cooperative governance

Hiring a General Manager

By |2019-09-06T23:28:39+00:00July 18th, 2019|Build Workplace Culture|

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 [...]

A Process for Board Appointments

By |2019-09-06T23:27:18+00:00June 28th, 2019|Field Guides|

By Michael Healy Do you have a mid-term vacancy on your board? Are you considering appointing someone to fill that position? Here is a suggested process that has worked well for a number of boards: Collect names of potential candidates. Sources may include your existing pool of candidates suggestions from current directors suggestions from the GM or membership manager or other staff people who [...]

Deliberative Improvements: Facilitation Techniques for Meeting Success

By |2019-09-09T16:11:22+00:00January 30th, 2019|Develop Your Leaders|

From a director’s perspective, what are the core ingredients of a great board meeting? Starting and ending on time probably top the list for most people, followed closely by everybody arriving prepared to do work that’s worth doing. A bit of dinner or at least a communal bar or two of chocolate, shared in a comfortable and welcoming space, can also be a make-or-break [...]

Good Governance Makes Community Stronger

By |2019-09-09T16:09:29+00:00December 12th, 2018|Develop Your Leaders|

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 [...]

Building Board Capacity to Lead Through Multimodal Governance

By |2020-01-14T20:03:23+00:00October 14th, 2018|Develop Your Leaders|

Imagine that your co-op’s board of directors simply disappeared for a year or two. What would happen? Certainly, the absence of a functioning board would violate a key legal requirement for a cooperative business. Members would also lose an important point of connection to their co-ops and one avenue to raise questions and concerns. And the risk of errors, oversights, and poor performance could [...]

Using Marketing to Build Success: Making Cooperative Ownership and Governance Real

By |2019-09-09T15:37:22+00:00July 22nd, 2018|Cultivate Your Community, Develop Your Leaders|

By Rebecca Torpie, Thane Joyal 196 May-June 2018  What does it mean to be an owner of a consumer cooperative? At the most fundamental level, cooperative ownership means that we are in business together. And for the owners of a cooperative that is under substantial market pressure (and what business isn’t?), everything the business does needs to match the needs and aspirations of the community that [...]

Leaders in Democracy: Seeking Win-Win through Assertive Cooperation

By |2019-09-07T02:06:32+00:00March 18th, 2018|Develop Your Leaders|

By Art Sherwood 191 July-August 2017 If we created opportunities in meaningful participation by seeking win-win, it would be a game changer—in our relationships, in our customer service, in our strategies, in our partnerships, and in our innovative approaches to solving pressing social problems.  Democracy is hard. And because it is hard, it takes skills and practice and a willingness to work with others. Why [...]

Autonomy and Independence: What’s Up with Principle Four?

By |2019-09-10T00:22:38+00:00December 28th, 2017|Develop Your Leaders|

By Ben Sandel Cooperative principle four: Autonomy and independence. What do you think about it? Or perhaps a better question is—do you ever think about it? In my consulting practice, I sometimes lead activities designed to get people thinking and talking about cooperative values and principles. I’d never accuse my clients of having forgotten a cooperative principle, but based on the lack of interest, perhaps principle [...]

Cooperative Business Law Basics: A Primer on Organizational Structure and Capitalization Options

By |2019-09-07T01:38:52+00:00December 5th, 2017|Develop Your Leaders|

By Thane Joyal, Dave Swanson Change in the market, change in the world, can mean stress in the relationships within a cooperative as the organization adapts to the changing circumstances. Both having the right organizational structure and choosing the right vehicles to capitalize your co-op are important in making your cooperative responsive and resilient in the face of change. But their technical and legal [...]

The Power of Board Perpetuation Planning

By |2019-09-07T01:03:47+00:00June 15th, 2017|Develop Your Leaders|

Board perpetuation is a key task for directors, and actively pursuing it throughout the year (and every year) creates a powerful influence in the quality of board work. The first step is having a strong list of potential candidates before the election cycle. There are a variety of components to building a candidate pool, from board to member communications (newsletter articles, social media, email, [...]