Board Discipline

By |2019-09-10T20:22:56-04:00June 28th, 2013|

In order to be effective in leading a retail food cooperative, a board must protect the integrity of its process.  Two keys to sound board process are the ability to speak with one voice and the ability to protect confidential information.  Most often these objectives are achieved with a shared understanding of the board’s roles and responsibilities, by establishing a set of clearly articulated [...]

Communities: Align, Engage, and Participate

By |2019-09-10T18:22:37-04:00March 7th, 2013|

At Mississippi Markets, successful growth means defining the key stakeholders, and then working to align, engage, and foster participation.  For their expanding Twin Cities cooperative, the formula seems to be working!  

How to Use Committees to Help the Board to do Board Work

By |2020-07-24T21:58:30-04:00December 12th, 2012|

Properly structured and monitored board committees can be a good way for a board to accomplish specific board tasks and to ensure that ongoing, repeating processes are carried out. Small groups of people working together are nimble, effective and fun!  Improperly used committees can waste precious board time and energy, and at worst can undermine the Board’s relationship with its General Manager and the [...]

Dealing Responsibly with Operational Concerns

By |2021-07-27T10:58:09-04:00August 3rd, 2012|

Directors who are diligently trying to fulfill their fiduciary duty regularly notice things within their co-op that may be cause for concern – or at least worth asking about. At the same time, these same directors want to honor the Board’s clear delegation to the GM and that GM’s professional judgment. How can responsible directors do both? This Field Guide will outline an approach [...]

Using EL monitoring reports as the basis of a strategic conversation

By |2021-12-21T10:28:07-05:00February 7th, 2012|

This process is a variation of the one described in the “Boards Acting on Ends Reports” Field Guide. Not all limitations monitoring reports will warrant this extra attention, but sometimes this approach can elevate the board’s monitoring work from basic fiduciary oversight into a more meaningful strategic conversation. Along with determining whether the report demonstrates reasonable accomplishment, the board can use a structured process [...]

Policy Governance Implementation

By |2021-06-04T19:58:26-04:00November 7th, 2011|

This Field Guide outlines the basic steps, timeline, and critical factors for successful implementation of Policy Governance (sometimes referred to herein as “PG”). When implementing Policy Governance, it is important to move forward relatively quickly in order to not lose momentum, while taking enough time to make thoughtful and informed decisions.   Main Steps for Implementing Policy Governance Investigate – Learn about Policy Governance [...]

Building a Positive Board Performance Culture 2 of 2

By |2019-12-24T19:48:34-05:00November 1st, 2011|

Building a positive board performance culture takes continuous work and vigilance on the part of the board. Part I explored the vital concepts of Shared Understanding of the Job of the Board & Shared Expectations for Board Performance, but every year boards have an election and end up with a ‘new’ board. This provides the board with the opportunity to take advantage of a [...]

Board Compensation

By |2022-10-14T14:19:59-04:00November 1st, 2011|

UPDATED: September, 2018 Directors of food cooperatives have a position of great responsibility. Should directors be reasonably compensated for shouldering this responsibility on behalf the co-op’s owners? What counts as reasonable compensation? What is the best way to provide compensation? Here are some ideas to help you in your own decision making. Why compensate directors at all? A food cooperative is a business owned [...]