The job of board liaisons today is multi-faceted and evolving—and it’s a good idea for organizations to foster their development, according to Julia Patrick and Michael G. Daignealt, CCD, in episode 96 of the CUES Podcast.
“It really is proving to be a pivotal position, more so than I think a lot of people realize,” says Daigneault, CEO and co-founder of CUES strategic partner for governance, Quantum Governance, Vienna, Virginia. “The primary purpose of it is often thought of to support the board and support the committee. But I think it’s also to guide them … and make governance more effective.”
That guidance may be a factor in a credit union board becoming high performing rather than mediocre.
“Michael and I share a passion for how internal leadership can really help move an organization forward,” explains Patrick, CEO/co-founder of the American Nonprofit Academy, Phoenix. “That board liaison is oftentimes the centerpiece of an effective board versus maybe a not-so-effective board.”
What are some key responsibilities of board liaisons?
“There’s a lot of issues that go from compliance to recording to all of the different things that have to be stored during official meetings,” Patrick answers. “They’re tracking things through their board portals. They’re actually navigating things that have a fiduciary responsibility as well as keeping the culture of the organization and … (supporting) communication.”
Daigneault echoes those thoughts, noting that because board liaisons are so connected to the board chair, the CEO, directors, committee chairs and committee members, they’re often good glue for holding everything together. They also provide a really important resource for the continuing education of board and committee members, he adds.
Patrick and Daigneault will co-lead Board Liaison Workshop this September. When the two led a previous CUES in-person event for board liaisons, they asked what participants most wanted to learn. The board liaisons cited such things as:
Attendees also expressed a desire to continue evolving the role of board liaison.
“There is a desire for the board liaison to have a stronger voice and to be seen in the C-suite as a very important part of a successful operation and not just a clerical role,” Patrick explains in the show. “To understand that this is a trained, professional piece of someone’s job description, that’s somewhat of a new conversation.”
Daigneault adds that the job of the board liaison is “a multi-faceted role, which is morphing and evolving and becoming more professional day by day.”
The show also gets into: