education

Cooperative Acronyms

4-in-3 — Four Cornerstones in Three Stages :A development model for food co-ops. 4PCG — Four Pillars of Cooperative Governance :A governance model for co-ops. ACBA — Austin Cooperative Business Association :a joint project between Austin-area cooperatives and the National Cooperative Business Association that aims to benefit and expand cooperative businesses in Central Texas. The ACBA plans to help increase the membership and profitability [...]

Orienting New Directors

An effective orientation for new directors can help your board quickly integrate and benefit from the contributions of its newest members – shortening and decreasing the intensity of the naturally occurring “storming” phase that occurs when integrating new members into your team. While there will still be plenty of “on the job” learning during the first several board meetings, a good orientation process can [...]

Ensuring Meaningful Elections

By Thane Joyal 175 November-December 2014 Within a consumer cooperative, the purpose of electing the board of directors from among the owners is to democratically control the co-op. All fiduciary responsibility for the cooperative rests with the board of directors. Consequently, everything that happens because of the cooperative happens because of the board of directors. How do we make our board elections meaningful in this [...]

Seven Steps to Re-energize your Cooperative Culture

By Adam Schwartz 166 May-June 2013 "Culture is to an organization what water is to a fish—it is the environment that exists all around us." If I asked you to describe the culture of your food co-op in one word, what would it be? How would you know if others in your organization feel the same way? There has been a good deal of [...]

Democracy in Cooperatives

By Michael Healy 118 May - June - 2005 Alexis de Tocqueville, in the first half of the 19th century, visited our still-wet-behind-the-ears nation and penned his famous treatise Democracy in America. In this book, de Tocqueville noted that “the American learns to know the laws by participating in the act of legislation; and he takes a lesson in the forms of government from [...]