Open Book Management

Open Book Management: Now is the Time!

By Melanie Reid Co-ops continue to face an increasingly tough marketplace. Competition for employees is as tough as it is for food dollars. One strategy for attracting and retaining talented and passionate staff members is to build a culture of strong employee engagement. Open Book Management (OBM) has the potential to contribute to higher staff satisfaction, improved engagement, increased accountability, and strong communication. Inviting staff [...]

Cooperative Ends, Impact, and Telling the Story

An individual member-owner or customer or vendor could probably describe how the co-op impacts their life: This is where I get the food that feeds my family. Or, I see all my friends here. Or, this is the center of my community. Or, I make my living by selling my products here. But how can the co-op describe the collective impact it has on [...]

Case Study: Open Book Management Changes Co-op Culture

Mississippi Market St. Paul, MN Year founded:  1979 Equity investment:  $90 Number of members:  15,500 Number of employees:  210 Retail locations:  Selby Ave., West 7th, and Dayton’s Bluff opening Sept. 2015 It started with the results of an employee satisfaction survey.  In 2012, Mississippi Market’s management learned some staff questioned the co-op’s growth plans, and they perceived it was having a negative impact on [...]

Engaging Employees in Open Book Management

By Helena O'Connor 169 Nov-Dec 2013  A few staff members crowded the back of the small room. Latecomers straggled in until most chairs were full. A huge white board with a crosshatch of lines and columns, numbers and spaces stood at the front. The general manager called everyone to order. The weekly huddle had begun.  One by one, department managers posted their weekly sales [...]

Bringing Open Book Management to Life at Just Food Co-op

By Melanie Reid 169 Nov-Dec 2013 Justice and Just Food Co-op in Northfield, Minn., opened its doors in 2004. Once the co-op had successfully navigated the initial challenges that every startup faces and began to experience stable finances and sales growth, management felt it was time to engage the staff in the continued success of the business. A training session during a National Cooperative [...]

Open Book Management: Emerging lessons in the food co-op world

By Jeanie Wells 168 September-October 2013 Has your co-op considered Open Book Management? Chances are that even if you haven’t implemented it but have attended a food co-op conference in the past three years, you have heard talk about Open Book Management. That’s because it has been slowly but steadily catching fire throughout the North American food co-op sector. Some stores are having great [...]

This powerful transparent practice can change your store

Transparency in management implies openness, communication and accountability. One powerful transparent practice is Open Book Management. By teaching staff members about the financial health of the business, managers invite them into the conversation about strengthening the financial bottom line. Just Food Co-op, a community-owned natural foods retailer in Northfield, Minn., opened its doors in 2004. Once it successfully navigated the initial challenges that every [...]