For many years, startups looking for an organizational structure had to adapt governance policies from existing co-ops. It certainly helped, but wasn’t efficient to have to translate the differences between an established board and one that was just beginning. Now startups have policy templates that are geared to address the needs of groups in Stages 1 and 2 of the Four Cornerstones in Three Stages new food co-op development model.
Ben Sandel, a board leadership development consultant, said that these templates will give startup groups a roadmap for how to establish a newly created board, and how that board can get its work done. Included in the startup policy templates are agreements for working together, a task list and suggested board calendar, how to set up charter committees, do budgeting, as well as establishing a relationship with a project manager or general manager. Everything a startup group needs to get started is all there.
Sandel said the resource was created when CDS Consulting Co-op saw the need. Having led a startup project himself, he knows the great benefits behind this template. “There’s not a lot of resources directly relating to startup boards,” he said. The idea behind the template development is to give people tools for getting comfortable with co-op governance early on their organizational history. It will save startups time and money, as well as avoid potential conflicts. “These resources will help them focus on the work they need to do,” he said. “It’s a smooth way for startups to lead that will take them down the road to effective governance.”