An interesting summary of the problems identified by Lord Myners in one of England’s oldest cultural institutions.
At the heart of the Co-op Group’s problems is its peculiar system of governance. Lord Myners describes an organisation in which a small, self-serving elite of Co-op lifers have effectively seized control on the group and turned it into a personal empire.
He makes the point that, while the Co-op frequently points to its much cherished democratic principles with seven million members, in practice decisions taken by the group are made by a small cabal of “elected individuals”.
Combined with this has been a culture of amateurism, which has actively cast suspicion on anyone with real professional experience, instead favouring the promotion of lay members, often with a trade union or public sector background.
It’s a damning indictment of aspects of the
Church of England Co-op Group isn’t it?
But seriously, senior appointments are all funnelled through just three people, folks with real professional acumen and capability (or genuine experience of growth and management) are often overlooked even for most basic appointments, official reports are shelved and quietly forgotten, some employees are allowed to get away with the most outrageous behaviour (and indeed are promoted despite it) and the whole institution at times gives off a “don’t rock the boat” signal very loud and clear.