Minneapolis, MN

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Board Leadership Development

Is An Owner Capital Campaign Right For Your Co-op?

It seems like many co-ops are either in the middle of, just finished, or are about to start a project. And all of those projects need adequate capital to be successful. Raising money from co-op owners has become a standard component of project capitalization and the amounts co-ops are raising [...]

Nominating Board Candidates

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” -- Thomas Jefferson “You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn't that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena.” -- Jon Stewart   Why screen and [...]

Own, Use, Serve, and Belong: A new paradigm for participation

By Mark Goehring, Leslie Watson 174 September-October 2014 The Participation framework—Own, Use, Serve, and Belong—has been the focus of presentations and conversations by hundreds of cooperators at the regional Co-op Cafe series produced by CDS Consulting Co-op and sponsored by the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA). In this article, we [...]

Cracking open the ‘Serve’ Nut

We all have an idea of what it means to Serve our Co-ops. In this smart and informative video, Leslie Watson "cracks open the 'Serve' nut" for us and shows us that Service can actually be a much braoder concept encompassing far more than the few of us that agree [...]

A Nested Hierarchy of Engagement

Leslie Watson, Board Member Northeast Investment Cooperative, Twin Cities, MN Participation by all stakeholders is a fundamental force in cooperatives and other democratic organizations. The International Cooperative Alliance states in their Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade that “Participation is once again becoming one of the cooperative sector’s most valuable assets.” [...]

‘Fresh Start’ Bylaws Template

UPDATED: February 27, 2016 Bylaws are an important set of governing agreements in which the member-owners of a cooperative articulate the special dual relationship they have with each other: members of an association and owners of a business. In the bylaws, the member-owners define how they will make certain decisions [...]