I love this discussion. I have on my governance team road map to look at candidate endorsement this year so am looking forward to hearing thoughts from others.
1. Would you consider implementing election procedure like those used by MEC? Why or why not?
Yes I would consider implementing some of the procedures that MEC has used. I often speak about their candidate endorsement as a positive. I like that they have more endorsed candidates than vacancies and still allow members to see information on non-endorsed candidates too. Our board has requirements in place and endorsement may be the next step we take as a highly regulated financial services co-operative.
2. How does your co-operative recruit new directors? Could recruitment be improved?
We engage a Director Recruitment Committee comprised of an equal number of directors and Owner Representatives, non of whom can be candidates in the next election. It is their responsibility to manage the recruitment process. They begin their work shortly after the AGM in order to prepare for the next year.
The Committee maintains what we call an Evergreen List of potential candidates. People are added to the Evergreen List either through recommendation by staff, management, directors, Owner Representatives or on their own initiative. Before being placed on the list we do vet the potential candidate to ensure they meet our minimum requirements (1 year as an Owner, financial stability and share of business with Libro). Once placed on the list our Director Recruitment Committee connects with them on an annual basis to get up to date information. From this list the Committee selects those candidates they wish to recruit each year.
The Committee uses information provided by the board on desired skills and attributes, current skills matrix, and other relevant information to decide which candidates to recruit. The recruitment process includes the initial contact and an interview process where 2 members of the Committee meet with each candidate.
3. How do you ensure your directors have the skills needed to successfully participate on the board?
We have a number of ways to ensure director have the necessary skills. First, we look for candidates with the skills and attributes that we’ve identified each year. Once elected they participate annually in a Skills and Qualifications Self-Assessment which tells us about their formal and experiential skill levels. They also participate annually in peer and team assessments to understand how they function in the board room. From these each director completes a development plan which they discuss during a coaching session. Directors participate in individual and group training sessions including those specific to Libro, to the credit union industry and with national organizations like ICD. Directors also attend conferences to expand their knowledge and Libro supports those who are exploring degrees or designations that will enhance their skills as a director.