Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Decide the future of the Co-op!

Join the "Co-op Conversation"!

The Co-op Conversation is a board-initiated effort to ask members about the future of the Co-op. Read the excerpt from the vision statement below, and stay tuned for more information! You'll have opportunities to join meetings, take surveys, and work with other Co-op members to decide the direction of the Co-op.

From the Co-op Conversation Vision Statement:

The Olympia Food Co-op has grown and evolved to meet the needs of our membership, yet it’s been many years since our organization came together to decide upon our collective future. During this time our community and our world have changed in many ways. We face a weakening economy, rising inequality, and unprecedented ecological crises. The Co-op is also confronting challenges, such as the changing market, expanding customer demographics, and the cost of maintaining an equitable labor system. How can we respond to this climate as a collectively-run, consensus-based not-for-profit business, and what can our organization do to make the world and our community a better place for the next generation? As the Co-op expands to better serve our community, it is time to check in with the membership, staff, and the board to understand where best to put our energy and focus, and to build mechanisms for increased communication organization-wide, in order to foster unity and strength as a food co-op.

To achieve the goals of this engagement process, we will conduct extensive outreach to all segments of our membership, and prioritize engaging as many members as possible in an inclusive operation that seeks to bring many voices to the table. Then, with the guidance of a skilled facilitator, a series of discussions will be held, and other activities will be employed, to draw out our commonalities and expand upon our assets. Working with the Member Relations Committee, the board and staff, the facilitator will issue a report of findings and recommendations for our organization to use as a roadmap of priorities, and an indicator of our collective position. In coming together, we also seek to develop, in concert, methods that make sense for us as a group to allow communication to flourish, so that the organization can adequately respond to emerging needs and opportunities in an uncertain future.

This process will be a success with the enthusiastic participation of as many members, staff, and board as possible. The Co-op Conversation is an extraordinary opportunity for the Co-op to connect and create solutions for our community. The outcome will be an organization re-energized and clearly focused, with responsive and sustainable communication mechanisms, and a deeper understanding of how to move forward with our mission in a changing environment.