LEADer Issues and Topics
A Deeper Dive into Co-op Finances
There’s a wealth of information available through your co-op’s financial statements. However, all too often directors skim over the statements or don’t know how to even approach this daunting compilation of data. In this issue we take a “deeper dive” beyond the basics, which were covered in our Winter 2010 issue. This issue covers cash flow, comparison reports, financial strategy, and capital budgets.
The Board’s Job: A Collection of the BEST
What exactly is the board's job? What are the main areas of responsibility for the co-op director? This issue is intended to provide a starting point for new board members to better understand the duties and scope of work for the co-op board and individual directors.
Great Governance: Annual Meetings
Annual meetings are a given for incorporated cooperatives. But they can be so much more than a perfunctory corporate requirement. This issue looks at why we want to have an annual meeting, some options for different ways to make them fruitful and fun, as well as some ideas from one co-op about how they do it.
Boards That Make a Difference
Board members often wonder, or even doubt, whether they are being effective or making a difference. This issue takes a look at exactly how boards can contribute in positive ways to their co-ops.
Stealing Second Base: Considering Risky Issues for the Co-op
Being a co-op board member means making business decisions, and making business decisions means embracing the risks that come with them. In this issue, we offer four articles to help directors embrace the risk that comes with the job and to provide guidance on handling risky decisions. The study guide offers a series of questions and scenarios for discussion, along with some pointers on how to have discussions about "risky" topics.
Adventures in Transparency-land: Balancing Democratic Control with Business Realities
Our co-ops are fully committed to democratic control by members. Yet at the same time, boards need to manage business information in a way that is responsible to the co-op's business interests and partners, as well. In this issue, we offer four short articles on this topic as well as a study guide of scenarios that can help guide the board's discussions and policy.
The Joy of Board Recruitment: Recipes for Success
Recruiting board members is a critical function for the co-op's long-term success and continued board effectiveness. This issue includes four short articles to inspire improvements in your board nominations and recruitment process. The study guide provides a checklist of responsibilities for an effective board nominating committee.
Expanding the Conversation
This Issue: Expanding the Conversation NCGA invited board leaders to join its designated representatives (GMs or other primary liaison) at its spring 2013 meeting in St. Paul to discuss the future of co-ops and our food co-op sector. This issue is designed to help those who attended that meeting "expand the conversation" – to take the ideas and topics discussed back to their local co-op's board and leadership team for consideration and broader discussion.
Can We Be Agile?
This Issue: Can We Be Agile? The International Year of Cooperatives is now past. Co-ops now have an opportunity to show what a superior economic model and alternative they offer. To do so, we need agile, dynamic, and successful co-op businesses. In this issue we share some recent research about the need for co-ops to address a key weakness - business agility - and some thoughts on what this can mean for food co-ops.
Be Ready for Those Growth Opportunities!
Building a culture of growth. Five stories and lessons learned from co-ops’ experiences with growth: Community Food Co-op of Bozeman; La Montanita of Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Gallup; Sacramento Co-op; Great Basin Community Food Co-op; and First Alternative of Corvallis. And then three sets of questions to help your board envision a future for your co-op.
Power for the co-op and its leaders
How do boards balance the power of their position and the need to be decisive and take action, with a deep commitment to co-op values? We offer thoughts and discussion questions on what power means, where power resides, and how your board embraces its power in a healthy, productive manner.
Grow that co-op!
Why is growth important for your co-op? Food for thought and questions to discuss as your board considers deciding what your co-op’s growth strategy is.
Why co-op, after all?
Why are our stores structured as co-ops? Is this structure still important? Relevant? An asset to our organizations?
The role and potential of board committees
We hardly ever hear about a board without also hearing about its committees. Why is this? Why do boards use committees? And what can board do to make better use of their committees?
Dealing with a crisis
Build agreements in advance so you’re prepared when a crisis hits
Thinking strategically and specifically looking at co-op demographic trends
Evaluating the Co-op General Manager
The art and science of effective GM evaluations
Understanding financials and the 8 key indicators for boards to monitor
Orientation for new directors and for building board cohesion on an ongoing basis
Enhancing board effectiveness: 2
What is board culture and how does it contribute to effectiveness
Enhancing board effectiveness: 1
Assessing board effectiveness and systems to support improvements
Guidelines and tips for productive board retreats
A deeper look at member linkage and our first issue to offer a “study guide” to help guide board discussions and further study
Board decision making
Options and tips for helping board clarify who decides and how to make decisions productively
Thoughts and suggestions on how boards can provide leadership and live up to key principles of good leadership