Your co-op, February 2006
This article was originally published in February 2006
Talk to the Board
Members are encouraged to ask questions or share ideas or concerns with board members during monthly Talk to the Board visits. Here are some coming dates:
- Saturday, February 25, Noon to 2 p.m.
West Seattle PCC
- Saturday, March 25, 1 to 3 p.m.
Board meeting report
There was no meeting in December. The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be Tuesday, March 28 at 5 p.m. at the co-op office. Member comment period is at 6 p.m.
Task Force activity
Even when there is no board meeting, the board’s work continues through a variety of task forces.
Each year, by majority vote, the board may create task forces to review policies, begin investigations and do preliminary work on topics of interest. Last July, the board authorized six task forces: Board Development, CEO Evaluation, Finance, Linkage, Staff Relations and Sustainability.
Task forces have no authority except through the agreement of the board as a whole. Their purpose is to make efficient use of the limited time the board has in board meetings and to optimize the board members’ expertise, as well as that of staff, the general membership and the community at large.
They do research or commission studies by outside firms, review finance reports, lead the CEO’s evaluation, plan training for new board members and map out continuing education opportunities for board members on key issues, like sustainability, for example.
With this issue, we begin an occasional series on the board’s task forces, starting with the Linkage Task Force.
What do we mean when we say “Linkage?”
Policy Governance® expert Marilyn Scholl defines linkage as “a two-way relationship, connection and association — learning about and reporting to owners.”
“Linkage with members is one of the primary focuses of our board, as it should be with any cooperative board,” says task force chair Julie Tempest. “The work of this group is key in encouraging and improving board/member communication.”
Also serving on the task force are board members Linnea Noreen, Bill Roach and Reed Schilbach. Sigrid Strom serves as a member-at-large. Board Administrator Janice Parker and Marketing Director Laurie Lombard also participate.
The task force oversees the agenda for our membership meetings, coordinates the schedule of monthly in-store board visits and takes the lead in managing board surveys of our membership.
Board chair Bob Cross says, “We’ve worked really hard to improve member participation in the governance of our co-op. We’ve invited members to give us input on topics to be covered in board retreats, revamped the member meeting format to encourage attendance, begun to use our Web site more to increase communication with members, and commissioned a satisfaction survey to gauge how members feel PCC is meeting their needs.”
The Linkage Task Force worked closely with Gilmore Research to develop the 2005 survey and is preparing a report to the members on the results. Highlights will be published in the March Sound Consumer and will be posted on our Web site.
Task force member Bill Roach notes that the task force is working on ideas for the educational components of upcoming membership meetings. “We want our meeting topics to speak to the interests of our members.
Write us with your ideas. If it’s something you want to know more about, chances are other members would like to learn more about it, too.” Contact the board via email at email@example.com or via postal mail to the co-op office.