Good Governance: Here’s why I shouldn’t leave the board

An expert shares the five most common objections directors give to the idea of moving on in due course—and how he addresses them.

Every governance educator I know working with CUES has made it clear to their audiences and in their content pieces for CUES that board term limits and more frequent replacement of board members is the new normal. In my case, I suggest term limits of three, three-year terms for a total service period of nine years, assuming a board member continues to get re-elected.

Most other governing domains in business and the not-for-profit sector find this service period adequate for continuity and yet positive for refreshing board perspective on a regular basis. Staggering terms allows a board to move members off while retaining a cadre of at least two-thirds of the board who continue so that a credit union doesn’t have a brand new board every three years.

Here are some of the “objections” I’ve heard while speaking to this issue over the last 10 years of leading CUES governance seminars and what my response is.

1. I have a good historical knowledge of my credit union.
While historical knowledge is helpful, it is not critical to future decision-making. It is also likely that with staged board turnover every year that there will also be remaining board members with historical knowledge of about six to nine years … totally sufficient for governance.


continue reading »