Zingerman's Community


Zingerman’s Community

Zingerman’s Community of Businesses is a collection of Zingerman’s businesses, each with its own food specialty, all located in the Ann Arbor area, each working to help make the shopping and eating in every aspect of Zingerman’s more flavorful and more enjoyable than ever.

Their story

“The Zingerman’s Community is governed by the Partner Group which makes all organizational decisions by consensus. And we mean all significant organizational decisions by consensus. Which means 20 people at the table have to come to an agreement…Our practice that we are putting forth is the addition of Staff Partners on the Partner Group consensus. Three people from all levels of the organization now sit at that table and are a part of that consensus. It has always been Paul’s and Ari’s intent to spread ownership and control as deeply and widely as possible…As most organizations are finding, to lack diversity in people is to lack innovation and solidity of ideas. Diverse ideas and brainstorming help to weave a more stable fabric of an organization. So, when the Governance committee added non-partners the power of different opinions, perspectives, and life experience all coming to play in the decision-making process was realized.”

Their advice

“By including staff members into the Partner’s Group consensus, we are modeling a behavior we would like to see in the world. This is our way of saying, ‘You can engage people. They are smart and committed and you will see that if you are willing to transfer power. This is our way of changing our world with action’.”