Good governance: the tipping point

Sudden change is taking place in director competency expectations, diversity and in the very conduct of board work

Today’s credit union boards, while continuing to be faced with fiduciary issues of safety and soundness, are finding strategic choices more daunting, uncertain, and shifting frequently.

While this may sound like a relatively small shift, the 2002 book, “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Difference,” points out that it is usually a small thing, piled on top of many other small things, that causes a big shift to happen. And indeed, credit union governance is at a tipping point: Today’s volunteer must become tomorrow’s trustee—a strategic asset to the enterprise.

To become more strategic, boards need to develop a profile of the types of experiences, background and competencies they believe the CU board will need over the next five years. This will include, but certainly not be limited to, having fiduciary knowledge. In addition, simply being a passionate member won’t be enough. It’s not that passion and commitment to the cooperative movement is not valuable; it’s that it’s insufficient to maintain the nimble, timely and strategic progress credit unions will need in the next decade.

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