co-op culture

Re-Energize your Co-op Culture

By |2020-03-26T19:30:52+00:00March 21st, 2020|Build Workplace Culture, Develop Your Leaders|

There are over 40,000 co-ops operating in the USA employing almost 1 million people. Few of those employees have had any formal training on the cooperative business model. This brief “chatinar” led by Columinate consultant Adam Schwartz is designed to introduce you and your colleagues to some of the key steps organizations can take to ensure you are using your cooperative structure as a [...]

Introducing Your Co-op to New Communities

By |2019-09-10T20:11:17+00:00July 12th, 2018|Cultivate Your Community|

Business introductions are a networking staple—and they run the gamut from the ho-hum ‘We are here to sell you something’ to the dynamic, ‘We love to support communities and make a difference in people’s lives.’ As co-ops continue to seek out ways to innovate, offer more goods and services, and reach out to new communities, it is worth the investment of time and resources [...]

Cultivating a Culture of Appreciation

By |2019-09-07T02:02:56+00:00March 6th, 2018|Build Workplace Culture|

According to Gallup News State of the Workforce report in 2017, overall only 30% of employees feel engaged at their jobs. This dismal statistic is a strong invitation for employers in all business sectors to consider the type of work culture that might contribute to a sense of disaffection and actively work to change it. Employees who do feel a sense of connection are [...]

Leading Our Co-ops Beyond Customer Service to Cooperative Service

By |2019-09-07T01:59:52+00:00February 2nd, 2018|Build Workplace Culture, Grow Your Business|

By Brittany Baird, Rebecca Torpie 194 Jan.-Feb. 2018 As food co-ops forge ahead in the “the new normal,” they often find themselves in the precarious place of trying to both differentiate from and conform to competitors. From the consistent progression of conventional grocery stores towards natural products offerings, to the growing threat of internet retailers, food co-ops are experiencing an increasingly urgent pressure to raise the [...]

Open Book Management: Now is the Time!

By |2019-09-07T01:52:16+00:00December 28th, 2017|Improve Operations|

By Melanie Reid Co-ops continue to face an increasingly tough marketplace. Competition for employees is as tough as it is for food dollars. One strategy for attracting and retaining talented and passionate staff members is to build a culture of strong employee engagement. Open Book Management (OBM) has the potential to contribute to higher staff satisfaction, improved engagement, increased accountability, and strong communication. Inviting staff [...]

The Cooperative Advantage

By |2019-09-09T23:30:00+00:00August 24th, 2017|Cultivate Your Community|

Sometimes the obvious isn’t so obvious. Just because we have co-op in our name does not mean that people will really understand what that means. The formal definition of a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. But we need to give that meaning life. [...]

Appreciating the Diversity of Member Needs and Motivations

By |2019-09-09T19:24:14+00:00December 28th, 2015|Cultivate Your Community, Develop Your Leaders|

By Marilyn Scholl 140 January - February - 2009 In my work with food co-op boards and staff over the past 30 years, one of the questions I have often encountered is this: How can we get more people more involved at the co-op? The question has prompted a lot of soul-searching and hand-wringing. Co-op leaders intuitively believe that member involvement is vital to [...]

Amplify Cooperative Impact through Participation

By |2019-09-09T23:00:52+00:00September 9th, 2015|Develop Your Leaders|

The democratic structure of cooperatives allows people the opportunity to have a real influence on business goals and outcomes through their investment, patronage, feedback, and aspirations.  It’s one of the most defining features of cooperation, especially compared to other business models where social or environmental impact may be considered incidental.  In cooperatives, concern for community is one of our principles and purpose.  In 2012, [...]

Building Partnerships Across Race and Class

By |2019-09-10T20:12:40+00:00August 22nd, 2015|Cultivate Your Community|

By Jade Barker 179 July-August 2015 Cooperative grocery stores across the country are making efforts to integrate their cooperatives across race and class. How did they get into this work? What are they doing? What are they learning? And what are the benefits? Seeking answers to these questions, I reached out to a handful of the many co-ops involved in diversifying their staff and [...]

Cooperative Communication Conundrums: Exploring paths to alignment and healing when a cooperative encounters controversy

By |2019-09-09T17:19:05+00:00July 7th, 2015|Develop Your Leaders|

By Thane Joyal 179 July-August 2015 To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives... The future is an indefinite succession of presents, and to live [...]

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