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 [...]
By Sarah Dahl 191 July-August 2017 No one is a perfect communicator, and no co-op experiences completely effective communication at all times. While some co-ops may do better than others—at least as reported in more than 200 staff surveys conducted by CDS Consulting Co-op—communication issues are nearly always on the list of things that staff want to see improved. While communication issues can be as [...]
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 [...]
Co-op boards that use Policy Governance® write policies as a way to codify their agreements for how they will work together, how they will delegate responsibility to management, and what authority they will then actually delegate. Our CBLD team of consultants created this set of template policies based on what we saw does or doesn’t work for most food co-op boards, and we periodically [...]
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, requires [...]
As Director of Co-op Development for NCG, Dave Olson has a unique perspective on what it'll take for co-ops to survive and thrive in this 'New Normal' of increased competition and slowing sales growth. In this must-watch video Dave drops some hard truths and possibly un-popular ideas in an effort to get co-ops to think hard about such crucial yet sensitive topics as product [...]
General Manager of Three Rivers Market in Knoxville, TN, Jacki Arthur shares with us a parable, as well as her own perspective on what she calls "The Path of Courageousness". In this honest and inspiring video Jackie shares her vision for her own region of the Appalachias and why if you ain't crazy, you might be doing something wrong!
Steve Breckheimer, Board Member at Hendersonville Community Co-op in Hendersonville, NC describes two different versions of what alignment can look like and why alignment is so critical to Ends accomplishment. Then he tells a story of Hendersonville's successful engagement and outreach around a capital campaign to help grow their food co-op and impact.
River Valley Co-op in Northampton, MA is a jewel among startups with over $25M in annual sales and robust growth. Rochelle Prunty, the GM at RVC takes us through the co-ops history, as well as a possible future, in which the region has many more River Valley Co-ops and an exponentially greater impact on its members, staff, and communities.
John Tashiro shares with us some of the "wisdom of the Bamboo". Tashiro, the newly appointed General Manager at Onion River / City Market in Burlington, VT applies some of this wisdom to being courageous leaders in the retail co-op sector and entices us all to "be the bamboo".