Hiring a General Manager

Updated in 2017-18, this manual is the result of a collaboration between Columinate and National Co+op Grocers. It guides boards of directors of food cooperatives [...]

Hiring a General Manager

Updated in 2017-18, this manual is the result of a collaboration between Columinate and National Co+op Grocers. It guides boards of directors of food cooperatives [...]

Training for soft skills

Yes, you can teach empathy, rapport and authenticity to your staff. Even those who join your staff with a high degree of these “soft skills” [...]

Real Estate Resource Guide

This guide seeks to clarify the tools and resources available for food co-ops to efficiently secure and develop the physical space needed for their store. [...]

Deepening the Work of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

By LaDonna Sanders–Redmond PDF download of article:  198_redmond-sanders_diversity_seward_co-op_sept-oct_2018 Seward Community Co-op (Minneapolis, Minn.) began its equity work in the fall of 2013. Seward’s second store, Friendship, [...]

Video Field Guide: Membership Growth

Ben Sandel is a board leadership consultant and capital campaign expert working with startups and established co-ops helping them to reach their fundraising goals using [...]

Get caught up on what's been happening at the 2018 Cooperative Cafe series focusing on Expanding the Vision of 'We'.

Click for inspiring videos, photos, and story-telling quilts capturing the powerful thinking from each of the events that took place around the US in 2018.

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CBL 101

Cooperative Board Leadership 101

More than 3,500 co-op leaders have participated in a CBL 101 since 2005. The day provides a strong foundation for directors by covering these topics: Cooperative principles, values and history, legal roles and responsibilities, cooperative governance, financial understanding using the balance sheet.

With the CBL 101 built into your co-op’s orientation plan, the session provides value both in the short term for those attending each session, and in the long term by maintaining a shared foundation for your board as directors come and go.

Cooperative Cafe

Cooperative Cafe

The Co-op Cafe provides a day of highly interactive and engaging strategic conversations designed to build shared understanding and alignment at your co-op and among co-ops. Cafe conversations focus on participation, and building community and meaningful relationships in our co-ops as essential elements of growing our co-ops.

Cafe presentations and roundup videos are available here.

Welcoming Managers New to Cooperatives

June 13th, 2018|0 Comments

Remember the first time you walked into a food cooperative? Maybe your initial reaction fell somewhere along the continuum of “I found my people” to “what in the world is this place?” Maybe you liked [...]

Cultivating a Culture of Appreciation

March 6th, 2018|0 Comments

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 [...]

What Drives Co-op Employee Engagement

March 9th, 2017|3 Comments

Workplace employee engagement is a hot topic.  Open any human resources publication and you’ll find countless articles on making work fun, motivational and results-oriented.  No matter what the individual strategies are to achieve that, the [...]

Co-op Fair Brings Community Together

November 2nd, 2016|0 Comments

Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, N.C. is continually working to cultivate community connections.  They host multiple events every year, and the Co-op Fair is one special event that brings hundreds of co-op owners together for [...]

Creating Board Holism in Board Communication

October 5th, 2016|1 Comment

Here are a few examples of recurring board processes:  nominations, recruiting and elections; GM evaluation; GM compensation; board self-evaluation; setting board priorities; agenda planning; officers roles and elections; code of conduct review and consideration of [...]

Guiding the Fundamentals of Co-op Business

April 10th, 2019|0 Comments

Seward Community Co-op Minneapolis, MN Year founded: 1972 Member investment: $75 Number of members: 20,000 Number of employees: 270 Locations: Franklin and Friendship grocery stores, cafe, production kitchen, administrative offices Ray Williams [...]

Responding to Employee Concerns

Co-op employees will at least occasionally bring complaints and concerns to the board or individual directors, yet the board itself is ill-suited for the task [...]

How to be an Effective Board President

What’s the difference between an excellent board president and a so-so one? Being an effective president requires a host of proficiencies, attributes and knowledge—it’s no [...]

Key Financial Indicators

The CBLD template Financial Conditions policy and sample report suggest that boards and managers regularly monitor a number of key indicators of financial health. Here [...]