Rate your board: How well does it perform?

by.Lisa Hochgraf

During a CUES webinar this spring, Michael Daigneault, CCD, defined four points along the spectrum of board development. Principal of Quantum Governance, L3C, Vienna, Va., Daigneault noted that he encourages credit unions to “go up the scale as much as possible,” in his role as CUES’ strategic provider of Self-Assessment for Credit Union Boards and general governance consulting. How high up is your board on the scale he describes?
Bottom rung–the dysfunctional board. A board at this stage includes a good number of directors who don’t understand their roles. Overall the board is not adding value to the credit union. CEOs have to take a firm hand in managing the work of the board, and there is no constructive partnership between the CEO and board.
Second tier–the functional board. According to Daigneault, these boards meet, they talk, they chat, they ask some questions. But again, there’s a question of how much value is being added.
Third tier–the responsible board: These boards have started to ask questions, like “How can we be a more effective board?” and “How can we build a better onboarding process for new directors, a better board composition and better board meetings?” It’s an important threshold around this level on the scale when the board and senior staff start working cooperatively together, and realize that governance matters, Daigneault notes. Directors on these boards recognize that their contribution to the board–in terms of governance–really matters.
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