Musings about 
Life, the Universe, and Everything * 
from Linda / LUE-42 Enterprises 

Issue #64; June 2016
Coming in JUNE

Great Outdoors Month!

1 Say Something Nice Day
4 Hug Your Cat Day
5 World Environment Day (UN)
5 Cancer Survivors Day
8 World Oceans Day (UN)
9 Jerky Day
14 World Blood Donor Day (WHO)
14 Bourbon Day
17 World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought (UN)
18 Intern'l Sushi Day
20 World Refugee Day (UN)
20 World Productivity Day
25 Global Beatles Day
27 Industrial Workers of the World Day

Shout Out!
A big thanks to some who made my life better in May

Mandy Foster
Russ Heppell
Joe Howdle
Paul Nahirney
Joseph Parenteau
Matt Pretty
Val Rutherford
Gord Sheppard
Jason Sjolie
Theresa Tsoukalas
Gord West

"A single leaf working alone provides no shade."
~Chuck Page
Will You Remember This? (Good article on memory by Brian Thwaits, Brain Trainer)
Click Here
Oldest Toy Store in the World
(Interesting article on Hamley's in London)
Click Here

Board Management Tips and Tricks
(Results of a 6 question survey by StreamLink Software; Feb 2015)
Click Here 
2014 Board Engagement Report (Interesting findings from StreamLink Software via BoardMax)
Click Here

Diggerland USA
(Theme park where you can try construction equipment; New Jersey)
Click Here

Japan's Corpse Hotels
(A place to visit your loved one when the funeral parlour is too busy)
Click Here

Expedition Photography
(Beautiful video by Richard Sidey)
Click Here 

LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)  
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine) 
Slow Down

     I've been reading about the " slow movement" lately, including an article in Costco Connection (May/June 2016). This is about slowing down and making sure what we're doing is really important and that we're getting what we need to get out of doing it.
     I liked these suggestions to add slowness to our lives.

1. Breathe. If you feel panicky, stop and take some deep breaths.

2. Speed audit. Ask yourself if you're going too fast doing what you're doing. If so, slow down.

3. Downsize your calendar. Pick the least important activity you've scheduled for next week and drop it. ( Yes, we can do that!)

4. Schedule unscheduled time. Block two hours in your week and plan nothing for it. Just slow down.

5. Find a slow ritual. Identify a task that puts you into low gear (e.g., knitting, painting, gardening) and use it to shift your speed.

 -- Carl Honore, In Praise of Slowness

PS My best technique for slowing down is to have one or more cats sleep on my lap. I have to sit still because they are too precious to disturb!

Advice to Your
Younger Self    
Heard in the Board Room

Reader Notes
Wish I'd said that...

Books by Moi   


Understanding Bylaws: A Guide for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations

ISBN 978-0-9866030-0-6


 Exceptional Board Members, Exception Boards 

ISBN 978-0-9866030-1-3



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     Oh May! Such a jam packed month with so much happening in the world, in Alberta, in our communities, and in my heart.
     The great news (for me) is that all the CFL training camps have opened and I've been able to carve out some time to sit in the stands and watch veterans and hopefuls compete to win the job. I also got to spend time with friends (and the Grey Cup) at the Eskimos Womens' Dinner, sample wine at the Eskimos Alumni Winefest, attend a fan launch party for the new season, and even try on the Eskimos' new Grey Cup Ring (my "bling" radar was off the charts with it). So football is definitely back!
     In other entertainment I saw The Who in concert again and continue to be blown away. If you're a fan you'll enjoy this article about them from 1964 Click
     I saw my first burlesque show (shout out to Send in the Girls Burlesque!) and had a blast. I also went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time in ages (if you don't count last fall's live performance). There was a shadow cast acting it out in front of the movie screen, and it was a hoot (shout out to
Metro Cinema at the Garneau!). I remembered most of the lines, too!
     I'm having a good time in the rehearsal process for "Trail and Error". I should have a schedule for the Fringe soon, so for those of you who are asking, please stay tuned. The Edmonton Fringe is August 11-21, 2016.
     There have been many annual general meetings and board
retreats lately because everyone is trying to give their volunteers the summer off. I hope that works this year, because it sure didn't last year! My truck has seen an awful lot of Hwy 2 this month, but I don't mind because I get to spend time with boards that are doing some really great work.
     I enjoyed coffee with a new friend who is also trying to help boards through better meetings. Gord Sheppard has written " How to Create Awesome Meetings" and because he's been in nearly as many meetings as I have, I believe he has the credibility and skills to help out. If you're curious, Click Here
     An annual general meeting means that most boards have to say goodbye to seasoned directors and hello to rookies. We all admit that renewal on a board is important, but it can be a difficult time. Invariably, it leads to questions about term limits. But for as many times as I hear, "Can't we find a way to keep this great director on the board?" I hear, "What can we do to get this person off the board before the term is up?" So we still have work to do. (Remember: a good set of bylaws can help with both of those questions).
     One board I have the privilege of working with had a director pass away suddenly in May. This is always difficult for a board (in addition to family and friends, of course) and it will take the board awhile to adjust while directors deal with their own grief.
David Lane was an excellent director and he really "got" boards and the importance of community service. He was a former CIS all star and an alumnus of the Hamilton Tiger Cats as well as being Executive Director of  the John Howard Society of Hamilton-Burlington. Rest in Peace, Dave.
      Of course, May is also the month where my mom is top of mind -- Mother's Day, her birthday, and the second anniversary of her passing. Some days she was with me in happy memories and other days I was just leveled by the feeling of loss. Over time (and mercifully), a person does find coping strategies to get through it. Family helps, too.
      Loss certainly comes to mind when we think of the Fort McMurray fire and evacuation. I am proud of how communities have stepped up to help and to ease the path of all the displaced people. Here's hoping for a safe and swift return for them and for coming back stronger than ever.

One can't
have it
     both ways
     and both
     ways is
     the only
     way I
     want it.
     - A.R. Ammons

Have a wonderful June, everyone.


My mom and me
The Answer   

     We don't like to even think that someone would defraud a non-profit, yet fraud is prevalent in our sector.
     A few months ago I was invited to "Protecting Non-Profit Organizations from Fraud", sponsored by law firm MLT. Four firms talked about risk management (Foster Park Brokers), protection (MNP), recovery (MLT), and communication (Incite).
     Foster Park define fraud as:
  • Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain
  • Theft by lying or cheating
  • Using acts of forgery and false documents
  • Engaging in deceptive behaviour
  • Manipulating information
     Who does the stealing from a NFP?
  • CEO or other managers (30%)
  • Board members, CFO, or financial staff (28%)
  • Hired fundraisers (28%)
  • Other employees/volunteers (14%)
     Experts say that 20% of people always walk the moral high ground, 20% are inherently dishonest, and 60% are in between, but could be fraudulent depending on motive and opportunity. The reasons most often given for stealing from a NFP are:
  • They're not really stealing because they intend to pay it back;
  • They're going to return it; no one would notice;
  • They've earned it because they're not appreciated;
  • They are not being paid what they deserve.

     According to MNP, these are the top 10 fraud prevention measures:

  1. Segregation of duties. If you don't have enough bodies, implement peer or management review.
  2. Dual signing authorities. Don't sign cheques without supporting documents. And never sign blank cheques.
  3. Documented procedures. Document every process that deals with money; test for compliance periodically.
  4. Reconcile bank statements monthly. The person with bank access shouldn't do the reconciliation.
  5. Conduct background checks. Do this for employees and volunteers; always check references.
  6. Implement a Fraud and Ethics policy. Include expectations and consequences.
  7. Control access to funds. Limit access to bank accounts and credit cards; require receipts for expense claims.
  8. User access controls. Unique usernames and passwords for everyone in the organization.
  9. Regular financial reporting package. Ensure board gets reports at least quarterly.
  10. Control access to what makes you money. Intellectual property fraud is easy to commit and tough to litigate.

     I know it seems inconvenient (impossible?) to segregate duties when you're a small operation, but it's important. Your auditor (or accountant or bookkeeper or even banker) can give you some suggestions. Plus I have a few, if you want more information.  

     Good luck!

Ways to Honour the Departed       

     In her blog, Mira  Aliki outlined these 10 ways to deal with the loss of our loved ones.

1. Mark their birthdays and anniversaries. Gather together, create new memories about them.

2. Dedicate a candle holder. Write the name on a candle holder and light the candle when you think of the person.

3. Let loose a balloon. Do this when you visit the cemetery or other times of remembrance (PS choose one that is "green" friendly).

4. Plant a tree. Then use it as a place of reflection and connection.

5. Make a collage. Use photos from every stage of your loved one's life. It's great therapy.

6. Frame a cherished memory or legacy. Give it a special place.

7. Engrave their name. Putting it on a garden stone or on a plaque by a tree is a nice idea.

8. Craft a keepsake. Use their clothes or household items to come up with something special.

9. Keep an accessory to wear. This could be a piece of jewelry, a scarf, so on.

10. Have jewelry made. There are things you can do with remains that are quite beautiful.

     To help with my grief in May, I spent time on 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Don't avoid grief -- do whatever it takes to remember and heal.
Here's the whole article Click Here
   11 Life Lessons      

     Back in January Rohan M. Williams' blog was about Amanda Palmer's book " The Art of Asking" (a few months ago I posted a link to her TEDTalk). Her book is an expansion of her talk, and this is my distillation of Williams' summary of Palmer's 11 Life Lessons.

1. Our relationships are everything. Cultivate them. They'll be there for you and you'll be there for them.

2. You can fix almost anything by authentically communicating. Be honest and apologize when you screw up. Trust is worth the effort.

3. The fraud police visit everybody. This is about the Imposter Syndrome (and I've been having many chats about this lately). Palmer says, "The professionals know they're winging it. The amateurs pretend they're not." Just keep doing your best.

4. A small gesture can have a profound impact. It doesn't need to be major. A kind word can make the difference to someone.

5. Find a mentor. None of us makes it through life alone.
6. "Doesn't hurt enough yet." This is the answer to why we keep making horrible decisions for ourselves (when we know better).

7. "If you want to know what you believe, ask the people you taught."
Walk your talk.

8. Haters, cynics, and trolls will drag you down. Be who you are and forget the rest.

9. How to respond to the trolls and bullies. Imagine how a person you respect would handle it; try to find compassion for the person who wrote it.

10. Asking without possibility of rejection isn't really asking. Being vulnerable shows you're worth it.

11. Being real is hard. Put yourself out there.

Here's the whole blog  Click  

About LUE-42 Enterprises 

Contact LUE-42 Enterprises                 

Musings about 
Life, the Universe, and Everything
from Linda and LUE-42 Enterprises 

Issue #59; January 2016