LIVING THE PRINCIPLES: PRESERVING AND ENHANCING THE CO-OPERATIVE DIFFERENCE
Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network, Conseil Coopératif Acadien Nouvelle Écosse, Nova Scotia Government & others
This panel session at the 2012 Co-operating to Build a Better Nova Scotia Conference in Halifax explored living co-operative principles. Co-operatives, guided by their co-operative principles, are different from investor-owned businesses. However co-operatives often struggle to live these principles and therefore preserve and enhance the co-operative difference. This session presents strategies to grow a co-operative business without compromising the “co-op difference”; how the cooperative principles have influenced the choice of key performance indicators (KPIs) reported by credit unions; and how a particular scorecard may help co-operatives to live the principles. Caterina Bettin, Growing without losing identity: lessons from the practice, discusses examples of how co-operatives can balance growth with their identity by following the “strawberry patch strategy” and how Just Us! Coffee Roaster has tailored this strategy to its own mission and needs. Daphne Rixon, An examination of key performance indicators reported by credit unions in North America, identifies the KPIs reported by credit unions and the various influences on selection of KPIs including the seven principles of cooperatives, strategic planning, industry benchmarks, regulations and users. Roméo Cormier, Practices for living the co-operative principles – Consumer Co-operative Planning and Sustainability Scorecard, discusses how a co-operative can live the co-operative principles by adopting practices identified in the Scorecard and using the Scorecard’s indicators to assess its performance in this regard.