Over the last year or so Rhizome’s been working with Co-operatives UK to assess the training needs of co-ops, bring on board other training co-ops, and agree and design a package of 5 seminars all around co-operation.
For too long co-op training has focused on business start-up, legal structures, financial management. All necessary stuff, but none of it supports us to learn to co-operate better. So that’s where these courses come in. They aim to support co-ops with the skills and attitudes needed to co-operate through conflict, change, meetings, in management, and in developing that deeper sense of what it means to co-operate.
The first courses run soon in Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester and can be booked through the Co-operatives UK website.
The process of co-operating on the course aims and content has raised some interesting questions on what we believe we can achieve through training – developing co-operative skills? Developing co-operative skills and attitudes? Sadly the pressure to get the courses up and running hasn’t allowed us the luxury of exploring these questions fully. But as we run the courses and learn from each other, the answers will become clearer – we’ll cross-fertilise between co-ops and co-develop our own co-operative skills (and maybe attitudes!).
Rhizome trainers will be at work on the Communication and working with conflict and Being a good co-op member courses to start with. See you there.
First workshop delivered successfully – some of what participants said they left with:
• “renewed motivation to be more co-opy and engage more people in what it means to be a co-op”
• “more aware of marginalising people”
• “ways of challenging unhealthy behaviour”
• “new understanding and perception”