A new era of transparent debate and both sides of the story will be good for us all!
In general the CU industry is made up of people who like the appearance of consensus, even at their own expense. We are an industry led by those who dislike conflict, to the point that we delegate to the trades. We let them keep us in the dark as they claim to be the group that will fight and debate our issues with the establishment in DC, behind the scenes. Our industry is made up of organizations that are often paralyzed by issues that cannot come to a unanimous vote. Our industry is not really made up of the average set of gawkers that love to be present at a knockdown drag-out fights – we look away. We value the appearance of being cooperative over almost any other marketing stance. But appearing cooperative is not always the same as being cooperative and finding our way to success and sustainability.
Point in case: I have been surprised by the lack of buzz over the change on the NCUA board meetings. It is great, and not just because I think Ms. Matz might be getting her comeuppance for an era of leading by her approved design or manipulated consensus. It is great because for the first time in a very long era under Ms. Matz, I believe we will have board meetings and governance at the agency that will be credible and where the word integrity might become in vogue. The governance we need at the agency is one based on the open discussion of the topics that affect our organizations. The governance that we need is the kind that makes us believe that the board of directors are the arbitrators between bureaucracy and the owners of the credit union industry. Unanimous votes without debate are not the foundation of setting direction, they are the enemy. What we hope is that we get a fair and transparent debate so there is some chance of unanimous execution understood by the governing and the governed. We live in a what-the-heck-are-they-thinking world, and that is crippling to the spirit. And it’s no formula for the innovation we all need to sustain our owners’ and industry’s hopes.
Thank you, Mr. McWatters, for your activities of late and what seems to be a commitment to airing your dissent. For a voice of dissent and a tactic of encouraging debate should be visible everywhere in our industry. That is the fuel of well-thought-out designs. It’s the breath of fresh air needed to fuel change, and the only hope our owners have that they can work with the NCUA to understand the agency’s contribution to our future. I am not saying that I will always take up with Mr. McWatters’s side of the debate, but I will always look for both sides to be present in the minutes of NCUA board meetings over big topics needing careful analysis.
That’s why I’m encouraging everybody in the industry to speak up and join the conversation. And why CU*Answers has created an engine for commenting to the NCUA on the revised proposal. Here’s to dissent, and even risking the unseemly brawls that our industry dreads. Tell Me Why I am Wrong.