Saturday, December 1, 2012

2022 Vision - More Open Owners' Sessions

Well. It turns out that my information about an open session for owners to discuss WSM's 2022 Vision, and its four goals, was correct.

And, to their credit, the Board of WSM are now going to extend those sessions, over the next few Board Meetings, so as to have one session before each Board Meeting, to cover each of the four goals, which goals can
be found on Page 4 of WSM's last Annual Report.

I would still prefer that the business of setting strategy in a co-op, which, by definition, is supposed to be democratically controlled by its owners, was being driven by its owners, rather than its corporate office management team.

But, some democracy is better than none. And it's only 'some' democracy if we take part.

Board Meetings are held generally held on the third Wednesday of each month (except January) in the conference room above Panzanella restaurant in Carrboro. The open sessions will begin at 6.00pm.

I'm not entirely sure what the precise schedule is going to be for the remaining sessions. But, you can confirm by writing to:

I wasn't able to attend the first session. I learned of the session one day before it was being held. And had other plans. But I will be attending the remaining three.

It is no secret that I have a pretty dim view of the efforts of our Board to promote democracy in our co-op. Er ... one day's notice? I know I'm not the only owner who thinks this. The only way to change it is to turn up.

And don't feel restricted by what you want to discuss. The Board and the corporate office management team are the servants of the co-op, not its masters.

Nothing is set in stone, until we say it is. If you want different goals, say so. If you want different matters to be addressed by the suggested goals, say so. If you missed a session, and still want to talk about another goal, well, this is your co-op, say so.

At the next session, I, for one, will be wondering why we have to be holding these discussions in a manner that is guided by the Board and the corporate office management team, and why, for example, we can not have our own discussion groups, where we owners are the ones setting the agenda for the next ten years of our co-op.

I will be wondering why we need to be planning to make WSM ever larger and more complex, when, perhaps, we should be focusing our time, energy and money on getting the last expansion right.

I will be wondering if, perhaps, we might not become a more intimate co-op once again, if, over the next ten years, we thought about becoming a loose association of stand-alone co-op's, interacting democratically with other organizations of similar intent, rather than perpetuating an increasingly remote 'empire.'

But. Those are my thoughts. They aren't the only ones floating around the co-op. And they are by no means the best. This co-op belongs to all of us. Let's turn up to these open sessions, and remind ourselves of that fact.