Giving Co-op Members a Voice

You may remember that Mike talked at the AGM about how one element of being a member is having a Co-op voice. Having a say, as co-owner, in the way the business is run and the decisions it makes. We’ve been working with our members and Thoughtworks since January developing a new digital service that will improve how they can work together with their Co-op in the future.

A wide range of members and colleagues have been involved so far in our weekly user testing. At group game workshops we’ve asked members to buy features they value the most. Online catch-ups have explored what our new tool looks like in prototype and face to face discussions in our stores have helped us understand more about how we present our content.

So far we’ve worked with members from all across the UK – from Plymouth in the South to Stornaway in the North.

User feedback session
User Testing in 1 Angel Square

This feedback is proving to be incredibly valuable. Positive, negative and brutally honest, it helps us understand our users as we build, bringing their voice into the team and influencing everything we do.

After each session we review what we’ve heard and that’s then driven directly into evolving the project and the tool itself. The following week we check in again to see if our changes have hit the mark or need more work.

Listening to the aspirations and passions of our members and finding ways to meet their needs has always been at the heart of the Co-op. So perhaps that’s why this project feels like a natural way for us to work. Being Co-op is all about working co-operatively as a better way of doing business.

This new service will be a great example of that better way – created and evolved co-operatively with our members.

We always need more people to help give us their views – if you fancy giving it a go why not let us know. Just drop us a line or message me on Twitter @Coopmarkrf. Or just keep an eye on the blog as we’ll be posting regularly to tell you what we’ve done.

Mark Robinson-Field

4 thoughts on “Giving Co-op Members a Voice

  1. Alison June 6, 2016 / 7:50 am

    I think this is great. I am sure you have all already thought this through, but there’s one thing which ( I work in a consultancy company basically delivering consultancy for the public sector) some of our clients are doing more and more and that’s not just reporting back to those consulted in the individual pieces of work, but also to those who the recommendations directly affects, in the co-op’s case it would obviously be the members.The clients post the report, giving analysis, what can and equally important what can’t be done, and timeline for implementation of project recommendations. If a report can’t be posted then the reason is given for this as well. This has a positive and inclusive affect, gives something to signpost to and stops repetition.


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