leadership development

Columinate Supports Ohio Startup Gem City Market

By |2019-09-30T16:43:32-04:00September 29th, 2019|

Consultants bring innovation, passion to the groundbreaking project (from Left) Corrine Saunders, Kenya Baker, Lela Klein, Wynston Estis and Amaha Sellassie participate in the Gem City Market ceremonial groundbreaking. Dayton, OH September 30, 2019: A groundbreaking engagement is underway between Columinate consultants and Gem City Market in Dayton, OH. The consulting cooperative is providing managers-on-contract to support a 2020 store [...]

Perpetuating Board Leadership Through Co-op Storytelling

By |2019-09-10T20:10:14-04:00December 12th, 2018|

Board perpetuation is a perennial topic for boards. Turnover happens year to year as a cyclical part of board service. So, finding ways to maintain consistently strong governance needs to be a priority and continual task. Things can never stay exactly they as they are (or used to be), so how do boards keep positive momentum going? How do they individually and collectively share [...]

Building Board Capacity to Lead Through Multimodal Governance

By |2020-01-14T20:03:23-05:00October 14th, 2018|

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 [...]

Understanding the Meaning of “Speaking With One Voice”

By |2021-05-05T15:12:38-04:00May 6th, 2017|

By Michael Healy 189 March-April 2017 Boards of directors regularly struggle with the concept of “speaking with one voice”— primarily because the concept has a dual meaning. Within the context of Policy Governance, which many food co-op boards use, the principle of board holism is sometimes described as “speaking with one voice.” However, the same term is also used to describe or prescribe how [...]

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 [...]

Growing Leaders from Within

By |2019-09-07T00:38:20-04:00March 8th, 2017|

By Melanie Reid 186 Sept-Oct 2016 As co-ops evolve and expand and our industry continuously changes, it’s important that we have mechanisms in place that enable employees to see career pathways within our organizations. Opportunities to learn new things and grow within the organization are important for everyone on the co-op staff roster. If their training ends after 90 days, you probably have some [...]

Connecting the Dots: Strategic Board Leadership in Action

By |2019-09-07T00:30:19-04:00September 7th, 2016|

By Thane Joyal 185 July-Aug 2016   The future is unknowable. Or is it?  Courageous leadership relies in large measure on wise choices. In his entertaining novels, Robert Parker often references the military strategist Clausewitz for the proposition that you should “plan not for what you think your enemy will do, but rather for what your enemy can do.” Wise leadership, in other words, [...]

Co-op General Manager Success Profile: GM Role Requires Core Competencies

By |2019-09-06T23:37:35-04:00March 30th, 2016|

By Carolee Colter, Lauren Olsen, Marilyn Scholl 183 Mar-Apr 2016 It takes a lot to manage a food co-op. Co-op general managers (GMs) are responsible not only for the retail operations but also for budgeting, financial analysis, marketing, information technology, and human resources—functions that are provided by corporate headquarters to managers of chain stores. Co-op GMs, in addition to the demands of the business, [...]

Complaints and Operational Concerns: How Directors Can Respond Effectively

By |2019-09-09T19:19:48-04:00January 30th, 2016|

By Michael Healy 182 January-February 2016 As a director, you may notice or hear things about your co-op that may be cause for concern—or are at least worth asking about. How can you respond in a way that honors your sense of responsibility, your board’s clear delegation to the general manager (GM), and your GM’s professional judgment? Here is an approach that opens a [...]

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 [...]

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