Co-op boards demonstrate leadership through strategic planning process by ProQuest


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									Management Tip
                Co-op boards demonstrate leadership
                through strategic planning process

By Jean Freeman, President                     when it comes to long-term leadership.     process without first reaching consensus
Jean Freeman & Associates                      One of the best tools available to         on the need to do so, as it is to fail to
                                               cooperative boards in fulfilling their     go through the planning process at all.
Editor’s note: The author is a Fairfax, Va.-   important fiduciary duties is the             Once consensus is reached, the
based consultant who specializes in            dynamic process of strategic planning.     strategic planning team can begin the
governance and communication issues for           Few people will disagree that           important work ahead. For small
cooperatives, nonprofits and for-profit        planning is important. However, many       boards, it is common for the team to
companies.                                     may be unclear about what strategic        include all sitting board members, along
                                               planning is and why it is so critical to   with the manager or CEO and key staff
                 here is no question that      the future success of the organization.    members. Some co-ops may include
                 all governing boards are         What is strategic planning? Simply      other stakeholders in the process.
                 under the spotlight           put, it is the process of determining
                 today. Due to some            where the co-op is going over coming       Review the mission
                 highly publicized             years, how it will get there and how the      Before beginning to plan for the
scandals in both publicly traded               co-op will know when it has succeeded.     future, the board should review the co-
companies and nonprofits, in which             There is no one correct method of          op’s statement of purpose, or mission
board members did not properly fulfill         planning strategically. However, there     statement. This statement should
their duties, many cooperative boards          are some key tools which should be         concisely describe why the organization
are taking a closer look at their              considered when a board takes on this      exists, what services it provides and, in
governance practices, including their          process.                                   some cases, what core values will be
long-range planning and monitoring                                                        maintained in the process.
systems.                                       Reach consensus on need                       The mission statement is the
   Some boards, however, are so                   The board must thoughtfully explore     umbrella under which all plans should
enmeshed in short-term compliance              the need for strategic planning. It is     then fit. The board should l
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