Life, the Universe, and Everything*
Musings from Linda / LUE-42 Enterprises      Issue #101, July 2019
Hello and welcome to July!
How was your June? It was a real stop/start month for me. When I returned from my awesome cruise it took awhile to lose the sea legs and find my work legs. I managed to be productive right out of the gate, but not without naps!

As you know, June can be a twilight zone for board work. Organizations want everything done by summer, before they let their volunteer directors take a well-deserved break. For me, this means many meetings get scheduled and all projects have urgent deliverable deadlines. But then as the month goes on the meetings get cancelled because people have accepted that it all won't get done by June 30. I use those "found" down-times to sort/store my files and clean my office. As I look around my office now though, I confess I should have done more sorting and less napping!

June's non-board work has been pretty fulfilling, too. I've been enjoying the launch of the CFL season. In addition to my team starting fairly strong, I had another guest appearance on the Eskimo Empire Podcast. Even though I missed most of training camp because of the cruise, I still had a good time predicting and postulating. The craft beer industry continues to boom, so I also got to tour some more breweries. Unfortunately, for as much studying as I did for my Cicerone exams, I was not ready to write. So my timeline to become a kick-butt beer sommelier is pushed out a bit. I got to see one of my all time favourite bands (Trooper!) and bop around to some favourite hits. And most importantly,  I'm really enjoying the rehearsal process for my new play. Concentrated chunks of time with talented, funny people is so good for the soul!

I was called for jury selection and got to sit in a room with nearly 200 other people for four hours. I was literally the next person to be called up for swearing in when the judge said, "We have our jury and alternates. Thank you for your time." So not me this time. That also freed up a bit of time for sorting (and napping). 

Canada Day is a good time to take a deep breath and refocus your energy. I hope you find time to play, nap, sort, and do whatever else makes you happy this summer. After all, a happier you makes the whole world better. PS: I hope you enjoy my new mobile-friendly template! 


"Whoever is happy will make others happy." Anne Frank

Question: What is "Quorum" and Why Do We Care?
ANSWER: In order for an organization to transact business legally, a minimum number of directors needs to be present. This is a QUORUM. 
          If you don't have quorum then the Chair should  stop the meeting  because anything you come up with is invalid. Sadly, many Chairs lack the courage to do this. Is chit chatting with a few board members nice? Sure, but it's not the work of the board. So go home! 
          If not reaching quorum is a regular thing for your board, then you should examine three things: 
     1) Are our meetings a good use of time?
     2) Are our meetings held at the right time?
     3) Is our quorum set at the right number
          Give #1 and #2 a good hard look; be honest. Is your agenda designed to focus on the true work of the board? Do you need a monthly to so that work, or would a longer quarterly meeting work better? As for #3, note that "quorum" is NOT synonymous with "majority" (unless your legislation defines it that way).
          Quorum is usually set in the bylaws , and can be expressed as a number or as a percentage . In most Canadian legislation, 3 is the minimum needed to run a corporation (profit or not-for-profit), so I always ensure that quorum is never fewer than 3, no matter how many directors are on the board. I usually recommend more than 3, but  almost always choose a number that is less than a majority.  BoardSource recommends that the number you choose should be "representative of the full board." Makes sense, right?
          This example from BoardSource is really helpful: Let's say your board of 16 directors requires a 40% quorum. This means that 7 directors ensure a meeting's validity. If your board votes by majority, then 4 of the 7 in attendance "determine the fate of an issue." Therefore, 1/4 of the board can bind the entire organization. This may be okay (generally my view), but it may not be okay (generally BoardSource's view), so it's useful to consider worse case scenarios when determining what quorum belongs in your bylaws.
Canada Flag
11 (UN)
New Convo
Hot Dogs
18 (UN)
Ice Cream
One Voice
28 (WHO)
30 (UN)

July is also Ice Cream Month, Horseradish Month, and Cell Phone Courtesy Month.
July 9 Cow Appreciation Day
Linda @ 6 years
Geraldine the cow likes to stand on one leg.
July 5 Bikini Da y
What's Wrong with Boeing? Hint: Could be the Board
Ellen Florian's article (Fortune, May 23 2019) examines Boeing's current problems (notably the 737 Max aircraft) through a  governance lens . She interviews governance experts about whether Boeing's board is, at least in part, to blame for the problems. Her sources state, " A board of directors exists to make sure a corporation is being managed properly," yet Boeing scores in the bottom 1/3 of S&P companies (even though directors' median pay is $346,000). In her article, the governance experts  touch on the following:
  • Size of board (At 13, it is larger than the average which is 10)
  • Board interconnections (Some directors also serve on boards for related companies; speaks to objectivity)
  • Connections to Washington (Some directors have direct links to government and former governments)
  • The "right" expertise (Sometimes name recognition of director is chosen over qualifications or a focus on safety)
Florian's  governance experts conclude that the board likely has a role in Boeing's current problems. The article closes with the same question we are asking: Can the same  board get them out of the problem?   Here is the article
Shout Out to s ome people who made my life better in June:
MaryJane Alanko, Terry Davies, Brian Edwards, Leo Ezerins, Liz Garratt, Andrew Hopkins, Donna & Lyle Kuzik, Lynn MacAskill, Ann MacTaggart, Kelly McClung, Phumuzile Miriyoga, Patty O'Neil, Lindy Rollingson, Lori Schmidt,
Mike Smith-Knutsen, Giri Srinivasan, Ethel Thorne, Theresa Tsoukalas, Gord West, Lil West, Dale White, Bobbi Fitzgerald & Chris Wood, Mandy Foster & Dave Sutherland, TROOPER!

"Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one." Jane Howard 
Links We Like
"It is easy to break down and destroy. 
The heroes are those who make peace and build." Nelson Mandela
"Get fired. If you're not pushing hard enough to get fired, you're not pushing hard enough." 
Tom Peters
"There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about." 
Oscar Wilde
"When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." 
Archbishop Helder Camara
Reader Comments
Pre-cut carrots are NOT worth paying extra for...but loved the rest. MA (For the record, I agree)
Another wonderful e-zine! MD
Congratulations...Wow,100th piece - that is huge! DV
Mmmmm... jumbo marshmallows can be toasted 3 times. NK
Congrats on your 100 newsletters! CPH
I look forward to your newsletters each month. GC
Cut Outs for Photo Opps      

Don't pass up the chance to stick your  face in a hole that represents  something important to a town.  It's silly and fun.

If you'd like to help, please email Linda. Thanks!
   A new play by Linda Wood Edwards at the Edmonton Fringe!

   Directed by David Cheoros
   Starring  Francie Goodwin-Davies, James Hamilton, Janelle Jorde,
   Andy Northrup, Kevin Tokarsky

   Fri Aug 16 @ 10:30pm      Sat Aug 17 @ 12:00Noon      Sun Aug 18 @ 7:45pm    
   Tue Aug 20 @ 7:00pm      Wed Aug 21 @ 10:15pm        Thu Aug 22 @ 1:45pm
   Fri Aug 23 @ 5:15pm        Sat Aug 24 @ 8:00pm
   Venue #13 Old Strathcona Public Library; 8331 - 104 Street
  Tickets available at 12Noon on Aug 07;  780.409.1910 or   

We're onto the second half of 2019. Let's make good use of the remaining time -- let's challenge ourselves, check off some bucket list items, enjoy life along the way. Thank you for reading my e-zine and being part of the best community a governance nerd could ever ask for. You make my heart sing.
 LUE-42 Enterprises

* with fond acknowledge to Douglas Adams and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
LUE-42 Enterprises