Firstly we must start with an apology to members for the significant delay in circulating this communication. To broker a good working relationship with the Co-operative Group Executive it has taken a significant amount of time to provide an update to members that is agreeable to all parties.
Neil Buist, NACO General Secretary met with Richard Pennycook Co-operative Group CEO, and Rod Bulmer CEO Consumer Services, on Wednesday 10th December. The meeting centred on a detailed overview of the Co-operative Group’s Rescue plan that was finalised in October 2014 and the ongoing three year Rebuild phase with particular reference to the Vital 5 and Winning 10. Richard and Rod were very keen to emphasise that the main driver of the Vital 5 was the Meaningful Membership element as this would underpin the co-operative difference.
A number of concerns that had been shared with NACO from the Membership & Social Goals team were raised at the meeting and it was reassuring to receive positive confirmation on a number of key issues, including:
- The importance the Membership & Social Goals function served to highlight the co-operative difference and its inherent value.
- The team’s influence in progressing the governance changes in the Group and the constructive contributions made by NACO members to ensure that a positive change was approved to allow for a strong Society that will make a meaningful contribution to the wider co-operative movement and play a positive role in the community.
- The desire to ensure that the Co-operative Group maintains a strong and meaningful membership offer, and to ensure a well-defined and meaningful role for Membership and Social Goals in the future strategy of the business.
- The passion and commitment of all colleagues within the function to co-operative values and principles and the future of the Co-operative Group
- The intention to bring back an induction programme for new starters that will highlight the history of the Co-operative Group, and the values and principles of the movement.
Target Operating Model
Neil shared NACO’s thoughts on the progress of Target Operating Model with the CEO’s, who in turn gave a full account of the programme so far and committed to meet and discuss the Group’s progress with NACO on a regular basis. Richard was also keen to ensure that he meets with NACO around the half-year and year-end periods to provide meaningful updates on the performance of the Society.
NACO will look to meet with The Executive regularly to foster the relationship between the two parties. NACO will continue to monitor developments for the Membership & Social Goals team in light of the above reassurances and commits to consulting with members at every opportunity.
Since the meeting of the 10th December, members will be aware that the Co-operative Group Senate and Council have met again. If it is felt that this now provides an opportunity to meet again as NACO members, please contact the NACO National Office and this will be arranged.
If you would like to speak with a NACO Official on any issue, please contact the NACO National Office.