Co-op Culture

Cultivating a Culture of Appreciation

According to Gallup News State of the Workforce report in 2017, overall only 30% of employees feel engaged at their jobs. This dismal statistic is a strong invitation for employers in all business sectors to consider the type of work culture that might contribute to a sense of disaffection and [...]

Leading Our Co-ops Beyond Customer Service to Cooperative Service

By Brittany Baird, Rebecca Torpie 194 Jan.-Feb. 2018 As food co-ops forge ahead in the “the new normal,” they often find themselves in the precarious place of trying to both differentiate from and conform to competitors. From the consistent progression of conventional grocery stores towards natural products offerings, to the growing threat [...]

Open Book Management: Now is the Time!

By Melanie Reid Co-ops continue to face an increasingly tough marketplace. Competition for employees is as tough as it is for food dollars. One strategy for attracting and retaining talented and passionate staff members is to build a culture of strong employee engagement. Open Book Management (OBM) has the potential to [...]

Appreciating the Diversity of Member Needs and Motivations

By Marilyn Scholl 140 January - February - 2009 In my work with food co-op boards and staff over the past 30 years, one of the questions I have often encountered is this: How can we get more people more involved at the co-op? The question has prompted a lot [...]

Amplify Cooperative Impact through Participation

The democratic structure of cooperatives allows people the opportunity to have a real influence on business goals and outcomes through their investment, patronage, feedback, and aspirations.  It’s one of the most defining features of cooperation, especially compared to other business models where social or environmental impact may be considered incidental.  [...]

Building Partnerships Across Race and Class

By Jade Barker 179 July-August 2015 Cooperative grocery stores across the country are making efforts to integrate their cooperatives across race and class. How did they get into this work? What are they doing? What are they learning? And what are the benefits? Seeking answers to these questions, I reached [...]

Cooperative Communication Conundrums: Exploring paths to alignment and healing when a cooperative encounters controversy

By Thane Joyal 179 July-August 2015 To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will [...]

Reaching the Co-op’s Owners

By Patricia Cumbie 179 July-August 2015   Food cooperatives have a special relationship with their owners and customers, but even the best relationships need to be continually nurtured and cultivated. In a rapidly changing marketplace, one in which skillful competitors can outstrip other grocers on price, convenience, and amenities, customer [...]

Reinventing our Cooperative Democracy: A Conversation

By Art Sherwood, Todd Wallace 175 November-December 2014 In 2013, the International Cooperative Alliance, in its “Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade,” identified the elevating of participation as a key component of its 2020 Vision for more and stronger cooperatives. The “Blueprint” states that, “Democratic member participation is the best-known feature [...]