Menomonie Market Food Co-op operates under a system called Policy Governance, developed by John Carver in the 1970s. In this system, the only employee that the Board of Directors (BoD) oversees is the General Manager (GM). The GM, in turn, oversees all other employees and the overall operation of the store. The main job of the BoD is to hire and monitor the GM, communicate the needs and desires of the ownership into a plan, and make sound financial decisions for the co-op.
To ensure the GM is operating according to the values of owners, the BoD creates policies that the GM is required to follow. The GM is responsible for two kinds of policies: Ends Policies, a vision of what the BoD sees as the ideal result of the co-op’s operation, and Executive Limitation Policies, a description of actions and conditions the BoD requires the GM to avoid in operating the co-op (e.g. unwarranted financial risks, poor working environment, etc.).