Cooperative Communication

Dear Members,

Recently I had the pleasure of taking part in a series of follow-up meetings with employees throughout the organization to discuss the results of our 2019 Employee Survey. Lori Hildbrand, our Co-op’s Director of Administrative Operations, did an outstanding job of walking us through the data. As usual, I was impressed with the collective genius in the room.

One subject in particular from the survey results that jumped out at me was the topic of communication. I write a lot about the importance of communication, which goes hand in hand with a commitment to transparency. When I first started here in the fall of 2016, one of the first things that impressed me was the extensive network of communication channels in place among Co-op employees and members. Since then, that network has only grown. My regular columns, just like this one, are all a part of that effort. More than being part of a strategic messaging endeavor–thought that certainly exists, too–to me communication here has developed dynamically and organically, which is the way it should be. We have such a strong co-op, filled with dedicated, committed, and tenacious people who are making a difference in numerous ways. The way to honor and share that is to make communication a priority and then let it grow and develop over time, constantly looking for ways to improve it. That’s one of the reasons why the employee survey is so important. Moving forward, the results of the survey, coupled with the results of our Employee Experience Project, will guide us as we continue to look for ways to improve communication.

There’s a famous quote by George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright, critic, and political activist, that always comes to mind when I think about communication:

“The single biggest problem in communication,” said Shaw, “is the illusion that it has taken place.”

The point is that you can have many communication channels in place, and that doesn’t mean that people are taking advantage of them. So I’m writing today to encourage our members to also make communication a priority, and to seek it out and take advantage of it here. Ask questions, send emails, browse our website, follow our social media channels, and so on. Don’t see something that you think should be there? Or see something that could be improved? Speak up. Communication starts with voices, after all, and your voice could be the one that makes all the difference.

Want to talk more about anything in this report? Or anything else at all? Reach out to me anytime. My door is always open.



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Ed Fox

Ed Fox is the Co-op General Manager. To contact, email

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