Board Development

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during election season and annual meeting planning, but contact beyond that can be very limited. At many co-ops, neither the board nor the marketing team truly [...]

Changing the Board Nominations Process

Ozark Natural Foods Fayetteville, Arkansas Year founded:  1971 Member investment:  $140 Number of members:  9,300 Number of staff:  97 Retail square feet:  9,000 Ozark Natural Foods had a legacy of internal conflict and high board turnover.  Historically, people didn’t necessarily run for the board because they wanted to serve the [...]

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 [...]

Connecting the Dots: Strategic Board Leadership in Action

By Thane Joyal 185 July-Aug 2016   The future is unknowable. Or is it?  Courageous leadership relies in large measure on wise choices. In his entertaining novels, Robert Parker often references the military strategist Clausewitz for the proposition that you should “plan not for what you think your enemy will [...]

Ensuring Meaningful Elections

By Thane Joyal 175 November-December 2014 Within a consumer cooperative, the purpose of electing the board of directors from among the owners is to democratically control the co-op. All fiduciary responsibility for the cooperative rests with the board of directors. Consequently, everything that happens because of the cooperative happens because of [...]