By Donya Parrish, MCU VP- Risk Management
If you haven’t heard, the MonDak Conference in Vegas a few weeks ago was terrific! As a meeting for board members and CEOs from Montana and the Dakotas, the event offered a chance to devote dedicated time to what a board should focus on, how they struggle with many of the same challenges, and to hear ideas of what has worked for others. The networking was invaluable, and the tabletop discussions were a real benefit for those facing challenges in things such as planning for a retiring CEO or whether to branch into a new community.
One note I made during discussions was no matter whether they are planning for a replacement board member, implementing the strategic plan, or working to develop members of the board to their best potential, the board of directors needs to choose to be intentional.
What does that mean? It requires moving out of your comfort zone, not rubber-stamping ideas from the loudest board member, holding a good meeting (not just one that fits the clock and calendar), and spending your board time on the items that are most important to your group as a whole. It might also mean looking to see what competencies and skills your board needs when replacing an outgoing board member, not just choosing the first person who says “yes.”
To be intentional is to choose where you want to focus and dedicate resources — including time — to reach goals. I heard some amazing stories of credit unions who chose intentional paths to cross-training their employees, searching for external talent, setting up branches that fit the neighborhood, and branding campaigns for making all feel welcome (to name a few that came up in discussion).
So, I have two challenges for you — the first is to spend your next board meeting asking yourself “how can we be more intentional about that?” The second is to put MonDak 2021 on your calendar for Feb. 9-10 at the Flamingo in Vegas. I know many of those who attended this year already plan to be back!