I wrote a comment to Don’s post, but it was too long for Blogger to accept…. I have a close friend who started one of the first VT L3Cs a couple of years ago, and his intent was to signal that they weren’t out to get rich but to do something interesting and useful that [...]
Noted for the future: Chris Heuer interviews writer and speaker Clay Shirky. The important moment for me come in at around 10:15, continuing to the end, where he desires a new model for governance and corporate structures. He wants a co-op model, but doesn’t know it yet. I plan to educate him.
An excellent 3,300 word article in Strategy + Business on the cooperative advantage. A very good read. Cooperatives are often assumed to be merely local affiliations of small and midsized companies, and therefore limited in scope and reach. But their deep roots in their countries of origin — as well as their surprising pervasiveness and [...]
Saturday is Dairy Day at the Co-op. Free food samples, hayrides, music, and big news this year: sunshine! I’ll be there around lunch for an hour or two with my board member badge on. It’s a great community event.
The CCMA party was held at The Compound in Atlanta. Weird place. Had fun. The tent had fans, but acted like a greenhouse, so it was pretty hot in there. The indoor area had A/C, but they left the doors open so it wasn’t that cool. Really loud; hard to talk. Kind of a weird [...]
I’m at the Consumer Cooperative Management Association conference in Atlanta. This morning Peter Couchman from the Midcounties Co-operative in England (near Oxford) presented a (probably well-known) parable during his keynote address. I paraphrase: There once was a highly developed Buddhist guru who had the ability to transport himself to any place in the universe. He [...]
Yesterday Mark and I drove down to Andover MA to meet with Walden. We three are running a (pro-bono) session for a Coop consulting group next month on technology strategy. Because Kate wasn’t feeling well, we went to Panera for three hours. The place was hoppin’ with businesspeople! Above you see Walden coaching Mark on [...]
We had our Co-op annual meeting tonight. As board president, it means I’m more or less running the show. The face of the meeting at least. Luckily we have a great staff and I can pretty much show up half-an hour before and everything is all set up. But I have to have an agenda [...]
Terry Appleby, General Manager of the Hanover Co-op, of which I am proud to be the current board president, wrote: On January 6th, 1936, in the middle of the Great Depression, 17 families from Hanover, New Hampshire and Norwich, Vermont gathered to discuss the creation of a society of cooperation to meet their common needs. [...]
Following de Vulpian’s talk at the SoL conference, we heard remarks from Anne Murray Allen, the director for Knowledge and Intranet Management at Hewlett-Packard, and Arie de Geus, a former Royal Dutch Shell strategist and SoL co-founder. HP is an interesting case study for what I call The Web as Organizational Mirror™. In the 1990′s [...]
Some time ago I mentioned a Minnesota law regarding hybrid Coop/LLC business structures that was winding its way through the legislature. It passed (a while back) but I just found the actual statute. Here’s the Google query that will bring up relevant results.
2003 Board President’s Report for the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society, Inc. Independent and Interdependent — Creating Our Future Together The Co-op is committed to running a profitable and responsible business. We are financially strong and our increasing sales indicate excellent customer satisfaction. The Board of Directors has a fiduciary responsibility to guarantee the financial health [...]
It’s been a busy two weeks for me as regards Co-ops. Last Saturday, January 31, our co-op held a board and management retreat. We invited the Brattleboro Food Co-op Board President up to participate. Yesterday, February 7, the Brattleboro Food Co-op held a board retreat, and invited the general manger and board presidents from five [...]
The 48th annual CCMA conference will be held June 10-12 in Minneapolis, MN. The Consumer Co-operative Management Association conference is a highlight of my annual business travel. More details as they arise. If you’re interested in tuning in to a vibrant, progressive, open and enthusiastic group of business-people, this is a highly recommended event. There [...]
New discovery: There’s a Yahoo Group for programmer cooperatives! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/programmercoops/ And one on worker-owed co-ops in general: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/workerownedcoop/
Well, I see the conversation over at Wealth Bondage didn’t stop while I took the weekend off. Some very good discussion in the comments to this post. Mike Edwards has some especially good points. Great new weblog to track. To capture my own thinking in one place, I’m going to post comment(s) to other blogs [...]
Co-op Atlantic is a “‘second-level” co-op — that is, it is a co-op made up of co-ops. To quote: “Co-op Atlantic is the second largest regional co-operative wholesaler in Canada, and has a membership of 135 co-operative enterprises.
Cooperative Development Services is a nonprofit organization created and governed by the cooperative community of the Upper Midwest for the purpose of developing cooperative businesses in all sectors of the economy. Note: I have worked with several people from CDS and they are great. The ICA Group Provides employee ownership, business development, and job retention [...]
Isthmus Engineering is a cooperatively-owned engineering and manufacturing company. Independent Frabrication is an enployee-owned designer and manufacturer of high-end bicycles. The Associated Press is a cooperative. Huh.
Here is a good starting point for cooperative research: http://www.wisc.edu/uwcc/
One: Voluntary and Open Membership Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination. Two: Democratic Member Control Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making [...]
The Happy Tutor has an inspiring essay over at Wealth Bondage. it started me thinking about how important Coops could be to The Change. It’s an existing business structure and relatively easy to set up. Many people assume that Coops are just small-time natural food stores, but there are also producer coops (like Land-O-Lakes and [...]