Good Governance: Your goal should be informed confidence

Can you meet a member one-on-one and knowingly declare that your credit union is healthy across key organizational performance domains?

As a credit union board member, you may have run into a member on the street and he wants to bend your ear about something like the following: “Is my account and personal information protected from being hacked?” “I hear there is a disgruntled staff person at the Morgan Street branch.” “I hear we have a lot of bad small business loans.” “Must be pretty nice to travel all over to the resort spots for conferences.” “I hear we may be buying a community bank; how does that fit the credit union philosophy?”

All of these are real questions board members have been asked recently. They help signal our important board responsibility to stay fully informed, not only on financial soundness, but also the broad spectrum of what’s going on with our credit union.

I have a single objective at every board meeting I attend: gaining informed confidence. When the meeting is over, I want to be able to face a constituent one-on-one and declare that we are healthy across all organizational performance domains: financial, risk management, ethics, organizational culture, member value and satisfaction, community respect for the brand, and board of directors’ competence. The implication of my governance objective is that a board member will consistently examine the evidence relevant to each of these domains.


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