Making Decisions off the Grid
Written by Anthony Demangone
As I am likely dipping my toes in Deep Creek Lake at this moment, I hope you don't mind if I dig deep into the archives to dust off an old blog post that still has merit.Â
Back on March 7, 2010, I wrote about being "off the grid" for the NAFCU Compliance Blog. Â And while my last post dealt with "blowing up" old, dusty things to start anew, I'm making an exception here. Â
As managers, we often live off the grid. Â We must make decisions without clear guidance, direction, or data. Â So, how do we do this? Â Here's a possible way of looking at that issue. Â I've updated the post, but it remains very close to the original.
- Your employee handbook
- A discussion with your HR manager to discuss possible discrimination issues
- A thorough review of your file, communications, emails, etc., regarding the issue
- Your HR manager may review EEOC regulations, guidance, or may find it appropriate to reach out to in-house or outside counsel
- You may wish to consider whether similar situations occurred in the past, or if similar situations are taking place in other divisions at the same timeÂ Â
So, what do you do? Â Here are some possible solutions.
- Plow ahead blindly.Â Â Can you do this or that? Â There's no answer, so just go ahead and do it. This solution is very simple, and it does allow processes to move ahead quickly. Â However, it doesn't measure the risk of a given situation. Â You can use this method and get away with it. But should a problem pop up (lawsuit), you may have to unwind a decision in a very costly way.
- Hit the brakes. Â Can you do this or that? Â There's no answer, so let's shy away from the potential risk. This solution is also simple, and it protects you from risk. Â However, it doesn't measure risk, and it may keep you from implementing viable solutions that can help your members and your bottom line. Â You'll never get burned using this system. Â If you don't cross the street, you won't get hit by a horse and buggy. Â But you won't get to the other side either.Â
- Control the risk. Â There are a number of ways to do this. Â If a given situation has no clear guidance, take a step back and think about risk in a global way. Â Could the decision lead to a lawsuit? Â Member complaints? Â Disrupt operations? Â Affect liquidity risk? Â Reputation? Â Strategic risk? Â Does the decision merit a legal opinion from an attorney? Â What does your examiner think? Your Regional Director? Â Should you call someone at NCUA's General Counsel's office and chat about it? Â Or hire an attorney to do any or all of the above? Â Can you purchase insurance to protect you if the decision leads to problems? Â Have other credit unions or managers gone down this path? Â What happened? Â This solution is not simple, but it does measure risk and allow management to make an informed decision. Â Knowing the risk, you'll be better able to price the product, limit concentration risk, think about alternatives, etc.Â Â
Have a great week, guys. Â