Fostering Belonging

Dale Woodbeck, General Manager Lakewinds Food Co-op, Chanhassen, Minnetonka, & Richfield, MN   Mr. Woodbeck shares the story of Lakewinds Food Co-op's success fostering a sense of belonging among its stakeholders by way of a branded loan program that has directly helped dozens of small local farmers in the region to thrive. Includes a short but moving video clip of those that have been touched [...]

Imagination Matters

Brett Fairbairn, Fellow in Cooperative Thought & Ideas [bio] Centre for the Study of Cooperatives at University of Saskatchewan   Saskatoon, SK, Canada   "Change is the new normal", says Professor Fairbairn.  And it's up to us and our imaginations to stay on top of all this change.  By considering cooperative ventures as both enterprises and associations, we can think about adapting nimbly to both [...]

Keepin’ It Real: Co-ops in Turbulent Times

Presented at the 55th annual Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA) June 18, 2011 in San Diego, CA Keepin’ It Real: Co-ops in Turbulent Times Imagination and AlignmentBy Brett Fairbairn Fellow in Cooperative Thought and Ideas, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives Provost and Vice-President Academic, University of Saskatchewan Re-imagining cooperation. Imagination matters to cooperatives. What might be the best for the current generation of cooperatives [...]

Member Linkage: Getting Input from the “Silent Majority”

As membership in a cooperative grows, board and staff often find themselves wondering how they can best reach those people in their memberships they don’t often hear from—the silent majority. Forging a relationship with all co-op members (from the very active to those who are not), getting their feedback and hearing their vision for the co-op’s future, has challenged many a co-op organization. What [...]