tracking conversations about growth.  In the [...]

Co-ops THRIVING into the Future

By |2019-09-10T00:37:54-04:00April 7th, 2015|

Informed by the high-level perspective he has from working with a wide array of co-op boards throughout the U.S., Mark Goehring of CBLD fame, has some sage words for co-ops and cooperators everywhere.  He breaks his talk down into 4 key points: Roles, Transparency, Change, and Growing Co-ops vs. “Going Corporate.”  Mark discusses the question:  What is bold leadership going to look like?  In [...]

Featured Co-op Cafe Video: Theories of Participation

By |2019-09-10T00:42:07-04:00March 4th, 2015|

Theories of Participation Dan Arnett, general manager Central Co-op, Seattle, WA   Theories of Participation Dan Arnett, general manager Central Co-op, Seattle, WA Dan Arnett shares his views on sustaining the cooperative identity through owner participation in co-ops.  Expanding on the concept of Own, Use, Serve and Belong, Arnett sees the foundational aspect of the cooperative as an association and the [...]

Featured Co-op Cafe Video: The Language of Participation

By |2019-09-10T00:50:28-04:00February 2nd, 2015|

The Language of Participation Emily Lippold-Cheney Cooperative Organizer, CooperationWorks! The Language of Participation Emily Lippold-Cheney Cooperative Organizer, CooperationWorks! What is the role of language in elevating the meaning of participation in cooperatives? Emily Lippold-Cheney takes us through some fascinating linguistic demonstrations and challenges the viewer to make intentional use of the language we choose. “Language is key to changing a paradigm,” Lippold-Cheney [...]

GM Report Support: Financial Conditions Monitoring

By |2019-09-10T00:54:17-04:00January 4th, 2015|

  Cooperative managers are charged with creating reports that demonstrate financial accountability to the board. Yet some managers struggle with having the right amount of information for their boards. When it comes to financial reporting what is the right amount? In the CDS Consulting Co-op Library in the GM Report Support section, managers can find templates for financial conditions monitoring reports that gives boards the [...]

Featured Co-op Cafe Video: Co-ops as Public Service Providers

By |2019-09-10T00:56:40-04:00January 4th, 2015|

Many people visit a food co-op on a daily basis, not just to meet their needs for groceries, but to get information or be more engaged in their communities. Likewise, hundreds upon thousands of people also use public libraries with a high degree of participation. John Sheller, a trustee at PCC Natural Markets in Seattle, Wash. and manger of the King County Library System, [...]

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