Good Governance: Un-cage your thinking

6 common traps and how to avoid them

by Michael G. Daigneault and Caitlin Curran Hatch, CU Management

Board members and CEOs frequently ask us: “Do we really need to focus on governance?” Before answering, we ask: “What’s behind your question?”

The most common response we receive is, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” That is, many assume their governance is effective largely because the credit union’s “numbers are good.”

When we suggest “just because a credit union is performing well financially, it doesn’t necessarily mean the credit union is being governed effectively,” we get a lot of blank stares. Our perspective comes as a surprise to some. If the credit union is “doing well” and the board is responsible for the credit union, then doesn’t that mean the board is doing its job effectively?

In a word…no. Without a much deeper analysis, simply equating “good credit union performance” with “good board performance” or general “good governance” is leaping to an unwarranted conclusion.

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