Leading the Co-op: Online Director Training Session I

The Mid America Cooperative Council and Center for Cooperatives are teaming up to offer training for new co-op directors and directors who want to improve their leadership skills! 

This training includes two online sessions on Tuesday, August 4th and Wednesday, August 5th. Registration is for both sessions.

Dr. John Park, the Roy B. Davis Professor of Agricultural Cooperation at Texas A&M University, will be our special guest for these sessions. Dr. Park is the state extension economist serving agricultural cooperatives in Texas where his work focuses on the effective management of agribusiness firms and marketing of food and fiber products. Dr. Park works closely with the Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council and is a director of that organization. Dr. Park teaches courses in agricultural marketing, management, and cooperation.

Session I – Governing a Co-op - Tuesday, August 4th 9:30am EST – 11:30am EST

9:30am - Welcome and Introductions 

9:40am - A Primer on Directors' Primary Duties and Responsibilities - Directors have unique duties in a cooperative structure. Directors will learn how their roles are important to the co-op's success and compliment but don't compete with the co-op's management team. We'll discuss how directors can navigate their dual roles as member-owners and directors.  

10:15am - Introduction to the Co-op Strategic Management Process - One of a director's primary responsibilities is helping to develop and guide the strategic plan for their co-op. Directors will be introduced to the strategic managment process to better understand their role in this process. 

10:35am - Understanding and Communicating Your Co-op's Value Proposition - A co-op works to benefit all members and it is vital that directors understand and effecitvely communicate the value of the co-op, beyond price competition. Directors will take-away strategies for communicating their co-op's value proposition to members and the broader community. 

**Following Session I, directors will receive Dr. Park's Multidimensional Governance Assessment, a tool that can help open directors' eyes to overlooked or neglected skills and characteristics and help directors prioritize their development and training efforts. This assessment will be referred to in Session II.  

Session II – Multidimensional Governance & Developing Your Co-op Leadership Toolbox - Wednesday, August 5th 9:30am EST – 11:30am EST

9:30am - Welcome and Introductions 

9:40am - Director Check-In: Implementing What You Learned in Session I - A roundtable discussion will give directors an opportunity to learn from one another about the ways they can implement concepts and strategies for co-op governance into their leaderhsip of their own co-op.  

9:50am - Co-op Leadership Toolbox: Introducing the Framework - A highly effective director is one who has to the tools to properly influence themselves, the board, and the cooperative. Directors will learn about Dr. Park's framework for developing three levels of effective governance - the self, the board, and the co-op. 

10:05am - The Six Characteristics of Governance - Dr. Park will share six key factors that can help directors frame an organized approach to board leadership and understand their own skills and areas for improvement. Directors will discuss in breakout groups the ways they can utilize these six tools in their co-op leadership roles. 

11:20am - A Brief Case Study: Using Your Leadership Tools Effectively as a Co-op Director - Awareness is great, but action is better. Using a case study, directors will explore the ways they can use the six factors of multidimensional governance to more effectively lead their co-op. 

11:30am - Goal Setting to Improve Your Leadership Tools - After individually completing Dr. Park's Multidimensional Governance Assessment, directors will have a good understanding of the areas where they can further develop their leadership skills. Directors will set goals for their own leadership development to continue guiding their development and training. 

Questions? Please email Charissa Gardner at gardner.1148@osu.edu