A Deep Definition of 'Governance'

deep water diver
Michael G. Daigneault, CCD Photo
Quantum Governance L3C

1 minute

How does your board use its formal and informal authority for the good of the credit union?

While there are as many definitions as governance as there are consultants in this world, here at Quantum Governance, we believe that governance ultimately deals with the legitimate distribution of authority throughout a system--whether it’s a country, a corporation or a nonprofit like a credit union. We believe governance is ultimately how organizational leaders use both the formal and the informal authorities vested in them. How they think, make decisions, develop strategy, persuade, develop future leaders, structure their board and execute initiatives. How they communicate with key stakeholders ... with their staff … with their customers … with their marketplace … with their constituents … and even with each other. Good governance also applies to how your board oversees your CEO; tracks its own performance and the CU's results; conducts its budgeting process; allocates its resources; addresses membership or constituent needs; moves in and through its community; adheres to ethics and financial integrity standards. And, yes, good governance is even about thinking in a genuinely strategic manner. There are some who say “good governance” centers on legal issues--bylaws and conflict-of-interest policies--and how an organization’s board oversees its audit process. But at Quantum Governance, we ask our clients to look much deeper, to how well the board is doing on the many aspects of governance outlined above.

Michael Daigneault, CCD, serves as chief executive officer of CUES strategic provider Quantum Governance, L3C, and has more than 30 years of experience in the field of governance, management, strategy, planning and facilitation.

Daigneault has served as an executive in residence at CUES Governance Leadership Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business.

Daigneault writes Credit Union Management magazine's online "Good Governance" column every other month. Get links to the columns delivered to your inbox when you subscribe to the CUES Advantage e-newsletter. Daigneault is CUES' partner in offering Self Assessment for Credit Union Boards.

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