Is Your Board a Force For Change?

Thought-provoking questions for boards.

October 23, 2015
Thought-provoking questions for boards emerged from the CUNA National Credit Union Roundtable for Board Leadership.
Consider these five:
1. Do you have just a custodial mindset, or should you be—and can you be—a disruptive force for future change and better member service?
2. Are you plugged into compliance?
3. Does your credit union compliance executive have enough authority to make necessary changes to get the job done?
4. Do you view compliance as a burden—or as the path you take to provide important products and services that meet members’ needs?
5. Are you deliberate in your recruiting practices?
As your ranks of young adult members grow, it’s important to ensure your board continues to represent your membership. This means actively recruiting more Generation X and Y directors to your board, according to attendees.
Some ways to freshen your recruiting methods and increase engagement from young adults, says credit union consultant Jeff Rendel, CEO of Rising Above Enterprises, include:
►Target market these potential candidates using your in-house data.
►Seek out community or select employee group leaders.
►Use your own network and sphere of influence.
►Appeal to individuals’ personal skills and professional successes.
►Offer a mentorship/partnership with a seasoned board member.
►Establish individual or 360-degree evaluations for board members to provide them with continuous feedback. 
►Provide a well-rounded view of board responsibilities. This includes advocating for your members’ needs; understanding financial statement literacy and business principles; adopting independent, unbiased thinking; having a governance mindset versus an executive or operational one; and becoming an extension of the credit union through community and business development efforts.
As you recruit a younger demographic, Rendel says, point out the active, decision-making focus of your board meetings. And then “deepen the service experience for Gen X and Y by creating ongoing education plans, and discussing opportunities for board and committee leadership,” he notes.