Author Archive for: ksmith

Entries by Kevin Smith

How Many Committees Does the Board Really Need?

Committee work on credit union boards is a slippery slope into operational territory. Boards should limit committees to as few as possible and maintain their focus on governance work. Committees of the board should not include staff, but only directors. We recommend the following four: Governance, CEO Relations, Nominating & Recruiting, and Supervisory/Audit. By Kevin […]

In Camera or Executive Sessions for the Board (Without the CEO)

It is a good practice for each board meeting to include an in camera or executive session where board members can meet privately, without the CEO present. In camera is simply Latin for “in chamber” or private. These sessions provide the board the opportunity to have candid discussions without non-board members present. By Kevin Smith […]

Who’s Doing the Talking in Your Board Meeting?

Who’s Doing the Talking in Your Board Meeting? Here comes the new “talking” audit. It’s not unusual for the CEO to do the most talking in board meetings. But it’s critical to get the right balance of voices and to have input from everyone in the group. Paying attention to this balance and making some […]

When I Worry About Credit Union Board Members …

Credit union board members are dedicated volunteers for the credit union movement. They are the embodiment of the CU adage, “People helping people.” As the job gets more difficult and more complex, it’s my job to worry about directors and to figure out where they need help and how to help them. I look around […]

Don’t Go Back: Boards Returning to In-Person Meetings

After Covid forced boards into virtual meetings, directors learned to adapt. But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should require everyone to meet in person again. There’s value in keeping flexible with virtual and hybrid meetings. Make sure you’re doing what it takes to make them work effectively. By Tim Harrington and 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) […]

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