I came across an article recently that I thought would be a good read for credit union directors. It is written by a SVP at the Banking Supervision Department of the Federal Reserve of Dallas. While the message is geared toward banks, I think is just as relevant to credit unions, if not more so.
Understanding How Culture Drives a Bank’s Mission hits on some important points such as why the culture of the institution is important, how to instill culture, and (more importantly) how to maintain it. The author stresses the importance of open dialogue, saying it “can be a powerful means for management and staff to speak about the bank’s culture and how it contributes to meeting the bank’s mission.” He also says open dialogue can “be a means to identify barriers to values-driven behavior or examples of values-inconsistent behaviors.”
As board members, your role is to help set the mission and direction of the institution. That includes supporting your credit union’s culture and making sure your decisions and actions are (and seen as) truly supportive. When decisions are made in the board room, are the mission and culture considered? It can make a huge difference.
In fact, if youtake away one message from the above read, it might be this — “maintaining a strong, positive culture aligned with the organization’s mission is critical for achieving long-term success and for avoiding missteps that can damage an organization’s reputation or result in financial loss.”
That is a goal we can all agree on!