Coming together for the common good

Consider multiple perspectives and build consensus— not unanimity—to ensure your CU is making good decisions.

by Michael G. Daigneault, CCD and Jennie Boden, CU Management

If you Google “decision-making,” we think you’ll be amazed at what comes up in the search results: “The Top 5 Decision-Making Models You Need to Know,” “Models of Decision-Making: Rational, Administrative and Retrospective Decision-Making Models,” the “Most Popular Decision-Making Models,” and even “Decision-Making Models of Decision-Making.” And the list goes on.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a simple, no-fuss, one-size-fits-all model that we as leaders of our credit unions could apply—be it in the boardroom or in the halls of our CUs’ administrative offices—that could assure us that we were making the right decisions? Wouldn’t it be nice to know we’re making the best decisions that always put our members’ interests first while delivering the most effective outcomes for our credit unions? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

A former colleague from what was then the Ethics Resource Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank and consultancy, used to say that decisions are the hardest when there are two competing values at play. And we think he’s right. It’s easy to make good decisions when the options are black and white, good and bad, positive and negative. Should you merge with the larger, more solvent credit union when yours is hours away from shutting its doors? Is the core conversion a go when you have the funds to switch and your current system is on its last legs? Should you promote the current VP/finance to CFO when she’s fully capable, has the requisite skills, the backing of the board, a great relationship with you (the CEO) and the trust of senior management? It’s easy to see how you can quickly get to “yes” on these questions and many others.


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