Author Archive for: ksmith

Entries by Kevin Smith

The Strategic Premortem

Board members collaborating with the senior leadership of a credit union can benefit from a strategic premortem. By analyzing the strategic goals under the assumptions that they have failed or “died” leaders can generate risks to be aware of. This approach requires a unique critical lens and set of skills that directors should flex and […]

Radical Candor in the Boardroom

To promote high performing teams, approaches like radical candor can be of great value. The concept of challenging directly but caring personally creates a better environment. Boards of directors should make concerted efforts to establish honest and trusting environments. Used thoughtfully radical candor can inspire change and growth. By Kevin Smith Recently, I ran across […]

Board Packet Purge

Good governance and strategic vision are influenced by the materials that the board sees and hears. It’s important to periodically take stock of those materials to make sure they are not only  aligned with strategic goals, but that they also useful. Boards are often resistant to the board packet purge, opting to add materials, but […]

Addressing Underperforming Directors

Ignoring the behaviors and activities of an underperforming director can have dramatic consequences. Yet among a group of peers such as a board of directors too often these scenarios go unaddressed. It may be easier in the short run to avoid dealing with the problem but it rarely gets easier. This is, in fact, a […]

Strategy Traps

The time to think about strategy is not limited to the fall right before the new year’s budget proposal. Strategy is an all-year discussion. Boards can (should) shift to this kind of thinking with conscious effort. It’s also critical to avoid the all-too-common strategy traps. Be thoughtful in how you differentiate. By Kevin Smith   […]

Tim’s Financials Decoding Manual

And Now for Something Completely Different! From Kevin Smith and Tim Harrington You’ve gotten used to the fact that this blog space has consisted mostly of musings about governance from me, Kevin Smith. But this month we’re going to do something completly different. Not too long ago, Tim sent me a document that encompassed many […]

The Undervalued Use of Mentors for Boards

Peer mentoring is a powerful piece of an onboarding program. Boards can use these to great effect and in a variety of ways. It may be speeding up the learning time of a new director or improving performance and rapport. Organizations can and should formalize these programs to make sure they cover the full range […]

Bikeshedding and Boards

Boards have made progress over the years in keeping their focus on the strategic and out of the operational “weeds.” But this is an ever-present tightrope walk with many falling regularly into minutia. Our brains may be working against us on this one. Acknowledging and paying attention to cognitive bias will help directors and CEOs […]

Are We Family? Should We Be?

There is a long history of credit union staff taking pride in being more than a financial institution and more like a family to colleagues and members. While this may feel right, it is an attitude that can challenge the productivity of organizations that have become extremely complex. It is often not effective to behave […]

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