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    • #8143
      Janet TaylorJanet Taylor

      I just stopped by to check on other responses and realized my comments from late last week didn’t save. Uggg. Here goes version 2.

      Addressing the questions, here are my thoughts.
      1. The most significant cause of the failure of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool as a co-operative was in not understanding the wants and needs of the members. The case refers to an ageing membership and how they were moving their business elsewhere. I don’t see where SWP connected with their members to understand why the younger generation wasn’t joining and why farmers were moving their business elsewhere.

      2. While none of the groups are blameless in the failure I believe that that Management was most responsible followed by the Board. Based on what I read I feel that Management presented information in a such a way as to advance their goals. They did not engage the Board in the long term strategic vision of SWP. Of course the Board should have stood up to Management to demand they be involved, however the Board was likely much less experienced in running a business and relied on Management to give them the necessary information.

      3. SWP should have at least consulted with their members, and ideally with other wheat farmers, to understand the needs and wants of their target market. Using a panel, focus group or town hall to gather input into what the members and potential members wanted would have offered one view of the future.
      SWP’s Board and Management could have participated in strategic planning using scenarios to look at different possible futures and make a decision together. This would have created a shared vision and purpose.
      Once the Board and Management decided on a vision and purpose they could have communicated with their members to create greater solidarity.

      4. I don’t believe that the failure was unavoidable. Had the Board and Management worked together and truly understood their options, determined a way forward and engaged their members they would have a chance at continuing as a co-op. The organization would likely have looked different and had a new focus however it could have continued to operate.

    • #8145
      Walter PreugschasWalter Preugschas

      I agree on the importance of developing a new shared vision. These were changing times.

    • #8154
      Jen BudneyJen Budney

      Great response, Janet, I’m very sorry you had to write that twice. I’ll let the education team know and they will look into this. Your responses remind me that in situations of interdependency, causes and effects can be linked in complicated ways. Why did the board not connect with members? Because they were overconfident that they understood the members? Why were they overconfident? Because they lacked diversity? Why did they lack diversity? Because they didn’t engage in outreach? etc. i think when times are simple and reasonably predictable, boards can get away with a lack of diversity, but they are in trouble when rapid changes come and they don’t have that diversity of perspectives built in.

    • #8194
      Janet TaylorJanet Taylor

      The issue could have been at my end. Working from home creates some challenges with technology.

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