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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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