The purpose of the Board is to govern and guide the Co-op on behalf of the members. It does so through written policies covering four areas:
1. Ends or long-term goals for the Co-op.
2. Board-General Manager Relationship — Delegates operational authority to the General Manager, specifies GM accountability and describes how the Board fulfills its fiduciary responsibility by monitoring progress towards ends and compliance with policies.
3. Executive Limitations — Stipulate that the General Manager is authorized to use any means he or she chooses to achieve the prescribed ends except those means that are explicitly excluded. For example, don’t break the law; avoid financial conditions that would jeopardize the Co-op.
4. The Board’s Governance Process — Specifies governing methods, Board job description, agenda planning, Board President’s role, Directors’ code of conduct and more.
Board members serve three-year terms and are not compensated. The Board meets monthly and encourages other member-owners to run for the Board, especially members who:
- Are visionary — who can see past the way things are now, and see what might be.
- Are conceptual thinkers — who have the ability to see issues in their proper context; to see which principles an issue or event falls under.
- Grasp the big picture — who are adept at putting each issue into a perspective guided by a larger view.
- Are connected to the ownership — who are committed to seeking out, listening to, and learning from members’ ideas, opinions and values and principles regarding Weavers Way.
- Demonstrate moral courage — who are willing and able to stand up and speak out even when it is uncomfortable.
- Can work in a group — who are capable of working through differences, and respect diverse points of view; can allow others to lead; and can accept responsibility and delegate authority.
How the Board provides responsible and constructive oversight has a critical impact on creativity and vitality of the Co-op. Weavers Way uses a form of board management that emphasizes broad goals (Ends) while providing clear guidelines on what the General Manager and his staff cannot do (Limitations). What CAN be done is left up to the interpretation of the GM. These Ends and Limitations are spelled out in the Board Policy Manual.