Co-op Learning Opportunity: Enhancing Business Performance through Co-operative Management Practices

We’d like to draw attention to a great co-operative learning opportunity for our co-op members. Run by St Mary’s University of Halifax, Canada in conjunction with the Co-operative College and Sheffield Hallam University and hosted by the Co-operative Group, this three-day Executive Education Course takes place in Manchester in May 2017.

SAOS’ Deputy Chief Exec, Bob Yuill (who is an alumnus of St Mary’s), will be taking part in one of the panel discussions during the course.


Enhancing Business Performance through Co-operative Management Practices: How to Strengthen Identity, Loyalty and Participation

About the course:
An interactive professional development opportunity focused on leading thinking in co-operative management coupled with tangible examples of how to translate knowledge into action. We encourage senior managers, CEOs and board members to join us for this learning and networking event.

Date and Location:
May 17-19, 2017 (Manchester, UK) – in partnership with the Co-operative College and Sheffield Hallam University and hosted by the Co-operative Group


  • Coffee and pastries in the morning, health breaks, and lunches are included.
  • Day 1 (evening): A complimentary group dinner will be hosted at a local restaurant for all course participants.

Some course fee subsidies are available on the basis of financial need.

The course content is enriched through the partnership among Saint Mary’s University, the Co-operative College, and Sheffield Hallam University:

  • Get yourself into gear with context setting including a historical perspective on the co-operative movement and model combined with how current day co-operative enterprises fits within a wider social solidarity economy.
  • Learn how to manage the co-operative equilibrium. The focus is placed on a model that captures the uniqueness of co-operative organizations, building on the dual nature of a member’s usership and ownership. We will address issues of core values and their purpose, the co-operative business model, and balanced scorecard to lead into discussion of a co-operative equilibrium. Emphasis is placed on the alignment from co-op values to key performance indicators. Cases of cooperatives successfully managing partially or totally this equilibrium will be discussed.
  • Move from a potential identity crisis to the New Co-operative Paradigm (NCP). The traditional co-operative model is being challenged leading to an identity crisis. A model to better understand this reality will be introduced, taking into consideration both co-operative rules and market rules. In response to this state of crisis, a NCP is being proposed, showing how the emerging market rules can be of great advantage to co-operatives. Examine case studies and deep dive into implementation success stories such as the customer orientation strategy.
  • Gain exposure to emerging concepts in the field of management and governance in the context of co-operative enterprises. Explore the theory on new types of co-operative business (e.g. social and solidarity co-operatives). This course will provide you with tools to better understand the existing culture in your co-operative along with techniques that promote engaged participation by members.
  • Course Facilitators/Instructors: Daniel Côté and Karen Miner in all locations and the addition of Rory Ridley-Duff, Cilla Ross, and Simon Parkinson in Manchester UK.

Executives in Residence: Guest presenters will provide additional diversity into the course content to complement the expertise of the course instructors and participants.

For more information go to or contact Erin Hancock at



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