Building Alignment

Expanding to a Multi-Store Co-op: Build capacity from the inside out

By Jeanie Wells 171 March-April 2014 Your market study promises great sales. Developers are wooing you into their properties. Staff and shoppers are clamoring for more space. Adding a second store seems like a piece of cake, right? Not quite. Ask any leader of a food co-op that has made [...]

Governing With Excellence, Using Awareness and Discipline

By Thane Joyal 166 May-June 2013 Why is it that some of our retail food cooperative boards really make a powerful difference in their communities, while others flounder? What can we learn from strong boards, and what can we learn from those that are struggling? This article focuses on two [...]

Communities: Align, Engage, and Participate

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!  

Healthy Board Dissent

By Todd Wallace 161 July - August - 2012 Our co-op boards are groups elected and charged with a common purpose: fulfilling the legal and moral obligations of their co-op, on behalf of a diverse set of member-owners. Their fiduciary responsibilities demand high-quality deliberation and decision-making to ensure both the [...]

Cooperative Strategic Leadership Article

By Art Sherwood 157 November - December - 2011 There has been much discussion, debate and downright argument about the role of the board in the strategic process of our co-ops. "Isn't that getting into operations? Aren't our hands tied by our governance system? Isn't "strategy" a taboo word to [...]

Meaningful Metrics: General manager reporting closes the accountability loop

By Todd Wallace 150 September - October 2010 Successful reporting is essential to maintaining a positive board-management relationship. A sound process—one that includes the creation of meaningful metrics—is a powerful tool that closes the accountability loop and demonstrates organizational accomplishment. Having these two components in place builds alignment, engagement, and [...]

Developing a shared vision and building alignment

What will your co-op look like in 10 years? How do you build a shared vision in your leadership group? How do you continue to build that vision as you build your membership base? How to sustain frequent and broad communication of vision among all stakeholders?

500 Co-ops in 10 Years!

By Marilyn Scholl 119 July - August - 2005 When I get calls and emails from people looking for information on how to start a food co-op, I’m glad I can send them to the Cooperative Grocers Information Network website (CGIN) and the How to Start a Food Co-op manual [...]