LEADer - 2013 Spring

Can We Be Agile?
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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.  

We Need Agile Co-ops! - Gail Graham
"A recent McKinsey consulting group study reported that co-ops are often slow to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities....  We need to take this insight to heart.  We live in a rapidly changing retail environment, and we must be agile to keep up with the changes and to remain in a position to deliver value to our member-owners."   

A Blueprint for Co-op Growth - Martha Whitman
The International Co-operative Alliance has prepared a Blueprint for a Cooperative Decade as a way to challenge co-ops to become the acknowledged leader in the economic, social, environmental sustainability model preferred by people, and the fastest growing form of enterprise.  This Blueprint identifies five critical areas for co-ops to focus on in working towards this goal.  

Member Engagement Increases Agility:  A Case Study of Mississippi Market - Paige Lettington
This story describes how Mississippi Market Co-op, in St. Paul, Minnesota, engaged members through surveys and focus group discussions in a way that brought greater alignment about the co-op's future and plans.

Study Guide - Cindy Owings and Martha Whitman
Here are some questions to help guide a board discussion about your co-op's agility in three areas:

• Agility in decision making
• Ability in pursuing new opportunities
• Agility in sourcing and developing talent

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