By Les Wallace, Ph.D.
The 21st century dawned like an angry hydra-headed monster attacking every known enterprise on the planet. Credit unions weren’t spared as some unthinkable failures drained member value and challenged assumptions about our models.
In this challenging business environment, credit union directors are working harder than ever to navigate uncertain territory, act as the trustees of a sizable financial enterprise and deliver on their member promise. A passion for the credit union movement is no longer sufficient to provide the competent oversight necessary to be successful.
These times demand that boards assess how they stack up to known elements of high performance governance, and evaluate if they’re capable of governing through uncertainty while meeting their members’ greater demand for value.
A good assessment centers on each director’s ability to ask themselves, each other and management tough questions. Here are just four of the many board members should be asking:
- Has our board established the clear director competency profiles needed for good governance? Do we adhere to and enforce those competencies?
- Do our directors have a rigorous self-assessment routine that helps them continue to build capability as individuals and strengthen the board as a whole?
- Have we recently challenged our strategic thinking model? Does our strategic plan reflect the bold, far reaching objectives that members are looking for in terms of service, technology, products and wealth management?
- Does our committee structure reflect our strategies and 21st century expectations?
Les Wallace, Ph.D., is the president of Signature Resources Inc., in Aurora, Colo.
Learn more questions Dr. Les Wallace suggests credit union directors must ask to evaluate their board’s governance, and build upon the competencies and best board practices required to be successful in the 21st century at CUES Director Development Seminar, Sept. 12 - 14, 2012, in Savannah, Ga.