Coming in JUNE
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
A big thanks to some who made my life better in
"A single leaf working alone provides no shade."
Will You Remember This? (Good article on memory by Brian Thwaits, Brain Trainer)
Oldest Toy Store in the World (Interesting article on Hamley's in London)
Board Management Tips and Tricks (Results of a 6 question survey by StreamLink Software; Feb 2015)
2014 Board Engagement Report (Interesting findings from StreamLink Software via BoardMax)
Diggerland USA (Theme park where you can try construction equipment; New Jersey)
Japan's Corpse Hotels (A place to visit your loved one when the funeral parlour is too busy)
Expedition Photography (Beautiful video by Richard Sidey)
LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)
I've been reading about the "
" 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.
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
I follow NatalyK's happiness blog (
). She recently interviewed Amy Jo Martin, who shared a letter she wrote to her younger self.
I thought it was an insightful exercise, so I'm sharing some highlights, in case you want to try.
These are NatalyK's:
Be here now. Don't miss this moment because you're living in the past or leaning into the future. Trust that you did your best in the past and can handle whatever future brings. This moment is what you have now. Honour it with your presence in it.
Be kinder. To yourself and to people in your life. Yes, I said be kinder to yourself. You can't give what you don't have, so you have to start there.
The path is there even if you can't see it; let it unravel. It may not do so on your timeline or in a way you imagine, but there is magic in letting it become yours. Do the work and detach from the outcome.
These are Amy Jo's:
You're going to experience some amazing things. Humble yourself or the universe will do it for you.
- We can't bank sleep.
- Accept, listen and learn. Trust the process.
- Where purpose, passion and skill collide, bliss resides.
- Don't let other people rent space in your head for free.
- Learn when to make things happen vs. when to let things happen.
- Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is extremely powerful.
- Read. Read. Read.
- Words matter.
- Try not to worry so much about: your career, your weight, your finances, your future, etc.
- Your career is going to take off, but please, please don't get caught up.
- Be kind and smile.
It's worth it to read the whole thing at
Amy Jo Martin's Blog
Heard in the Board Room
A belief in my flaw system
(Could also be true)
Visually see it
(as opposed to?)
You can't boil the ocean
(great image re capacity)
meaning the day-to-day grind of work activity)
branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as such)
What a pleasant surprise...! CPH
Love the Logical Fallacies!
So much to love in this month's newsletter. WS
Contributors to this issue: Mary Jane Alanko, Brian Edwards, Helena Hill, Laureen Regan, Wanda Stephens
Books by Moi
Understanding Bylaws: A Guide for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations
Exceptional Board Members, Exception Boards
|With fond acknowledgement to Douglas Adams and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
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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
in concert again and continue to be blown away. If you're a fan you'll enjoy this article about them from 1964
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.
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,
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
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.
- A.R. Ammons
Have a wonderful June, everyone.
Q: WHAT IS FRAUD AND HOW CAN WE PREVENT IT?
A: A DEFINITION, A SUSPECT LIST, AND TEN STEPS!
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:
- Segregation of duties. If you don't have enough bodies, implement peer or management review.
- Dual signing authorities. Don't sign cheques without supporting documents. And never sign blank cheques.
- Documented procedures. Document every process that deals with money; test for compliance periodically.
- Reconcile bank statements monthly. The person with bank access shouldn't do the reconciliation.
- Conduct background checks. Do this for employees and volunteers; always check references.
- Implement a Fraud and Ethics policy. Include expectations and consequences.
- Control access to funds. Limit access to bank accounts and credit cards; require receipts for expense claims.
- User access controls. Unique usernames and passwords for everyone in the organization.
- Regular financial reporting package. Ensure board gets reports at least quarterly.
- 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.
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
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
About LUE-42 Enterprises
I help associations and boards with tasks that can't be done in-house due to lack of capacity, time, skill, or a combination. I spend most of my time with governance, planning, bylaws, board development, interim management, and writing. I'm also a playwright, a funeral celebrant, and a big fan of the Canadian Football League. I have a great life. If I can help to improve your life, let me know.
Contact LUE-42 Enterprises firstname.lastname@example.org www.lue42.com