GM Success Profile

By |2019-09-17T00:47:40-04:00January 29th, 2016|

Increasingly intense and sustained competition in our market is shifting the landscape in which co-ops operate, putting a premium on certain key competencies and skills in management. At the same time, other factors are making the GM job more complex and demanding, including: pressure on prices and margin, increasing costs of real estate and development, and calls for a living wage at a time [...]

Operational Wisdom from General Managers

By |2019-09-09T19:27:53-04:00December 22nd, 2015|

By Thane Joyal 181 Nov-Dec 2015 Successful cooperatives are guided by strong boards, and those boards rely on strong individuals to manage the cooperative’s business enterprise with excellence. The nature and quality of the board-general manager (GM) relationship, for better or worse, influences nearly all the myriad factors that lead to a cooperative’s success. The relationship is not simply that of employer and employee. [...]

GM Retirement Planning Best Practices, or How to Retire Gracefully

By |2019-09-09T22:58:47-04:00October 10th, 2015|

GM Retirement Planning Best Practices, or How to Retire Gracefully When a general manager (GM) is planning to retire, (as opposed to leaving the co-op for another job), the specific date of departure is flexible and known well in advance. The outgoing GM's legacy will be affected by how s/he handles the transition. Timing Once you decide to take the leap, let your management [...]

Getting Ready for General Manager Succession

By |2019-09-10T20:13:11-04:00May 3rd, 2015|

By Thane Joyal, Jeanie Wells 178 May-June 2015 Whether or not your cooperative expects to hire a general manager (GM) in the next year, your board should have an awareness of the skills and resources that would be needed to accomplish this essential task. Even if your GM is doing great and has no expressed plans for retirement or other career changes, your board [...]

Telling the Co-op Story

By |2019-09-10T00:51:10-04:00January 5th, 2015|

By Patricia Cumbie 176 January-February 2015 Stories are as old as humankind.  If we didn’t have stories, we wouldn’t have progress or evolution.  It’s how people communicate, organize, and instruct.  Nor could most of us imagine a childhood without bedtime stories.  Our most cherished memories are linked with a vivid story.  As humans, we crave connection and meaning, and that’s why stories can feel [...]

New Resource: Starting Off Right with Your New General Manager

By |2019-09-09T22:13:46-04:00October 2nd, 2013|

Online Recorded Workshop This is a thorough introduction to developing a good working relationship as a board with the co-op’s new general manager. The objective of the workshop is to show how to integrate a new general manager into the leadership team, set clear expectations, evaluate the general manager at regular intervals throughout the year, and to maintain an honest and open dialogue. This [...]

General Manager Contract Template

By |2020-01-14T22:43:40-05:00June 28th, 2013|

Updated: August 2nd, 2016 Every board of directors of a retail food cooperative should strive to be an excellent employer for their general manager, the person who is responsible for the success of the cooperative. Clear expectations are part of being a good employer and contracts are one possible tool that boards can use to clarify expectations and provide for terms of separation. Contracts [...]

Great Idea: General Manager Reporting Templates

By |2019-09-09T20:06:56-04:00January 2nd, 2012|

Reports from the general manager are one of the most important tools boards have for monitoring their co-op’s operation. But sometimes the reports, while very informative, don’t always deliver information in a way that is geared toward making governance decisions. This can lead to boards spending their time asking a lot of questions of the general manager about the information in the report, rather [...]

Empowerment of the Board and Accountability of the GM

By |2019-09-10T15:33:46-04:00May 31st, 2011|

At this juncture in our series examining the empowerment and accountability stream in food co-ops, we understand that at all points along the way co-op stakeholders need systems that allow for the clear flow of delegation and responsibility. However, it can be argued that the dynamism of the empowerment stream often hinges on the handoff of power from the board to the general manager, [...]

Power Triggers, Seesaw Battles and Handcar Cooperation

By |2019-09-10T15:34:05-04:00May 3rd, 2011|

By Art Sherwood 154 May - June - 2011 Most would agree that a healthy board-general manager relationship not only makes the co-op run more smoothly, it is a critical connection between member-owners and operations in our democratically controlled organizations. Yet the health of this working relationship often remains elusive or at least can come under stress. It can "turn on a dime at [...]

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