I just was recently elected to the board of my credit union, and not for the first time! I have been a member-owner, director, manager, and regulator at various times over the last 40 years. Four years ago I assumed the role of General Manager (I retired last July) and I had a chance to get more deeply involved at the credit union system level again. As I participated at Central 1 committee meetings and general meetings, I came to realize that my experiences give me a very different perspective on trends and public policies. I also came to feel unsatisfied with the level of inquiry, debate and vision within our credit union movement in Canada.
I am hoping that this blog will foster some constructive discussion, education and inspiration among credit union member-owners and directors, in particular. For whatever reasons, and we can speculate upon those in future posts, I have noted more and more of the leadership roles and debates are dominated by professional managers. I think this is not as it should be.
I would like to see directors, the elected representatives of credit union members, better informed and engaged in the political decision-making within the Canadian credit union system. I think the director training program in Canada is good, but limited. Our publications, like Enterprise Magazine, are too narrow in scope. And our general meetings are too contrived to serve ‘moderate’ outcomes. In my mind, our directors have to consider the bigger issues and to exchange thoughts with their peers.
Two years ago I wrote a discussion paper, CU Trends and Choices, on the BC credit union system. It was an attempt to stir up some conversations. It still is a good overview.