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 [...]
As a general practice, boards should avoid making decisions between regular meetings. A large part of the value of having a board in a leadership position is that good decisions can come from incorporating many peoples’ perspectives; making decisions without meeting deprives the board of the opportunity to glean the wisdom of all directors. Secondly, it can take a lot more time and energy [...]
By: Carolee Colter & Jeanie Wells When an organization is going through rapid change, roles within the organization change, too, and not always in a consciously thought-through manner. Expansions can result in forming new layers of positions. For example, opening a second store creates the necessity for new approaches to buying. Relocating to a new facility with a much-expanded food service leads to [...]
By Art Sherwood, Todd Wallace 175 November-December 2014 In 2013, the International Cooperative Alliance, in its “Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade,” identified the elevating of participation as a key component of its 2020 Vision for more and stronger cooperatives. The “Blueprint” states that, “Democratic member participation is the best-known feature of the co-operative way of doing business and a major part of what characterizes [...]
Shawn Furst, Development Manager People's Food Co-op, Portland, OR Shawn and her team of ~30 Co-Managers take inclusivity and openness very serious when they talk about providing "Safe and healthy food for ALL". Hear how the collective management at People's Co-op in Portland has led to a lot of difficult and important work around breaking down barriers to food access.
By Art Sherwood 163 November-December 2012 Expansion and growth are on the minds of many cooperative board and management leaders. And this makes sense, since growing our cooperatives’ abilities to deliver on their organizational Ends is of critical strategic importance. It certainly was on our minds at Bloomingfoods Co-op (Bloomington, Ind.) this last year as we addressed growing to include a fourth store and [...]
By Todd Wallace 161 July - August - 2012 Our co-op boards are groups elected and charged with a common purpose: fulfilling the legal and moral obligations of their co-op, on behalf of a diverse set of member-owners. Their fiduciary responsibilities demand high-quality deliberation and decision-making to ensure both the cooperative's fiscal prosperity (its health as an enterprise) and the continued relevance and achievement [...]
By Thane Joyal 138 September - October - 2008 The man in the wilderness asked of me, How many strawberries grow in the sea? I answered him as I thought good As many as red herrings grow in the wood. —Old Nursery rhyme When I talk to members of a board of directors about its legal roles and responsibilities, I always try [...]