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Co-op Strategy

Your Board has a problem, and we need your help. During a series of recent Board meetings (https://board.willystreet.coop/board_minutes/board_minutes_home) we’ve discussed the benefits of creating a long-term strategic plan for your Co-op. The Board feels a disciplined approach to planning for the future would be a beneficial exercise as we encounter more competition, changing consumer behaviors, growth/expansion opportunities and technological change. The General Manager and staff also think strategic planning would be a useful exercise as its output would provide guidance to the management team on how to plan operations for the future. Additionally, your Board recently created an ad-hoc strategic planning committee to examine the most effective way forward for this process.

However, during all of our discussions we’ve struggled with one thing: how to effectively engage as many Owners in the long-term planning process as possible. The Board and staff have mechanisms to collect and understand your current wants and needs through annual surveys, member feedback forms and face-to-face interactions which occur every day at your Co-op; however, what we don’t have is a mechanism to understand where you want to take your Co-op in the future.
 

Questions
So, here’s where we need your help. Send your Board an email atand help us with two questions:

  • First: How can the Board most effectively engage with you and other Owners during the long-term planning process (e.g. a series of focus groups, traditional surveys, social media, etc.)?
  • Second: how would you define“the Willy Street Co-op difference” today?
  • Third: what should “the Willy Street Co-op difference” be five years from now?

Your Board appreciates this feedback in advance of beginning the long-term strategic planning process.

October meeting

  • First Board education session of the year! The topic was on Owner Relations.
  • Structure review of its current committees. David Grace appointed to the Finance Committee  and Owners-at-large Fae Dremock and Ankur Malhotra to the Patronage Refund and Non-Owner Surcharge Committee.
  • Community Reinvestment Fund set at $14,000 for 2010.
  • Executive session discussion and possible release of executive session minutes.
  • Fair Share Reimbursement was approved, and strategic planning was also discussed.

December meeting

  • Review of a variety of reports, and also set the February retreat agenda.

Ongoing projects

  • The Finance Committee reviews monthly financial reports.
  • The Patronage Refund and Non-Owner Surcharge Committee continues to look into the advantages and disadvantages of the non-Owner surcharge.
  • Expansion opportunities in the greater Madison area continue to be explored.
  • A Strategic Planning Committee has been formed, to delve into long-range planning for the Co-op.

Educational Sessions

  • The Board will be engaging in educational sessions from 6:00-6:45pm immediately prior to the Board meeting. The topic for December is: Accounting and Financial Information. All Owners are welcome to attend!

Communicate!

  • The next Owner Forum will take place on Tuesday, December 15th from 5:30pm-6:00pm in front of the housewares display (across from the bulk coffee area). Snacks will be provided. Come meet your representatives and make your voice heard! Additionally, you can write them anytime at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Board minutes: https://board.willystreet.coop:444/board_minutes/board_minutes_home.