Inclusion starts at the top

When leaders look for a diversity of ideas, they avoid groupthink and get better results.

The only way for any diversity and inclusion program to survive and be effective is through leadership commitment. My credit union, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union, Chattanooga, has 13 members on the senior leadership team, including president/CEO Todd Fortner, CCE, a CUES member.

We have our asset/liability management meeting, which is now virtual, every Tuesday to discuss ideas, provide updates, and find solutions to existing or potential problems. During the weekly discussions, Fortner will present a question or a problem and ask each of us for our input. He wants honest, creative feedback and open dialogue to weigh the pros and cons of every decision.

Effective leaders know that you need to surround yourself with people who will be truthful, authentic and willing to challenge your ideas to find better-fitted solutions. If those around you are in constant agreement with you, it is time to surround yourself with new people. Innovation is stifled by groupthink.

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