TDG in the United Kingdom?
In July, a fellow from the UK somehow found the TDG. We started talking on LinkedIn and then later switched to regular email.
Peter Gregory belongs to a large co-op in the UK. He was finding similarities between the governance in his co-op and the TDG.
His co-op has divided the UK into 100 sectors. Each sector elects one representative. These 100 representatives become the “Members’ Council.” This council meets six times a year to discuss affairs of their co-op. Once a year, these 100 representatives elect, from amongst themselves, 12 members to serve in the board of the co-op. It is this board that oversees management.
This is a two-tier TDG structure. The members elect their local representative. These representatives elect their national board.
My two co-ops (banking and fuel) have a more traditional style of governance. Basically, the current board nominates itself or its successors. The current board relies on that most members are not all that interested in management of the co-op. So seldom has there been any challenge to their nominations.
At least I think that is how my two co-ops work. My discussion with Peter made me realize that my two co-ops really don’t advertise their “democracy” to its members. We like the co-op model; we get a dividend check; that’s all we want. Maybe I need to start asking some questions!
Peter’s co-op is an indirect election. The current board is not in much control of who assumes the positions in the Member’s Council. And these 100 members, not the board, decide who moves into the board. That’s a big difference! A big organic difference!
The six annual meetings of Members’ Council are important. These meetings provide the elected representatives the interaction with each other to figure out who are the more sensible people for co-op governance. If there was a direct election, a less sensible person with penchant for campaigning could find himself on the board. Then the board becomes less functional.
I doubt the developers of the co-op model read my book and took my ideas. Rather, I believe that organizing into two tiers is actually a fairly natural outcome in many new governance…