Author Archive for: ksmith

Entries by Kevin Smith

Playing the Dandelion Card, or Keeping Meetings Out of the Weeds

Staying at the strategic level and avoiding operational micromanaging is a significant challenge for most boards. This can and should be addressed with systems to prevent it from happening and wasting valuable meeting time. By Kevin Smith Some of you have heard me talk about the E.L.M.O. card. If you haven’t, you can go here […]

Cognitive Bias in the Boardroom

Cognitive bias in the boardroom is a danger to decision making. Boards can (should) mitigate the effects of this by understanding it and calling attention to where it can and does come up in the board room. As a group, directors can hold each other accountable and address bias. A learning board will create systems […]

Protect Your Board Meeting Time & Agenda Like a Mama Bear!

The time at the board meeting should be carefully thought out and protected as the limited and valuable resource that it is. Boards that meet once a month for about two hours need that time focused on the most strategic and the most valuable items. Not on operational details, updates and review (rear view mirror) […]

Boards Behaving Badly

We’re doing things a bit differently this month. It’s time for some audience participation. Click on every example of board bad behavior that you’ve experienced. And fill in any that we missed below or in the comments. We hear about a lot of these privately. But we don’t hear about these being called out and […]

“Nice” Can be Deadly for a Board

  Nice Can Be Deadly to a Board Midwest Nice, Board Culture & What to Do with Evaluation Results Great board culture is more than simply having everyone “get along,” and having good discussions. It requires mutual accountability, a culture of ongoing learning, and increased complexity. Boards that want to thrive must move past old […]

The Board of Director’s Education Policy

Ad hoc or lassaiz faire approaches to director education are no longer good enough. The board must have a formal approach, codified into governance policy. The benefits are many: transparency, higher expectations, tracking and accountability among others. The credit union world is complex, requiring directors to have ongoing education to keep up. By Kevin Smith […]

New Rules and the Board’s Role for Succession Planning

The NCUA has proposed new regulations for succession planning in credit unions. These would make explicit the tasks that credit unions must do at the board, committee and leadership levels. This includes formal, written succession plans for board leaders, committees and the operational leadership of the credit union, which must be tailored to the size and […]

The Problem With Consensus

When boards have a culture of consensus, the problem with consensus is that directors can use it as a weapon, to shut down things that they don’t like. In general, we like to have agreement and consensus, but too much of a good thing can go bad. Healthy boards know how to disagree and move […]

Carefully Consider Your Nominations and Re-Nominations

  It’s more important these days for boards to give a critical eye to every director that is that is up for re-nomination. Too often this is treated as inevitable rather than a privilege to be earned. Too often boards don’t express candor to underperforming directors. Creating a checklist of expectations establishes transparency  that pushes […]

Redefine “Efficiency”

Many fall into the trap of chasing efficiency too hard and to the overall detriment of the organization. This is often enabled by the board. Efficiency does not mean running at the edge of collapse. Board members can be asking questions to encourage the productive health of the team rather than chasing a ratio as […]

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