John KortramJohn Kortram

It might sound controversial, but in my opinion a cooperative can only work well if members are prepared to surrender (some of) their autonomy (NOT! Their engagement, input or voice) and have their centralized body set direction and take decisions. Within the format of their governance framework there has to be the mechanism to ensure democratic voting provides the required endorsement and support. Assuming the right resources, quality and competencies are available to the cooperative, it is logic to assume they are in the best position to take/recommend strategically sound decisions that are best for the whole. I believe this is the essence of the existence of the cooperative anyway, that individual members believed they would be better served through a cooperation than on their own.
Areas that I typically see as suited for FCL are the somewhat longer term and strategic matters, when larger investments of resources are required than one member would be able to generate, where accumulation of bundled expertise comes into play and where scale matters.
Obviously, members need a clear story with explicit statements about the rationale. They should be provided the opportunity to provide their input and FCL should be willing to commit to an SLA type contract for their short and mid term performance deliverables.
It looks like the cooperative has arrived a critical stage with a turning point ahead.


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