Good Governance: Reimagining your board meetings

To make your gatherings more effective and engaging, first look at the real reasons boards meet.

Credit union leaders everywhere seem to be asking the question, “How do we make our board meetings more effective and more engaging?” To answer that question, I think you have to first look at the real reasons that boards meet.

To convey information … sure, but information can be conveyed in an email or a report, too. To make decisions? Yes. That’s easy, and a consent agenda can often do the trick, especially when the decisions are straight-forward and non-controversial. To engage with each other? Yes, to be sure. To build trust among directors and with your CEO. Absolutely. To deliberate and plan for the future. We hope so! And we’re sure that you can identify many more reasons that your board meets…

First, it’s important to know that while most credit unions by regulation have to meet 12 times a year, the regulators do not say that every meeting has to be the same. When we share this with our clients, they are often amazed, but it’s true. And knowing this alone should allow you to open your mind to the possibility of change—because we know what you’re doing. You’re likely opening up Microsoft Word, pulling up last month’s agenda, changing the date, changing a few key items and hitting “save.”


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