“Culture is to an organization what water is to a fish—it is the environment that exists all around us.”
If I asked you to describe the culture of your food co-op in one word, what would it be? How would you know if others in your organization feel the same way?
There has been a good deal of conversation, written literature, and even some organizations creating positions specifically designed to be more proactive in managing the culture in our organizations. If we accept the idea that all organizations have a culture, the next logical question is: what are we doing to manage our food co-op’s culture?
The fact that food co-ops, like all cooperatives, are owned by their members gives us some guidance for a possible cultural landscape, but not a definitive path. The seven cooperative principles and cooperative values give us further instruction, but principles are just words on paper or on a computer screen unless they are implemented.
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