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

Issue #59; January 2016
Coming in JANUARY
Shout Out!
A big thanks to some who made my life better in December

Brian Edwards
Kimberley Hunter Lee
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah
Theresa Tsoukalas
Gord West
Terry West
Chris Wood & Bobbi Fitzgerald
Jill Wood
Jenny Wood Narine

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."
-- Unknown
How Stuff Works (I've mentioned this one before but it's neat-o)
Click Here

San Francisco reporter's opinion of Grey Cup
(Hint: He loved it!
Click Here

Sorry for the Holidays
(Cat video from Temptations)
Click Here

Let Pigeons Do Your Mammogram
(Cool science)
Click Here

When Margarine Was Illegal
(My mom told me about this when they lived in Quebec. My brother "muled" it into Quebec for them with a packet of edible yellow dye so it would look like butter).
Click Here   

38 Bits of Good News and 13 Inspiring Videos (Compilation and remarks courtesy of Tad Hargraves and his blog Marketing For Hippies)

LUE-42 Enterprises 
4 Beliefs to Attract the Positive
     You've heard it said many times: You attract what you think about. Here are some tips by Heather Matthews to help you attract more of the good in 2016. Tell yourself: 
#1. I am blessed. Believe you already have what you need. This also helps you take chances and be resilient if you fail.

#2. If I can't do it now, I'll try again tomorrow. Don't be discouraged if you don't get it when you expect it.

#3. There has to be another way. Open your mind to new ways to improve your chances.

#4. I am not alone in this. You are not alone and other perspectives may even help you. Ask for help.

Here is the entire article
Click Here
CAUTION: Heather Matthews has some good stuff but be careful as you might end up getting an email every day. 
Heard in the Board Room
in 2016?
at Work
     I've  heard Michael Kerr speak a few times and always enjoy him. In his books " The Humour Advantage" and "You Can't Be Serious: Putting Humour to Work" Kerr states how humour in the work place can create cohesion, break barriers, boost morale, and open up
     Kerr told that organizations that have  humour a priority are "more attractive
to staff, see a decrease in absenteeism, retain
employees, have more
innovation, and offer a
stronger culture." 
     Four "humour" ideas offered to use at work are: 
- Third-person Thursdays, where everyone spends the day speaking in the 3rd person.
- A weekly silly sock day with a prize.
- A Ferris Bueller's Day Off contest. Everyone shares their "ideal day of hooky"; one is drawn out of a hat and that person gets to take a Bueller-inspired skip day. 
- A fun breakroom
full of cartoons or even TV /movies.    
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



Join Our List


Spread the Word!

    So here we are, winding up a year and starting another. I've shared in the past that December isn't really my best time, but I did do some things to make it better and more memorable (in addition to completing some projects).
     For Christmas I called several of my mom's friends, although there were fewer to call than last year. I also checked out a couple of pageants. Once again, the L'Arche Christmas Pageant was the best thing I could do for my heart this time of year. If you don't know, "L'Arche Edmonton is a community of people with and without disabilities committed to building mutual relationships, celebrating the unique gifts of each person, and developing relationships beyond our community."
"The fundamental principle of peace is a belief that each person is important. Why is the gap between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless growing? There can be no peace unless we can become aware of where this growing gap comes from."
-- Jean Vanier, L'Arche founder

     I spent some time with family and some time with friends in December, too. While The Sound of Music is pretty far from my favourite film, I had an absolute blast watching it with a group of people for whom it IS their favourite. To set the tone, we were treated to schnitzel, spaetzel, and strudel. Bonus: there was no penalty for singing along! FYI, boy's/men's crushes on Julie Andrews and the various von Trapp daughters do not disappear over time!
     The Alberta Legislature recently had an exhibit of one of the last remaining copies of the Magna Carta. The interactive displays were excellent, and although I've seen a copy before, it was still exciting for a bylaw nerd like me to see one of the very first sets of bylaws!
      My creative brain gets a treat or two in the upcoming days. There's a public reading of my new play LOCOVORE (co-written with David Cheoros) on Sunday January 03 through a cool program called Script Salon. The actors chosen to read this very large, 2-act farce about a local food restaurant and a vicious critic are wonderful and I just can't wait to hear it!
     Another new play Pearls and Perils on the Chilkoot Trail (currently in early draft form) has been selected for a reading (partial) at Peep Show (part of the SkirtsAfire Festival) in March. I am hopeful that this show -- a story about one of MY journeys -- will be ready for the Edmonton Fringe in August.
     I won a bid at Alberta Playwrights' Network's on-line auction so will get 3 marvellous days on Vancouver Island to do some writing. I hope to do that sooner than later!
     In closing one year and starting another, I invite you to look at the idea of time as explained by the Greeks. We focus so much on Kronos ( what time is it?) but we could be focusing on Kryos ( what is it time for?).
     What is it time for for YOU in 2016? 

"But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people's idea, not nature's." 
 ~Author Unknown


The Answer   

     I've been thinking so much lately about culture and values -- they are linked -- perhaps because I see some pretty poor examples and it troubles me (mercifully, I see wonderful examples too). In the last few weeks my in-box filled with links to articles on culture, which I believe apply to not-for-profit and for-profit organizations alike. Here's a bit of what I've read lately along with some of my own comments.
     In (Jan 20/14) there was an article on Creating and Keeping a Positive Culture. I especially liked this article because of its focus on leadership. Here are some highlights of the leader's role in growing culture:

- Our values are not always apparent to others
- Communicate what is most important to you
- Keep everyone on the same page
- Talk about culture consistently so people know you are committed to living those ideals
- Don't assume culture will grow when the company grows. It will eventually need to shift from something the leader actively teaches & enforces to something the whole team takes part in
- Create a collaborate atmosphere. To do so:
  • Be vulnerable. Don't act like you have all the answers.
  • Determine your values as a group.
  • Identify and empower culture champions (team members who embody the values and are enthusiastic about spreading your mission)
  • Institutionalize the culture. Make sure culture is scalable.
  • Keep traditions. Don't take away what matters most.
- Protect the culture
- Don't hire someone with the hope that he or she will be able to "fix" your culture
- Make sure culture does not have inside threats:
  • If someone has negative influence? Communicate you won't tolerate people who don't support the values.
  • If the company has outgrown someone? Admit you don't have the tools to get them to the next level, so it's time to move on.
  • If someone is a bad manager? First, determine if poor management is the result of a lack of training or communication. If it's not, trust your team enough to say goodbye to the problem person.
  • If you have a good producer with a terrible attitude? Contribution alone is a bad reason to keep someone on. There are people who can do the job and contribute to the culture.
- Consider the health of the organization above all else
- Communicate and live the vision and ensure everyone is positively contributing to it

     In short, if the leader is committed to the organization's values (and articulates them clearly to all), the team is more likely to be committed to them as well.
Here's the whole article
     Sarah Haselkorn (; Nov 15/15) offers five steps to a better culture, and cautions that the "cool" things you do should not just mask a sad culture underneath. (I thought that was very astute!).

  1. Hire the right people. A poor fit can be as bad as someone not doing the work at all. Welcome different ideas at the table; don't just hire clones.
  2. Use tech to break down barriers. Leverage software tools to help bring out introverts and provide a level playing field, and to help remote teams/people feel part of the bigger group.
  3. Support failure. Taking away the fear of failure can free up employees to not just win but win bigger than they would have had they been afraid to fail. Communicate the risk, mitigate the risk, leap together, share the victory/failure together.
  4. Use perks to send the right signals. Align your benefits to the culture you want to create. "Make sure the perk matches the truth, otherwise you're just luring people in with bribes that are sure to get stale after a while."
  5. Don't let titles restrict roles. Don't restrict employees to roles if they have more to offer in other areas. "You should want to hear your sales engineer's ideas about marketing even though marketing's not in her title. An accountant should be free to put his product idea out for consideration even though he usually crunches numbers."  
     "Early on, company culture is typically set from the top down, but as companies scale, culture begins to shape itself from the bottom up. Taking the time to map out how you can best apply these five tips to form the best culture for your organization can prepare you for growth down the road."  
Haselkorn's full article HERE
     Kim Lachance Shandrow (; Nov 04/15) talked to 8 Business Leaders on cultivating culture and this is what she found out. The respondents were from their list of Top Company Cultures who answered what a high-performance company culture means to them.
     For Lachance Shandrow, "A high-performance company culture is about living and working by a set of unifying company-wide goals, values, and beliefs...It informs how its executives and employees think, act, and react on the job." For the summaries below, I removed many of the buzz words.

1. Ensure everyone is aligned.
- completely aligned, on the same page
- employees focus on the work that matters most
- management facilitates collaboration across departments
- employees can identify high-risk areas and react quickly

2. Hire and cultivate people that believe in your mission.
- hire for and cultivate amazing people who are supported to excel
- employees believe in doing well AND doing right to reach the company's goals
- integrate communication and prioritization as key ways to help employees be successful and do their best
- explore creative, inspiring, and useful ways to help all stakeholders
- don't shy away from challenges

3. Focus on your employees' needs.
- create a sustainable work environment that produces results and is an environment for growth (both company and employee)
- offer respect
- provide an atmosphere for learning
- demonstrate you care about employees and they will take care of the customers

4. Allow employees to take ownership of the company's culture.
- culture supports people in doing the best work
- everyone is expected to take ownership and responsibility for the culture
- culture reflects the values of the organization
- culture empowers individuals to succeed in their roles
- expect high standards to the work and to how people treat each others 

5. Remove as many constraints as possible.
- environment of trust and autonomy increases productivity and effectiveness
- you don't work for the company, you ARE the company
- don't focus policy on "constraints" or assume that people need to be watched/managed carefully
- believe that people want to work hard and enjoy deep satisfaction from building something together
- remove more constraints as people are empowered to make the workplace their own

6. Create a community that fosters your values.
- develop and empower employees
- create and maintain community
- core values (example): humility, creativity, and independence
- mantra (example): "Listen hard, change fast"

7. Highlight how you approach and conduct business.
- a culture that's strong enough to attract talent and raise the bar on what's possible; strong enough to keep top talent wanting to come to work every day; and transparent enough to welcome and work on ideas from employees at every level
- a promise on how you approach your business
- informs employees actually behave on a daily basis

8. Determine the right goals for your company.
- identify the right goals at the right times
- recruit and empower the right people to execute them
- establish enough transparency to operate as a single, united team

     Lachance Shandrow's full article HERE
     In a companion article by Kim Lachance Shandrow (; Nov 04/15), the same people were asked what 6 culture mistakes they made and how they bounced back.

1. Hiring employees who don't have that certain 'sparkle.'
2. Not staying on top of employee engagement as you scale.
3. Failing to regularly remind your team about company values. ("It takes constant attention and ongoing conversations")
4.  Not hiring 'nice' people. (Communication skills and being self-directed are the other 2 key things)
5. Winging it without a process or structure.("Resisting structure early on made it more challenging for us to put it in place when we really needed it.")
6. Not investing in tools and resources.

     Lachance Shadrow's (other) full article HERE 
Do you have any "culture" issues that you are dealing with?

Improve Your Leadership Presence 

     In a recent interview with Anese Cavanaugh about her new book Contagious Culture she referenced four ways to improve your leadership presence which I totally agree with. In fact, if you have a handle on these four things, I guarantee you will get better outcomes (and it's not even my book!).

Regard -- How you truly see people and think of them.

Awareness -- Of how you're showing up and understanding that you do impact others.

Physicality --  Being "in" your body, using it to support you, and knowing how you feel in your body.

Intention -- Deciding what you want to have happen and how you want to show up. This also includes "the intent you hold for your people and for those around you, for the project, the company, the client, etc."

This is part of a larger interview/article Here

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