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Excellent Staff Communication—the Pillar of Change Management

Now more than ever, co-ops must adapt to market forces and make changes to survive and thrive in the marketplace. So much change can be [...]

Location, Location, Location, part 2

Today’s successful food co-ops are by and large located in more affluent neighborhoods—with shoppers who are typically college-educated and white.  But what if you want [...]

Compete to Thrive

Every grocery retailer is currently in a race to sell more groceries to more people.  Convenience is paramount—from grab-n-go meals to quick checkouts and in-and-out [...]

By |February 8th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

Experiencing Competition Head-On

Good Foods Co-op Lexington, KY Year founded:  1972 Number of members:  7,750 Membership investment:  $200 Number of employees:  100 Retail square feet:  12,000 It seems [...]

By |February 8th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Case Studies, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

Location, Location, Location

When selecting a natural food co-op store location, there are a number of characteristics that can add to, or detract from, the store's opportunity for [...]

Retail Food Co-ops as Servant Leaders

Listening.  Empathy.  Healing.  Awareness.  Persuasion.  Conceptualization.  Foresight.  Stewardship.  Commitment to the growth of people.  Building Community.  These are elements of servant leadership, a concept developed [...]

By |January 10th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Featured, Solutions|Tags: |

In Service to Community in Pensacola

Ever’man Co-op Grocery & Cafe Pensacola, FL Year founded:  1973 Number of members:  11,300 Number of staff:  91 Retail square feet:  17,000, (co-op also has [...]

By |January 10th, 2017|Categories: Articles, Case Studies, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for shoplifting!

Of the average $40 billion in U.S. retail theft annually, a significant share of that is unfortunately stuffed into stockings and swept out the door [...]

Who Decides? Owner Participation in Cooperative Decisions

Cooperatives are a shared asset, managed for the common good of the owners.  At its heart, cooperation is a human enterprise that begins with relationships, [...]

New North Willy Street Co-op Serves Needs and Values

Willy Street Co-op Madison, Wisc. Year founded:  1974 Equity investment:  $56 single/$91 household + $2 service fee Number of members:  34,000 Number of employees:  420 [...]

By |November 14th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Case Studies, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

Including Members in the Ends Dialogues

How is your board spending its time? It’s easy to get caught up in the delegation and accountability portion of a board’s job.  Yet there’s [...]

A Board’s Quick Guide to Communicating Decisions to Owners

As competition makes the reality of executing difficult or complex business decisions more common, it's important that boards be ready to address situations when owners [...]

What is Board Holism or Speaking with One Voice?

When the members elect and delegate the board to act on behalf of all members, the delegation is to the board, not to individual directors. [...]

By |October 5th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Connections, Featured, Teaming|Tags: |

Master the Fundamentals of Governance Leadership

Good leaders often ask this question:  what would set us up for success?  Most of the time the answer is simple.  Master the fundamentals.  By [...]

By |September 8th, 2016|Categories: Articles, Featured, Solutions|Tags: , |

Inter-state Cooperation Compels Leadership and Communication

People's Food Co-op LaCrosse, WI and Rochester, MN Year founded:  1973 Equity requirement:  $100 Number of members:  8,700 Number of staff:  210 Locations:  LaCrosse, WI [...]

So Our Co-ops are Mostly White, Now What?

In the more than 30 years I’ve been involved with co-ops—student housing co-ops, food co-ops, even a worker-owned collective—almost all of the participants have been [...]

GMO Labeling Bill Update

In July 2016, congress passed a GMO labeling bill known as the Roberts-Stabenow "compromise," in reference to the two senators who crafted it, and Obama [...]

By |August 31st, 2016|Categories: Articles, Connections, Featured|Tags: , |

Employee surveys drive workplace improvements

As the competitive environment continues to heat up around us, there is increased competition for employees as well as food dollars. By creating a continuously [...]

Using the 7 Cooperative Principles as Strategic Guide

Sometimes things become so familiar to us they lose some of their meaning.  In the workshops I conduct for board members and employees there is [...]

Are You Ready to Compete? A crowded marketplace is the new reality

By Mel Braverman, Nicole Klimek, Jeanie Wells 184 May-June 2016 In the back of our minds we knew that [insert name of competitor here] was [...]