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A Direct Line Blog

New Year, New Start

January 4, 2017 6:53 pm

by Donya Parrish

It’s finally 2017! Did you make any resolutions? More importantly, are you still on track with any of them? It is easy to start with the obvious ones each January — eat healthier, get in shape, be kind, pay off debt, etc.

This year, I would challenge each of you to think in terms of your credit union. What resolution do you as a board need to make? Here are a few ideas to think about …

Learn & Grow

As a board volunteer, you need to keep abreast of many segments of the financial services world. By subscribing to industry publications or attending conferences and trainings, you are sure to find out something you didn’t know. For 2017, think about shifting gears to a meeting or publication you haven’t tried before. It never hurts to get off auto-pilot. If you’re looking for recommendations, let me know. I have some possibilities to share, depending on your current interests and needs.

Annual Meeting

Has your credit union’s annual meeting become routine, and … (gasp) … boring? If so, you are not alone. It can easily become a task on the calendar that you just want to “get over with,” but the reality is, it is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your credit union. Are you willing to step out of the box and have some fun? Think about a luau and invite members to wear Hawaiian attire or costumes. Is this a good time to focus on the philosophy of credit unions? Invite someone to talk about how it changed or saved their financial future. There are many ways to spice your annual meeting up, you just need to be willing to get input and make a change.

Question Everything

At your next board meeting, pledge to be the voice that asks “but, what if?” Is there a way to recognize the CEO that you haven’t previously? What about a change to the way the credit union funds community support? How would a name or field of membership change impact the future? Don’t be afraid to throw ideas out for discussion. After all, not only is it your job as a director to worry about the safety and soundness of the institution, but it is also part of your role to be a leader in innovation. Because if the board isn’t willing, who is?

2017 is also the year of the rooster. My impression of the rooster is that he is up too darn early and makes a lot of noise. But, you know, I also know exactly what that sound is when I hear it, and it stands for something. What better way to promote your credit union than to “be the rooster”?

Donya Parrish is the VP-Risk Management for Montana’s Credit Unions. She welcomes questions or comments on this material. You can email or call her (406-324-7374).

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