Almost two-thirds of the population in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho expect credit unions to solve their financial needs in the most efficient way, says Troy Stang, president/CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).
State leagues such as NWCUA focus significant resources on helping directors keep their credit unions financially fit and focused on meeting those needs.
A decade ago, credit unions in the three Northwestern states served 30% of the area’s combined population, Stang notes. Today, more than 170 credit unions serve 8.1 million members representing 60% of the population.
“It’s a beautiful thing, but it’s come about much faster than I ever imagined,” he says.
That pace of change means directors must tap development resources to:
“Directors must be able to dissect those complicated verticals of risk, competitiveness, financials, and employment issues a CEO deals with,” Stang says. “How can we distill those issues down with the proper mechanism to develop those volunteers coming into the board room?”
NWCUA has developed a robust online board resource center that distills resources for directors in nine categories:
Stang believes development will become even more essential as board tenures shift from multiple decades to a single decade or less.
Bringing new directors up to speed quickly will determine whether the board is equipped to focus on the right issues.
Credit unions that seek to help directors keep up with members’ changing world will need to continually refine their approach. Smith notes the development and operational tactics that allow your credit union to thrive today won’t likely create success in the future.
That means directors should always expect the equivalent of “learn something new” to appear on their personalized development plan.
“It’s time to embrace volatility,” Smith says, “and make it work for you.”