Good Governance: Board members as futurists

Enhancing your ability to think strategically isn’t hard to do.

You woke up this morning in the future. You probably didn’t think much about it because human nature, as is most business nature, is to focus on the here and now—the near term. And when our lives and business issues are urgent, that’s the best approach.

However, most of our credit union board work is not urgent; it’s performance oversight. We spend a lot of time looking in the rear-view mirror. The reality is that unless your credit union is underperforming, you need less dialogue about performance and more dialogue what the future holds. Keeping in sync with the future—members’ interests, technology, recruiting younger members—is the biggest risk most credit unions face.

Think about this observation and apply it to your board service: “Most board members know more about the financial health of their credit union than they do about the strategic plan and options facing them for the future.” That’s because credit unions in general are well-run businesses and don’t have to worry about too much.


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