Two Reactions to NCUA’s Proposed Succession Rule

In January the NCUA board in a 2-1 vote issued a proposed rule to implement new requirements for succession planning.  Two observers’ responses follow.

One approach to succession planning.

Credit union consultant Ancin R. Cooley’s solution.

Her name is Asha Monroe Cooley.  There are two interpretations of this strategy.

  1. Ancin is hoping Asha will be his business partner and successor.
  2. He is perpetuating the Cooley brand, but in another context.

The message for credit unions:  either perpetuate yourself or create new models to sustain the movement.

The Most Important Thing is Not the Person in Charge  (excerpt from CUSO Magazine by Randy Karnes)

“I agree with planning for leadership changes, planning your response to them, organizing for the potential deer in the headlights look you get when your leader decides or has it decided for them now is the time to step off.

“But I do not agree with many of the things that succession consultants and “we can fix it people” will cast upon organizations in the quest to “predict the future and pick people now.”

“By forcing your hand to do something, NCUA has made it all too easy to simply check the box (possibly at great expense) and move on. But succession planning is important for an organization’s longevity. To be successful at succession/continuity planning and its execution:

  • Create an organization that expects, demands, and wills the organization to have a future that needs a leader. Build that expectation every day.
  • Present a firm to the marketplace, candidates, and stakeholders that is based on a dynamic mission worthy of its individual contributors’ time and efforts.
  • Focus on the key processes to complete the task more than you are on the subjective evaluations of human social tradeoffs. It’s a project with tasks to manage, not a social dilemma for the ages.
  • Focus on expected outcomes and their priorities more than the way to achieve them. A prospective CEO needs the assignment as the compass and goal more than a blank page to assign leadership skill to.
  • You need everyone to lighten up and avoid the drive for certainty and perfection from ensuring the paralysis and regrets of failure. It’s a 50/50 proposition picking a new leader, and one that gets better with doing it multiple times, not just once.

“Have plan, budget a course of action, and trust the future. And then get back to building the will, the confidence, and the positive belief that your organization will survive. Because the most important thing to your team’s future is not the person in charge; it is the confidence that your design, your stakeholders, and your membership can sell their intent to survive.

“I hate that so few credit unions today can proudly declare we are valuable, we are the ones our members need, and we see this mission as important, intoxicating, and something to hand off to our future leaders.

“Please do not see this as a task to simply put a new butt in a seat… it’s not. It is a constant culture of building a case to always be in the game and trust the future to those willing to lead.”


3 Replies to “Two Reactions to NCUA’s Proposed Succession Rule”

  1. Reading your blog and Karnes article some thoughts came to mind.
    Many times Boards have no succession plans and put the task of selecting a CEO in the hands of a headhunter. Sometimes the headhunter looks at internal candidates or sometimes they push current inventory. Sometimes the search ends up with the best outgoing personality and not the best qualified.
    Boards should be focus on what works best in their culture of benefiting the members. Also what does not benefit the current members. The end game of selecting an CEO should be a well thought out plan of maintaining what works best in the current culture that benefits the members and build on those points.

  2. With all this talk of succession planning this happens:

    You mean to tell me they could not find someone to replace the CEO? That the future of this trade association was not viable?

    Because the most important thing to your team’s future is not the person in charge; it is the confidence that your design, your stakeholders, and your membership can sell their intent to survive.

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