field guide

Incorporating Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Into Board Policies: A CBLD Field Guide

By |2022-02-09T11:04:01-05:00January 20th, 2021|

Many cooperatives, social justice organizations, and businesses have begun to directly confront their own role in the social systems that perpetuate racism and inequity. Boards of directors who use Policy Governance®  should feel empowered to use their policy document to clarify their expectations around the work of dismantling systems of racism and oppression.

Analysis of Board Members’ Conflicts of Interest

By |2022-03-02T18:43:49-05:00March 20th, 2018|

It’s very common for conflicts of interest to be present on the board of a retail food co-op. Some even joke that conflict management is at the heart of cooperation. And in a way, it’s true. The legitimacy of a board’s decision depends in large measure on the board’s ability to demonstrate that the decision was made to further the best interests of the [...]

Responding to Employee Concerns

By |2021-08-20T10:25:19-04:00May 24th, 2017|

Co-op employees will at least occasionally bring complaints and concerns to the board or individual directors, yet the board itself is ill-suited for the task of handling these concerns. Employees deserve to have their concerns addressed professionally. In addition, direct board involvement can interfere with the authority already delegated to the GM, or can exacerbate already sensitive issues by inserting even more personal relationships into [...]

How to be an Effective Board President

By |2022-02-18T13:35:28-05:00April 29th, 2017|

What’s the difference between an excellent board president and a so-so one? Being an effective president requires a host of proficiencies, attributes and knowledge—it’s no easy job! A mix of people skills, the talent to manage and a curiosity and willingness to develop a keen understanding of your co-op’s business are key traits of any good board president. From facilitation savvy, the ability to [...]

Video Field Guide: Membership Growth

By |2022-03-22T11:23:29-04:00September 27th, 2016|

Ben Sandel is a board leadership consultant and capital campaign expert working with startups and established co-ops helping them to reach their fundraising goals using best practices and clear planning gleaned from a multitude of successful fundraising efforts from food co-ops and startups nationwide. In this short presentation, Ben imparts some great top-level wisdom about how to plan and organize a successful campaign and [...]

Committee Charters Field Guide

By |2021-07-27T10:58:14-04:00July 29th, 2016|

All board committees should have a charter – a description of the committee’s purpose and authority. One person, generally the board secretary, should have primary responsibility for drafting charters as directed by the board. This helps the board have a consistent approach for how charters are written. Committee charters should include: The lifespan of the committee (An ad hoc committee should exist only as [...]

Board Decisions Between Meetings

By |2021-12-28T18:51:50-05:00April 27th, 2016|

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 [...]

When and Who to Hire (or Contract) for Startups

By |2020-10-10T00:23:58-04:00April 18th, 2016|

As a new co-op project progresses through the 3 stages of the development process and the workload and complexity of the co-op development process increases, founding team and board members often wonder when to hire help, and for what roles.Though the size, skills and situation of each startup group vary, there are points along the 4 Cornerstones in 3 Stages development model where hiring [...]

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