Board diversity and the color wheel

Credit union boards need new frameworks and mindsets about board diversity and recruitment. The color wheel is a new metaphor for how to pursue this, by looking for complementary and analogous “colors” in your board’s personalities and skill sets.

Board Diversity

Diversity on credit union boards is a topic getting a lot of justifiable attention. I don’t know that we’re making a great deal of progress in this area, but I take heart in the fact that people seem to be taking it more seriously and making more efforts. The joke is that boards are male, pale and stale. And I’m relaying this as a human being who is male, pale, and well, trying to avoid being stale, at least in my thinking.

Study after study confirms that diversity adds value in variety of perspectives, prevents stale thinking, and increases the amount of dynamic discussion from the group. I don’t have the space to relay the citations here. But it’s a quick Google away. The information is plentiful. Don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself.

Color Wheels

I was working with an ambitious board recently, they were trying to figure out how to approach this topic and create the perfect succession plan that, taking into account as many diversity factors as possible. The first thing I told them was that perfect is impossible with a board of 7-9 people. There are too many variables. The better approach is to try to constant improvement. That’s when we stumbled on the color wheel metaphor. Have a look at our three examples.


continue reading »