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These diagnostic questions are designed to help communities identify the most important where they can improve their collaboration.
For each of the areas we ask 5 questions. Community members are meant to answer them together by agreeing on an either “mostly yes” or “mostly no” answer and checking the associated box. After answering them, add up the "mostly yes" or "mostly no" answers and note this number on the sheet. This shows how "good" the community is in the respective area. The community then evaluates whether this area of work should be addressed together.
Work area Question mostly yes mostly no What guides us? Do we have a summary of everyone’s vision who is responsible for the cooperative? Do we have an agreed upon mission statement that we wrote together (or something similar)? Do we, or can we, use our mission statement to write goals and action steps for our cooperative? Does our mission statement direct and inform our decision making? Do we review and update our mission statement at regular intervals over the years? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: How do get where we want to go? Do we have agreed upon short- and long-term goals and strategies? Do we have development goals for all of our work areas and know how to move forward with them? Is it clear who is responsible for each goal? Are all goals sufficiently planned have sufficiently allocated resources? Do we have articulated goals related to how we collaborate? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: Who does what? Are all the tasks and activities described for each work area? Do we know who is ultimately responsible for each task and who will execute on each task? Are the connections between the work areas sufficiently, and clearly, described? Are there clear agreements (e.g. in the form of a decided annual budget), which decisions are made jointly, and which decisions are made by the managers of the work areas? Are we able to make and implement decisions within a reasonable period of time after an opinion has been reached (e.g. within the framework of annual planning)? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: What do we still need to learn? Are we able to to talk as a community about the skills we have and skills we need? Do we have a shared understanding about which skills are important for us? Do we know within our community, and are we able to discuss with each other, whether or not the skills of an individual match the the skills required by the area that they work in? Do we give each other feedback on this? Do we regularlyreflect on what additional education is necessary and take advantage of further training? Do we learn from our mistakes and make improvements from what we learn? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: How do we plan and operate? Is there an annual plan for income and expenses for the individual work areas and is this transparently communicated, for example, in the profit and loss statement or in branch accounting? Are we earning the profit necessary for our subsistence and the continued, longterm, existence of the company? Can everyone responsible for the company read and understand the profit and loss statement (P+L) and balance sheet? Or can they understand the key statements presented by others? Are the operating reports (quarterly, max. 4 weeks after the end of the quarter) discussed and analyzed together? Are we aware of the consequences of the preparation of the annual budget for individual work areas? (How do we react to significant deviations?) Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: How do we increase trust and transparency? Does everyone feel well informed about the areas of responsiblity of their colleagues? Is everyone well-informed about upcoming decisions related to the organisation in a timely manner (preferably by means of good annual planning) and if by means of annual planning, does everyone participate in the meeting(s)? Is everyone informed in a timely manner not only about successes, but also about failures? Do people in the organisation trust their team and colleagues? And does everyone have all the information they need to work successfully? Does everyone feel that their colleagues trust them? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: What do we contractually agree on? Do we have a written partnership agreement/contract of cooperation? Do all parties understand the content and the individual paragraphs of the contract? Are all the organisational/cooperative’s contracts (participations, loan agreements, supply contracts, lease agreements, etc.) stored in one, easily locatable, place? Are there any additional agreements, such as, shareholders' resolutions, cooperation agreement, etc. Are the repercussions of the contracts and agreements we sign clear? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: Do we have everything we need? Does a joint valuation of fixed assets take place (outdated, over-mechanized, ...)? Is there a common awareness of what the company's equity position is like? Is there a common awareness of the credit-worthiness of the company? Do we know the terms and maturities of our loans? What are the possibilities for how we can use the areas and buildings that we operate in? Are we paying attention to the lease expiration/tenancy period and possibilities of extension? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: How and when do me meet? Do we regularly hold meetings to discuss both our work and bigger themes and topics influencing our work? Are the meetings well coordinated and are the relevant people attending the appropriate meetings? Or is, for example, the trainee, leading the general meeting? Is it inspiring and enriching to be part of our team and does everyone feel comfortable participating? Does everyone feel free, and know when it is appropriate, to contribute even unconventional ideas to the team and express their feelings? Is it comfortable to share opportunities for personal growth with each other and undertake activities related to them? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on: How do we remain viable in the future? Do we work together to deepen our understanding of and trends related to the core values of our company? For example, on sustainability, soil health, animal welfare, cooperation, biodynamic, organic etc. Is there space in the organisation for individuals to realize growth opportunities? Do we work regularly (e.g. every one or two years) on issues related to the future of the company? e.g. as a future planning and design workshop? Do we maintain and enhance positive cooperation with our partners and stakeholders (customers, suppliers, neighbors, financiers, etc.)? Do we, as people responsible for the business, cultivate personal exchange among ourselves, find a common way of dealing with critical questions and grow from the experiences? Joint evaluation and decision whether this area should be worked on:
Examples from other communities