Using Ends to Tell the Story

The author Stephen Covey made “begin with the end in mind” a famous touchstone with his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Beginning with the end in mind is “Habit #2.” Of all the habits he writes about, this one involves the most reflection, pushing the reader to [...]

Ends Outline Co-op Communication Strategy

Three Rivers Market Knoxville, TN Year founded: 1976 Number of members: 8,200 Member investment: $200 Number of employees: 40 Retail square feet: 10,000 A few years ago, Jackie Arthur, the general manager at Three Rivers Market in Knoxville, TN, decided to switch up her approach to co-op communications with her [...]

Telling Stories with Intention

In our digitally-connected universe, there has been an explosion of stories—and many of them come to us like processed food. Quick, canned, too many empty calories. So much of what people encounter in the form of news or stories about organizations or individuals feels inconsequential or insincere. All of us [...]

Using Storytelling Techniques for Owner Linkage

Flatbush Food Co-op Brooklyn, New York Year founded: 1976 Number of members: 3,500 Member investment: $200 Number of employees: 70 Retail square footage: 8,000 The Flatbush Food Co-op has been in business as a trusted institution in Brooklyn since the 1970s, yet given the increasing competition, and with expansion a [...]

Making Smarter Strategic Decisions through Board Engagement with Owners

When boards and management make decisions with the long game of co-op impact in mind, a powerful relationship with owners can develop. Strategic decision-making can be an opportunity to build a strong, participatory co-op culture that understands that the leadership is obliged, by virtue of its fiduciary responsibility, to make [...]

Participation: Systems & Structures

Systems & Structures within a cooperative are essential to creating and maintaining strong communication between co-op stakeholder groups.  Rebecca Torpie shares some brief points about how these systems can better be leveraged to create and sustain meaningful engagement at your co-op.

On Participation

In her work as a Participation & Engagement consultant for cooperatives, Rebecca Torpie gets to see many successful campaigns engendering authentic relationships between co-op stakeholders.  From members, to staff, to community members, the connections between these groups is so powerful, and Rebecca shares with you some of the best strategies [...]

Board Communication: Using the Board’s Unique Perspective to Increase Owner Engagement and Participation

There’s commonly a remarkable diversity among how the members of a co-op’s board of directors and how co-op staff see and understand the co-op. And the perception of the myriad owner members are as distinct and individual as the members themselves.  And yet each group is holding a unique piece [...]

4 ways to engage employees in your company’s mission

The concept of employee engagement has been around for many years. While similar to employee satisfaction, engagement is not synonymous with satisfaction. It’s possible for an employee to be satisfied with their workplace, yet not feel engaged. Engagement means that employees have a deeper connection to the mission and goals [...]

Who Decides? Owner Participation in Cooperative Decisions

Cooperatives are a shared asset, managed for the common good of the owners.  At its heart, cooperation is a human enterprise that begins with relationships, predicated on the idea that the co-op’s strength is democracy and participation.  The ongoing quality of those relationships are built, strengthened, and even tested in [...]