Board-management Relationship

Skills for Building the Board-General Manager Relationship

There is nothing more fundamental to cooperative governance than the board-GM relationship. After all, the entire leadership of the co-op rests on how the board and the general manager work together in their respective roles, which are unique and non-redundant. The work that the board must do to lead and [...]

New General Manager Establishes Strong Board Relationship

Mountain View Market Co+op Las Cruces, NM Year founded:  1975 Membership investment:  $200 Number of members:  3,700 Number of employees:  24 Retail square feet:  6,100 As most managers discover when they take on the role of general manager, the top job is all about forging positive relationships with many stakeholders:  [...]

Understanding the Meaning of “Speaking With One Voice”

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 [...]

Striking the Balance for Co-op Success

By Mark Goehring, Rebecca Torpie March-April 2017 A truly successful co-op is one that not only runs a stellar store and keeps the books in the black. Such a co-op also makes room for co-op participants—owners, customers, and staff—to play a part in its forward momentum, in a space where they are [...]

Self-Assessment Tool: General Manager Success Profile

This assessment tool is designed to help a coach and a client prioritize areas for work together.  The assessment will help the coach get to know the client in a deeper way and help the client engage in self reflection of strengths and weaknesses.  In some cases, we will work [...]

Good Reporting: Helping boards understand workplace conditions

By Michael Healy 184 May-June 2016 Co-ops bring to life their member-owners’ common values, and for most co-ops these include a desire for the co-op to be a great workplace. In the event that your co-op’s board of directors hears employees assert that something is amiss in the workplace, how [...]

Co-op General Manager Success Profile: GM Role Requires Core Competencies

By Carolee Colter, Lauren Olsen, Marilyn Scholl 183 Mar-Apr 2016 It takes a lot to manage a food co-op. Co-op general managers (GMs) are responsible not only for the retail operations but also for budgeting, financial analysis, marketing, information technology, and human resources—functions that are provided by corporate headquarters to [...]

Complaints and Operational Concerns: How Directors Can Respond Effectively

By Michael Healy 182 January-February 2016 As a director, you may notice or hear things about your co-op that may be cause for concern—or are at least worth asking about. How can you respond in a way that honors your sense of responsibility, your board’s clear delegation to the general [...]

GM Success Profile

Increasingly intense and sustained competition in our market is shifting the landscape in which co-ops operate, putting a premium on certain key competencies and skills in management. At the same time, other factors are making the GM job more complex and demanding, including: pressure on prices and margin, increasing costs [...]

Operational Wisdom from General Managers

By Thane Joyal 181 Nov-Dec 2015 Successful cooperatives are guided by strong boards, and those boards rely on strong individuals to manage the cooperative’s business enterprise with excellence. The nature and quality of the board-general manager (GM) relationship, for better or worse, influences nearly all the myriad factors that lead [...]