Board-management Relationship

Good Governance Makes Community Stronger

Maple City Market Goshen, IN Year founded: 1976 Membership investment: $100 Number of members: 3,000 Number of employees: 25 Recently, Goshen, Indiana was named “Community of the Year” by the state’s Chamber of Commerce. For many years, this northern Indiana town on the border of Michigan held many undiscovered charms. [...]

Using Monitoring Reports to Ensure Organizational Alignment

The Board’s Job Creating board policies is no easy task. Clearly articulating the board’s expectations of a general manager takes a lot of energy and focus—so boards can justifiably congratulate themselves once they’ve written down their expectations in a way that a manager can easily understand. But the board’s work [...]

Generating Board and GM Efficiency through Monitoring

Medford Food Co-op Medford, OR Year founded: 2011 Member investment: $100 Number of members: 3,200 Number of employees: 35 Retail square footage: 4,300 + 700 off-site café When Anne Carter came to Medford Food Co-op in Medford, Oregon, the startup co-op had been open for two years and was still [...]

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 [...]