I just got back from listening to Martin Beaumont, chief executive, Co-operative Group Ltd at Manchester Business School. Martin spoke passionately about the corporate turnaround that is taking place within Co-op Group under his leadership. Their vision is to be the best co-operative business in the world. How does this vision relate to typical UK business? Very differently. Because his stakeholders include co-op members and focus is not just on revenue, profitability and growth. To get your head around this, first you need to understand what a co-operative is…
“a co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise”
So the key objective is to:
“optimise profits from businesses where co-operative values gives a positive marketing advantage, allowing to serve members and to deliver social goals as a successful co-operative, while making a reasonable financial return to member-owners, both corporate and individual.”
This means that they cannot compete on the same grounds as Tesco. Yet, they hold No. 1 slot in the funerals sector. It is a very challenging environment. Good luck to Martin.