Making member manuals meaningful (New) - Spring Education Conference 2018

Starting with the concept of the “how-to” book, we will explore the member manual as an opportunity to demystify governance, clarify process and build community. Let’s re-imagine this manual as a tool to empower both new and longstanding members to become fully engaged in your housing co-op.

Manuals written in stiff-wording or legalese, with too much or too little information, can be misleading, intimidating or off-putting. While a well thought-out member manual with clear, practical and easy referenced information can empower members.

Come along to this workshop to find out:

  • What to include (and what to leave out!),
  • How a member manual should work in tandem with core governance documents, such as your Rules and Occupancy Agreement,
  • How to customize a manual so it aligns with the needs of your co-op,
  • How to structure it so that it is easy to update,
  • The importance of plain language,
  • The pros and cons of using charts, different fonts and reference sections,
  • Ideas for how to start the process of redeveloping (or developing!) your member manual.

Produce a manual with a plain language explanation for how things work. Use the opportunity to capture and share the wealth of knowledge held by long-time members, produce something that’s accessible and inclusive, particularly for those who don’t feel they have the background or experience to be active in governance.


Workshop facilitators: Judith Doyle and Sahm Jalbert

Judith has been an educator and workshop facilitator for nearly 20 years. She recently updated and re-imagined her co-op’s Member Manual to ensure both clarity of processes and format. With a PhD in Sociology and Social Anthropology, and growing up in a co-op in Victoria and now on the Board with her co-op in Steveston, Judith’s expertise is working with communities to help them reimagine their future, capture their know-how and translate that into a workable action.

Sahm has spent 25 years as an active member of two lower-mainland housing co-ops and 15 years as an office manager and small-business owner.  Believing that organization, clear communication and skill-sharing are not only the best ways to build a team but vital to a healthy, functional co-op, Sahm has applied these principles when leading co-op teams to implement Rules 2.0 and re-inventing her co-op’s Member Manual. Sahm’s expertise is in creating Member Manuals that support core governance documents, empower and engage members, capture existing knowledge and inspire conversations about current processes and future goals.

April 14, 2018 - 9:30am - 12:30pm
Good governance and principled leadership
Not Portable