With more than 33,000 active co-owner members, the Boise Co-op is one of the nation’s largest natural food and natural body products retailers. It has lived by the Seven Cooperative Principles drafted by the International Co-operative Alliance through its 47-year history, yet, amazingly, had never created its own purpose and values. New leadership at the Co-op saw this as a fundamental opportunity to help the organization continue to successfully evolve and hired us to guide them through the process of shaping its purpose and values.
We conducted stakeholder research to better understand the organizational history, culture, and forward-looking opportunities. Next, we workshopped with Co-op directors and executive team members to collaboratively create and refine potential purpose statements. This process yielded the purpose statement, “Stand Up for Honest Food.” We created context for this purpose by defining what it means to “stand up” and what constitutes “honest food.” This fed into the development of core values for the organization: Collective Harmony, Positive Spirit of Action, and Respectful Honesty. We also designed an employee engagement plan to help educate and motivate employees about the new purpose and values.
The new purpose has provided inspiration to hundreds of employees, hundreds of supplier partners, and more than 33,000 co-owner members. It has provided focus for operational decision-making and helped direct resources for community involvement that have maximum impact. On a softer note, it was broadly cheered when it was unveiled to record attendance at the Co-op’s annual meeting.
Services:, Purpose and values consulting, Stakeholder research, Internal communication planning, Employee engagement, Executive coaching, Strategic marketing, Public relations, Content marketing, Event and sponsorship planning, Impact report creation