We’ve started a fortnightly online showcase for Member Council members, broadcasting live across Periscope, Google Hangouts and on Skype. We also made it available on Youtube for our Council members following the showcase for those who couldn’t make it live.
If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll remember that we’ve been working on giving our members a voice. In collaboration with our members and Thoughtworks we’re developing a new digital service that will improve how they can work together with their Co-op in the future.
Our Members’ Council are elected by our wider membership each year to represent their views at a senior level and also hold the Group Board to account. It’s really important that we are able to show what we’re working on, our thinking, progress, as well as give them the opportunity to challenge us by asking really difficult questions.
But many of the Council have day jobs and they live all over the UK which is why we wanted to use online platforms and social networks that are freely available and easy to use to make these sessions as accessible as possible.
Council members who joined us for our first online showcase told us they really valued the opportunity.
Loved the first member voice online showcase. It gives me so much hope about effective, inclusive member engagement pic.twitter.com/7Ij6dPvzaJ
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.
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 email@example.com 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.