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

Working long hours ‘raises heart attack risk’

first_img Share 27 Views   no discussions Tweet Share Working more than 11 hours a day rather than the usual 9am to 5pm markedly increases heart disease risk, say UK experts.The magnitude of risk goes up by 67% for people who work long hours, they say in Annals of Internal Medicine.The University College London team base their findings on over 7,000 civil service employees whose health they have been tracking since 1985.They suggest GPs should now be asking their patients about working hours.Lead researcher Professor Mika Kivimäki said: “Considering that including a measurement of working hours in a GP interview is so simple and useful, our research presents a strong case that it should become standard practice.“This new information should help improve decisions regarding medication for heart disease.“It could also be a wake-up call for people who overwork themselves, especially if they already have other risk factors.”Hard graftOver the course of the 11-year study, 192 of the participants suffered a heart attack.People who worked 11 hours or more a day were more than half as likely again to have a heart attack than those who worked shorter hours.And adding working hours to well-established heart risk factors, such as high blood pressure, made the researchers’ predictions far more accurate.If GPs were to add this to their usual list of heart questions they might spot 6,000 more of the 125,000 people who suffer heart attacks in the UK each year, the researchers suggest.Studies are now needed to see if getting people to cut back on their working hours will improve their heart health, they add.Professor Stephen Holgate of the Medical Research Council, which part-funded the investigation, said: “This study might make us think twice about the old adage ‘hard work won’t kill you’.“Tackling lifestyles that are detrimental to health is a key area for the MRC, and this research reminds us that it’s not just diet and exercise we need to think about.”Professor Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation said: “These most recent findings raise the possibility that long working hours may increase the risk of a heart attack.“But further studies are required to confirm this association and clarify how it might be used to change our current approach to assessing someone’s risk of developing heart disease and what advice we give on working conditions.”Experts suspect a number of underlying factors may be at play, such as undetected high blood pressure, stress, anxiety or depression, and being a driven, aggressive or irritable personality.Source: BBC Newscenter_img Sharing is caring! Share HealthLifestyle Working long hours ‘raises heart attack risk’ by: – April 5, 2011last_img read more