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Practitioners Forum programme

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Find out about the sessions that took place at Practitioners Forum 2020.

10-10.45am – Co-ops so white! Representing our diverse communities

Lucy Caldicott and Jaz Nannar, ChangeOut

Black Lives Matter, #MeToo and other movements for equality have all hit the headlines in recent times – and made a massive impact on social media. Co‑operatives pride themselves on being open and democratic. So why isn’t the co‑op movement representative of the UK population? How can we create opportunities for under-represented groups and for more diverse, positive role models?

Lucy Caldicott and Jaz Nannar of ChangeOut have been working with Co‑operatives UK alongside Locality, Plunkett Foundation and Power to Change on an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion review and plan. In this session, they shared some of their findings from this work and thoughts on how co‑ops can make equity – one of the co-operative movement’s core values – live within their organisations. Lucy and Jaz explored and built a shared understanding of what is meant by ‘power’ and ‘privilege’ in the workplace. They also explored why and how these issues might affect some colleagues more or differently than others – and why that’s problematic for all of us. Their session was aimed at increasing understanding of some complex topics – and offered a range of top tips. 

11-11.45am – Employment law update (part one)

12-12.45pm – Employment law update (part two) 

Emma Bagshaw, Seabury Legal

This year hasn’t been what we expected – and continues to bring new challenges in the world of work. Even in these exceptional times, employment law continues to evolve. These two sessions explored some of the latest employment law changes and looked ahead to the government’s plans for 2021. They covered Brexit; the continued implementation of the government’s Good Work Plan; holidays; employee status; Covid-19’s impact on employment law and more.

11-11.45am – Saving our high streets

Alice Wharton, Co-operatives UK and Susan Stuart, Jubilee Pool Penzance

An exploration of the opportunities and challenges for community buy-out of the high street through community shares funding. Community shares enable community ownership of businesses, which is a practical way to support the community wealth building agenda. Now it’s time for local authorities and established co-operative businesses to better understand how to bolster the development of community-owned co-operative businesses that could save our high streets.

11-11.45am – Getting board scrutiny right – the secret ingredients

Jacqui McKinlay, Centre for Governance and Scrutiny (CfGS)

Effective board scrutiny is important for your co-op’s success. This session explained the benefits good scrutiny can bring – and the key ingredients to getting it right. Jacqui discussed the importance of board buy‑in; how to get member voices heard; cultural components and the ways to structure scrutiny. She also offered plenty of practical advice and tips.

12-12.45pm – KPMG tax update

Ellen Feetum and Paul Casey, KPMG

Keep abreast of the latest tax developments with KPMG’s experts. Ellen and Paul provided a technical update on emerging developments, including recent tax changes and the increasing role of technology in tax. 

12-12.45pm – Harnessing the power of members

John Atherton, Co-operatives UK

Are your members a bane or bonus? With increasing pressures due to the Covid-19 crisis, this session explored approaches to mobilising people power to support co-ops’ social and commercial impact. With examples from within the co-op sector and externally, it gave practical advice on how to turn members into a greater asset.

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1.30-2.15pm – Coaching for performance (part one) 2.30-3.15pm – Coaching for performance (part two)

Jenny Holsgrove, Co-operatives UK

Discover your ability to coach! This two-part workshop explored the impact that coaching can have on a co-op by empowering members to learn, develop, unlock their potential and maximise their performance.

The first of these two sessions provided an overview to help delegates discover how to apply coaching tools and techniques with their teams. It looked at how mindset, attitude and belief all pay a critical part in a person’s journey as a coach. It also built on participants’ knowledge of open and closed questions and explored different tools and tips to start people on their coaching journey.

The second session was about trying out the learning from the first session. In groups, participants explored how different styles of coaching can impact the coachee and how they can work in different ways to unlock potential. 

1.30-2.15pm  – Risk and resilience planning

Angela Lomax, David Tolson Partnership and Emma Laycock, Co‑operatives UK

This session was for people on boards of directors, or those who work with a board and want to make their co-op more resilient through effective risk management. The Governance Panel provided guidance on how to build a risk and resilience framework so a co-op’s board can take ownership of their risk and control environment. 

1.30-2.15pm – Learning from the COVID response

Karen Creavin, The Active Wellbeing Society; Rebecca Birkbeck, The Co-op Group and Petra Morris, Friends of Stretford Public Hall

Co-ops are resilient. They build on established partnerships and strong supply chains. Many have quickly adapted and responded during Covid-19 to continue benefiting their customers, members and communities. We heard from some of these co-ops in this session. We also explored how this resilience and responsiveness can be best sustained – and how it can change future business models and strategies. 

2.30-3.15pm – Case Study: How user insights at Co-operative UK can be the catalyst for wider change

Danny Hearn, Dot Project, Wendy Carter, Co-operatives UK

2020 has seen a growth in the use of digital tools to reach customers and communities. To sustain and enhance services that integrate digital, it’s crucial to understand the evolving needs of your customers – and to align your co‑op’s objectives to your digital approach. Using a recent experience with Co‑operatives UK as a case study, Danny and Wendy walked through how user research and insights with collaborative working helped start the conversation for change at Co‑operatives UK.  

2.30-3.15pm – Managing board and member conduct 

David Alcock, Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

A practical session looking at how to deal with allegations of misconduct by members or directors. The session considered what a co-op’s constitution should provide for, issues around process, and how to manage the impact of situations of this kind. It was based on examples and real life case studies drawn from a range of co-ops, community organisations and charities – and taken from the experience that Anthony Collins Solicitors have in working directly with organisations dealing with these issues.

3.30-4.15pm – UK economic outlook

Dennis Tatarkov, KPMG

KPMG senior economist Dennis Tatarkov explained the main factors influencing the UK economy and the outlook for the next two years. The talk covered issues such as the state of public finances, the consequences of the Covid recession and how the outcome of Brexit might impact the UK economy.

Practitioners Forum 2020 was proudly sponsored by:

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