Paul and Walter, you both make very thoughtful comments here. Paul – the case mentions that the members of the SWP were aging. I think we can presume most members were older men of European heritage — due to the generational homogeneity they would likely have similar perspectives on lots of issues. How does a board tackle the diversity issue when the members themselves lack diversity? Would this be a case where bringing in outsiders would make sense? And Walter, you are absolutely correct that hindsight is 20/20. However, I do know that SWP engaged consultants during this time — including researchers from the Centre for the Study of Co-ops — but the advice they received was not heeded. Murray Fulton, a former director of the Centre, wrote a paper on the SWP case — The Restructuring of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool: Overconfidence and Agency. I’m not sure it’s freely available online – you might be able to download it here — https://www.researchgate.net/publication/46534132_The_Restructuring_of_the_Saskatchewan_Wheat_Pool_Overconfidence_and_Agency
If that link doesn’t work for you and you are interested in reading this paper, please send me an email.