Blog article

Worker Co-operative Forum

The Worker Co-operative Forum started at 10:00 this morning and was attended by over 30 delegates. Sion Whellens and Kate Ormord opened the event explaining the Employee Co-operative Councils (ECC) role within Co-operatives UK, and their role as Board members. Now is a time for change: the ECC name is being changed to the Worker Co-operative Council, the subscriptions systems is being changed to a fairer and simpler system. Workshop 1 Ethos-PR ran the first workshop looking at marketing and PR within Co-operatives. Sean Bish started the workshop talking about getting the business case and customer service in place first. Good marketing and PR should then be built on this solid foundation. Sean Bish and Shawn Fisher also talked about types of marketing techniques and got delegates to fill in a health check to find out what marketing activities they currently do and to highlight gaps in their strategies. Workshop 2 Mark Simmonds from Co-operatives UK ran a very collaborative workshop looking at good and bad meetings, and how to run effective meetings. The workshop concluded that effective meetings should be shorter, more to the point, using concensus decision-making and good facilitation. A full mind map of the workshop will be posted on the events.coop page for the worker co-operative forum. Workshop 3 Lisa McNair from Unicorn Grocery gave an overview of Recruiting, supporting and where necessary disciplining within a worker co-operatives. Other delegates gave examples and their own experience and John Atherton asked for interested delegates to set up a working group to look at standardising resources on HR Issues to support new members. Bob Cannell commented that HR is worker co-operatives should be called member relations! Workshop 4 Lisa McNair from Unicorn Grocery gave an overview of Recruiting, supporting and where necessary disciplining within a worker co-operatives. Other delegates gave examples and their own experience and John Atherton asked for interested delegates to set up a working group to look at standardising resources on HR Issues to support new members. Bob Cannell commented that HR is worker co-operatives should be called member relations! Open Session During the open session delegates discussed “Business networking on the web” with Ryan McGarrie of Salford University, “Performance measuring and social auditing” with Adrian Ashton and “Perceptions and Experience of Co-operativesUK” with John Atherton. Bob Cannell concluded the Forum on behalf of the soon to be Worker Co-operative Council, and started a discussion to be carried on the bar about running a “Co-operatives Festival”. Why should Glastonbury have all the lime light!
Written by John Atherton
Updated: 18/09/2011