In my first assignment in a remote Province of CAR I heard a story about a Manager who acted as the Chairman, Manager and Bookkeeper of a cooperative. It was saddening to know that when he passed away, the cooperative ceased to operate and never resumed operation.
In a recently conducted cooperative training last week, a question was raised on who will take the place of the Manager in case something happens? The participant further inquired if an executive committee can handle the day to day operations of the cooperative?
I tried to answer the query starting with the provisions of the Cooperative Code that prohibits involvement of officers in the day-to day operations of cooperatives. In my opinion forming an Adhoc Executive Committee composed of officers to manage the affairs of the organization is not the best solution. It might be possible but the irony is that there are other staffs of the cooperative that can assume the position.
Cooperatives are usually formed with the required manpower to ensure sustainable operations. One of the requirements is the presence of a Core Management Team usually composed of a General Manager, Bookkeeper and other staff depending on the nature of business.
Also, cooperatives need to prepare development plans and programs that guide them in pursuing their aspirations as a group. The development plan needs to be approved by the General Assembly during its Annual General Assembly Meeting. Once approved, it becomes a blueprint for the officers, members and staff to follow. This should be periodically monitored and evaluated to introduce possible changes.
Going back to the question raised earlier, the significance of succession planning was pointed out as the best answer to the question. Every organization needs to have a plan in order that it can attain its vision, mission, goals and objectives. Having a succession plan requires trained next-in-line personnel to assume vacancies in the organization. When succession plan is in place worries on the business continuity is reduced. As the business environment grows the need to adapt to the changing environment is required.