Coming in JULY
1 Canada Day
6 Intern'l Kissing Day
11 Cheer up the Lonely Day
11 World Population Day (UN)
14 Pandemonium Day
17 Yellow Pig Day/Celebration of the Number 17 (Mathematicians)
24 Cousin's Day
28 World Hepatitis Day (UN)
30 Intern'l Day of Friendship (UN)
30 World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (UN)
31 System Administrator Appreciation Day
A big thanks to some who made my life better in
June...Buckle up! There were so many of you (and I am oso grateful)
Stephanie Baran / Lynelle
Carol Ann Burrell
Karen Johnson-Diamond /Carly McKee / Braden Griffiths / Arielle Rombould
Camille Fecteau / Mark Bellamy
Judy Lawrence / Richard Gregson
Bev West /Robyn West /
"Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results."
Ultra Chic Mens' Hairstyles of the 70s (Go you. You know you want to)
Story Behind Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" (In case you didn't know)
Speciaaltjes (Amazing photos/ art work)
Cell Phones in Public (What you wish you could do)
100 Life Hacks
Century Old Blackboards Uncovered (So interesting!)
(Inc. folding a fitted sheet)
LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)
Here are some of the latest from
The Washington Post
contest for new words...
Cashtration (n.):The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financiallyimpotent for an indefinite period of time.
Intaxication:Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it wasyour money to start with.
Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.
Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at threein the morning and cannot be cast out.
Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.
to existing words.
Flabbergasted (adj): Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.
Abdicate (v): To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
Negligent (adj): Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
Lymph (v): To walk with a lisp.
Gargoyle (n): Olive-flavored mouthwash.
Balderdash (n): A rapidly receding hairline.
Make a Bad Day
This is another good bit of advice from NatalyK's happiness blog (
She says, "
We all have them...only recently have I allowed myself to be honest about having a bad day.
But we can't fake it forever...The pain collects. At some point it overpowers us...The first step to feeling better on a bad day is to acknowledge that you're going to have a bad day."
She goes on to say, "The worst thing to do is to create a struggle between how we feel and how we think we should feel. So much frustration and unhappiness lives right in that space: the space between how things are and how we have imagined they should be." (I'm good at this!)
Bad Day Survival Checklist
Step 1: Check in
Pause and take a deep breath. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and to have a bad day.
Step 2: Adjust the day. If possible, adjust your calendar. Avoid making huge decisions, having really critical meetings, or being in a situation where you have to do your absolute best.
Step 3: Positive prime with gratitude. Write down three things you appreciate about your day (even tiny things). Gratitude shifts the chemistry of our brains and helps us feel more positive.
Step 4: Blast your stress with kindness. The best way to feel better is to do something kind for someone else. There is no kindness act too small.
Step 5: Go for a walk. Get as close to nature as you can get. It will shift your perspective and can stop negative, obsessive thoughts.
Step 6: Nourish yourself. Eat something you really enjoy, read a few pages from a book that makes your heart feel good, look at photos on your phone that make you smile, put on something you really love to wear, etc.
NatalyK says to be extra nice to yourself, just like you would to a friend who is having a rough day. "You deserve your own kindness."
As a board member I've been asked to sign, and as a board consultant I've asked others to sign, confidentiality agreements. This has become standard practice -- some might even say
. So an article I just read really got my attention.
writes an advice column for Strata Councils (that's BC-speak for Condo Boards). Someone questioned the requirement of signing a confidentiality agreement.
Here are some key points from Geoventu, many of which apply to
of councils/ boards:
- Confidentiality agreements are
not a requirement
of the Act, the regulations, or the standard bylaws.
(Note: Check your legislation and governing documents)
- If the requirement of a confidentiality agreement has been "added" to the bylaws or is a policy, be clear on its
and on your ability to
of confidentiality for your council/board.
- Ensure that censoring/silencing council/board members does not conflict with everyone's
(i.e., That every council/board member is required to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the corporation).
- Ensure bylaws and policies cover requirements for:
- council/board members' behaviour;
- types of meetings where observers are not permitted; and
- what information is reported in the minutes. (Don't forget that the Personal Information Protection Act and common law principles also apply).
Geoventu's article has
of when the council/board meets without observers and what is (or is not) recorded.
(Check it out!)
He also adds that the best practice for strata councils is to
council members when a matter is confidential, the chair should share the
and remind the council of their
to protect the information.
Finally, Geoventu says if you have an indiscreet council/board member,
deal with them openly and directly
at a council/board meeting.
(Wouldn't that be refreshing!)
Here's the June 08, 2016 article
Thanks to Delta Appraisal Corporation for sharing this.
Heard in the Board Room
A thousand pinpoints of light
(Signifies hope, at least to me)
Alberta exports most of its unemployment
Let's take some soak time on the issue
(Think about things)
You'll need some lubricant (
Use diplomacy to get your way. Right?)
(Occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected; difficult to predict)
We lost sight of what good looks like
(Happens outside the board room, too!)
(An internship-type work arrangement for someone returning after a long absence)
One of my favorite reads on non-profit governance... informative, humorous...JF
Always such amazing stories and content! EP
...It sure seems like your newsletter was written just for me this month!...terrific stuff... thank you very much...CAB
Thank you for the shout out! NG
Contributors to this issue: Helena Hill, Margaret Nickel, Ernie Paustian, Paul Rechner, Laureen Regan, Greg Swanson, Joe Wood
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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Is June really over? It seems ages since I spent time at the Eskimos training camp, but it was just a few short weeks ago. In fact, the team has been picked and the
CFL season has opened. I even booked my Grey Cup trip to Toronto.
I attended the
75th anniversary of No. 31 Elementary Flying Training School
De Winton (part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan). You might remember that my mom lied about her age to be a flight-line mechanic there (that's the focus of my play
"Never Let the Crew See You Cry"). It was amazing to be at De Winton and see where she worked "the best job of her life." There's not much standing now, but even the grown-over runways and old building foundations gave me a sense of place (and a sense of peace). I was able to share some of mom's stories and show her photograph album. There aren't many people left to appreciate it, but there were a few and I was so glad I could be there.
I was honoured that Lunchbox Theatre selected my play about mom and De Winton to be part of the
Suncor Stage One Festival of New Canadian Theatre. This meant I got to spend a week in Calgary workshopping it. My director and actors were immensely talented, helpful, and fun. Plus the kind people who billeted me offered a beautiful space to write. And write. And write!
Lunchbox Theatre hosted a public reading of the much revised script on the final day and the audience really enjoyed it. The Q&A session after was also most helpful and I can't wait to remount the play and tour it this fall!
Rehearsals for my new
"Trail and Error" are so much fun and we finally signed off on the poster (see below). We hope you can join us in
August and be among the many who will laugh at my pain and poor judgement. Don't worry -- I can take it (now).
I had a quick trip to
Golden which really put me into the writing zone, where I've stayed most of the month. I hope I can settle in this creative mood for a while longer, as I've some stories that are dying to get out of my head and onto the page!
On the hottest day of the year so far I received a gift of a beautiful
vintage mink coat. Of course, I think I look quite glamourous in it but, just to put things in perspective, I stopped at the 20th anniversary of the
Torrington Gopher Hole Museum. Some of those gophers look better in clothes than I do in fur. But not all of them!
I hope in the coming month you have a chance to
some things in life; perhaps make a
to an interesting town or view a giant something-or-other. Getting off the main highways can do wonders for a
. Have a joyous July, all.
"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."
Q: IS IT WRONG TO THINK MY BOARD ACTS LIKE A BUNCH OF CHILDREN?
A: NO, I THINK THAT'S PRETTY STANDARD (BUT IT MIGHT BE WRONG TO TELL THEM SO)
The thing about working with boards is finding a way to help them behave like good children and not naughty children!
Often when I do governance training and orientation for new board members I refer to the tiny volume "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum. Some may think these principles trite, but I certainly don't. I mean, how can you not get behind these?
- Play fair.
- Don't hit people.
- Put things back where you found them.
- Clean up your own mess.
- Don't take things that aren't yours.
- Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
- When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Do you agree that those are appropriate for boards as well as children (and adults in general)? So I was thrilled to see an article recently about viewing boards from a child's point of view.
In "A Child's View of Nonprofit Board Culture" (BoardSource, June 09, 2016),
Liz Wooten Reschke
speaks as both a mother and a board consultant. I get that her kids don't understand what she does, because I could never make my mom see it either.
Wooten Reschke imagined what her kids would see if they followed her into a boardroom for work. From there, she drew up the
that she imparts here.
1. Respect each other's personal viewpoints and space.
There will be times in any relationship when you disagree and the type of conversations and relationships you allow will guide future interactions. Can you disagree and not hold a grudge? Do you put family (your NFP) first? Can you use differing opinions to spur inquisitive discussion?
2. Treat each other with kindness and caring, even when we're upset.
It is a good thing to be passionate about your volunteer commitment but how do you handle getting your point across in a heated discussion? Can you celebrate the lively discussion or will you drag it up later as ammunition?
3. Because I said so.
One voice should not be prominent in the boardroom, but often this is the case. What does the board/staff partnership look like? Who are the "parents" in the boardroom? Are they working together or against one another?
4. Mind your meetings.
What is your frequency of board meetings and when was the last time you examined it? Are your meetings empowering your board to meet its mission OR burning out board members? How are you making sure your board meetings are intentional and productive?
5. Move your Elf on the Shelf.
There are many stakeholders in the nonprofit sector, and there is opportunity to make your efforts visual, competitive, and creative through technology. How is your board sharing ideas and mission successes through social media? Who are your agency's elves (i.e, who's paying attention to the great work you do)? How are you engaging them, helping promote creativity and a healthy bit of competition by moving them to action?
Wooten Reschke encourages you to think about how your boardroom and board dynamics might look to an outsider. Chances are they see things from a totally different perspective.
To me, this is a great reminder. Especially with so many boards navigating the waters of whether meetings are public or closed. What if a child walked in and watched you in action at the board table?
On that note, I will close this with one of my favourite Kindergarten lessons:
Take a nap every afternoon.
Best Board Meeting
recently published an article by
, PhD., President of Signature Resources, Inc. entitled
"The Best Board Meeting I Ever Attended."
Like me, Wallace spends a ton of time in meetings as an advisor and/or as a Board member. Wallace identified the following elements in the best meeting he'd ever attended.
My comments are in italics.
1. CONSENT AGENDA
The meeting began
online and 10 days prior to the physical meeting with approval of the consent agenda (CEO, updates from key staff members). Proper use of the consent agenda simply requires a
read-through and consent.
(I love the idea of doing this in advance, although I know it will push some Boards to get the info out even earlier).
2. MEETING AGENDA
Today's high-performance board agenda moves from
strategic to operations in that order. No more "old business" "new business" stuff.
(Yes, yes, yes!).
3. DASHBOARD FINANCIALS
The financial report was presented as a
one-page, color-coded (green, yellow, red) dashboard of
key financial indicators that the board developed earlier. The
finance committee did the deep dive into the details and reported exceptions and recommendations to the board, which were then approved.
(I like the "at-a-glance" approach, but acknowledge that both trust and understanding need to be present).
4. BOARD SUCCESSION
A "Governance Leadership Succession" discussion was held on potential future board members the board had identified and
engaged. Conversation focused on how they
fit the desired profile. The board
tracks progress quarterly on
early identification and development of next generation board members.
(I know one board who talks about this quarterly but it does not seem like time well spent. Ideas of making this more useful are welcome!).
5. REDUCED JIBBER-JABBER
read the board packet so their contributions were
cogent and to the issue.
No repeating what
other board members had said; no drifting into "administrivia." They
saved space for meaningful dialogue during the "strategic update" segment (50-75 percent of meeting time).
(I wish, oh how I wish...).
6. EXECUTIVE SUMMARIES
Staff and committee presentations/recommendations were in "executive summary"
one-page formats. Background
information was on the board's web site for those who needed details. This jump-started the board discussion on
action vs. the history of how we got there.
(This approach provides something for the "highlights only" people and the "dig deep" people without bogging down the agenda package).
7. STRATEGIC DIALOGUE
Thirty minutes into the agenda, the board had completed its "business oversight" and moved on to a significant strategic issue. This allowed 45 minutes of dialogue about the
continued relevance of the strategy, updates on progress, new data points / information relative to the strategy, confirmation of continued importance, and recommitment to tactics, timing, and resources. Conversation was "
generative" in that it focused on creating ideas and developing new perspectives on strategy.
(It is a good idea to have generative conversations when the board is fresh. This model would accomplish that).
8. BOARD DEVELOPMENT
The meeting ended with a short board development segment focused on the
discussion of a governance article
on the board's role in enterprise risk management that the members had read in advance. This 15-minute segment
of the agenda directly related to board development
goals established at the annual planning retreat and was based on the results of the board's most recent
(I like this. Some boards expand their meetings by hours or even days to accommodate board development. A 15 minute segment related to an identified need sounds like a great idea).
9. IMMEDIATE ASSESSMENT
Each board member completed a
quick evaluation survey
of the meeting, answering three
questions: 1. Are you leaving the meeting confident in the overall
performance of our organization
? 2. Did you feel you had
for input? 3. Would you change anything for
(I've tried every kind of board meeting assessment and this sounds better than most).
Last month I mentioned Gord Sheppard, a colleague who specializes in creating awesome meetings. If you were at CSAE Edmonton's June event you probably got to meet him. In case you missed him,
. Of course, I'm happy to help as well!
My New Play!
Linda Wood Edwards
How do you make a horrible year even worse? Hike the Chilkoot Trail. In bear and avalanche season. In borrowed boots. This true story is not your average Klondike melodrama.
Fri, Aug 12 - 2:00p
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Fri, Aug 19 - 9:15p
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STRATHCONA BRANCH LIBRARY, VENUE 13
8331 104 STREET | AIR CONDITIONED COMFORT
Tickets available August 3rd: (780) 409-1910 or
We are interested in finding ways to help you help us. Please contact me to discuss. Thanks! /lmwe
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