Duties, decisions, and direction: A timely focus for board agendas

first_img“We are not reverting to our packed agenda of old. Our spell as a ‘Virtual Board’ helped us enhance oversight, reduce our schedules, streamline presentations, hold healthier discussions, and make improved decisions. Going back to the way it was would be a disservice to our CEO, members, and fellow Board members.” So went the words from the Chair of a multi-billion-dollar credit union.Like everyone else, credit union boards had to adapt swiftly when in-person meetings were limited due to state and local restrictions on gatherings. “At first, we tried to execute a typical agenda in a conventional fashion in an unusual way (Zoom). It was a calamity from the start. While we mastered the intricacies of video conferencing, our attention was focused on working through agenda items versus making essential decisions. We had to focus on what we needed to know, decide upon, and approve for our CEO to lead the credit union.”As the credit union made its way back to in-person Board meetings and an annual planning session, the old agenda remained behind. In its place was a new focus for Board agendas – duties, decisions, and direction. Duties were all things fiduciary – financial, policies, CEO oversight, exceptions, etc. As for decisions, the Board asked the CEO to only bring items to the Board agenda that required a vote of the Board or where the CEO wanted the Board’s input on a decision he would ultimately make. All other matters could be captured through pre-work, the consent agenda, file sharing, and a message board/portal for the Board and CEO. Matters of direction would be considered during quarterly strategic updates and semi-annual strategic enhancement dialogues (if necessary).“Our Board meeting time was cut in half, but we expanded productivity. What used to be a sacred item of interest or a legacy report proved to be operational and not necessary for effective governance. As our ability to reconvene in person came about, our Board was unanimous in that it would not regress to our former model. ‘Duties, Decisions, and Direction’ would drive our agenda. ‘Details’ would be left to Management. We rapidly became a better Board for our CEO and he a more valuable leader for our members’ credit union.”As your Board begins to physically meet again, consider how one sizable credit union rethought how it could be more effective in governance. With thorough preparation and dedication to a focused and intentional agenda, your Board can build healthier dynamics around the Board table, even if that table remains virtual for now. Where your meetings may be to the point, they will be revitalized and more successful. The new accomplishments you experience as a team will produce an even stronger partnership with your CEO. As a Board: commit to your duties; aim to design meetings around important decisions; and, periodically evaluate how your credit union is moving in the direction that will best serve its members. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Rendel Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with credit unions that want elite results in sales, service, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates … Web: www.risingaboveenterprises.com Detailslast_img read more