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

Issue #65; July 2016
Coming in JULY

Anti-Boredom Month and
Hot Dog

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

Shout Out!
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
David Cheoros
Brian Edwards
Sandra Fast
Jackie Foord
Mandy Foster
Anne Gafiuk
Liz Garratt
Kim Hunter-Lee
Karen Johnson-Diamond /Carly McKee / Braden Griffiths / Arielle Rombould
Camille Fecteau / Mark Bellamy
Judy Lawrence / Richard Gregson
Karen MacKenzie
Blair Maxston
Dianne Millette
Robyn Mott
Andy Northrup
Marie Paterson
Paul Rechner
Lori Schmidt
Tracey Soroka
Paul Squires
Wanda Stephens
Janna Tominuk
Bev West /Robyn West /
Debi Bannatyne
Gord West
Jenny Wood-Narine

"Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results."
--Ifeanyi Onuoha
Ultra Chic Mens' Hairstyles of the 70s (Go you. You know you want to)
Click Here

Story Behind Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water"
(In case you didn't know)
Click Here

(Amazing photos/ art work)
Click Here 
Cell Phones in Public (What you wish you could do)
Click Here

Century Old Blackboards Uncovered
(So interesting!)
Click Here 

100 Life Hacks (Inc. folding a fitted sheet)
Click Here

LUE-42 Enterprises (Mine)  
Northern Sabbatical Productions (Mine) 
Mensa Invitational

     Here are some of the latest from The Washington Post's 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.  
In noculatte: 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. 
...and for new meanings 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
Less Terrible   
Confidentiality Agreements    
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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Thank you!

    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 Fringe play "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 enjoy some things in life; perhaps make a road-side stop to an interesting town or view a giant something-or-other. Getting off the main highways can do wonders for a soul. Have a joyous July, all.

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."
-- Moliere


Canada Flag
The Answer   


     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 "parental lessons" 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.   
Here is her article    Click Here  
Best Board Meeting    

     BoardSource recently published an article by Les Wallace, 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.

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).

Today's high-performance board agenda moves from financial to
strategic to operations in that order. No more "old business" "new business" stuff. (Yes, yes, yes!).

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).

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!).

Board members 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...).

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).

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).

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 annual self-assessment. (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).

Each board member completed a quick evaluation survey
of the meeting, answering three open-ended questions: 1. Are you leaving the meeting confident in the overall performance of our organization? 2. Did you feel you had ample opportunity for input? 3. Would you change anything for future meetings? (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, Click Here. Of course, I'm happy to help as well!
   My New Play!       


Written by Linda Wood Edwards
Directed by David Cheoros
Performed by Ellen Chorley

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
Sat, Aug 13 - 7:45p
Sun, Aug 14 - 4:30p
Tue, Aug 16 - 12:15p
Wed, Aug 17 - 9:30p
Fri, Aug 19 - 9:15p
Sat, Aug 20 - 12:15p
Sun, Aug 21 - 3:00p


Tickets available August 3rd: (780) 409-1910 or The Fringe

We are interested in finding ways to help you help us. Please contact me to discuss. Thanks! /lmwe

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