Coming in NOVEMBER
1 Author's Day
1 Stress Awareness Day
2 Use Less Stuff Day
5 World Tsunami Day (UN)
11 Remembrance Day
12 Intern'l Tongue Twister Day
13 World Kindness Day
14 World Science Day for Peace & Development (UNESCO)
14 World Diabetes Day (UN)
16 World Philosophy Day (UNESCO)
16 Intern'l Day for Tolerance (UN)
19 World Toilet Day (UN)
21 World Television Day (UN)
24 Buy Nothing Day
26 Grey Cup Game!
26 Intern'l Aura Awareness Day
30 Stay Home Because You're Well Day
A big thanks to some who made my life better in
Carol Ann Burrell
"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."
Can you really delete your internet history?
(The kind we don't talk about: age, weight, looks) Click Here
Are you a multipotentialite?
(Cool TedX by Emilie Wapnick on being Puttylike)
28 Short Board Training Videos (From NACE Intern'l. Some are very U.S., but others are suitable) Click Here
Photo video (13.5 minutes of stunning photography) Click Here
Why buy a sports jersey when you can rent one?
(A Seattle company is offering subscriptions)
Fall home maintenance guide
(A handy checklist from Sarah Leib, Realtor)
Heard in the Boardroom
Sometimes you just have to put your man-dingly bits on the line (Risk level=acceptable)
You guys and your Dewey Decimal math (Not the other kind)
Black zero (A balanced budget)
How can I comment on Day 91 of the project? (Raise your concern sooner)
A merit increase is based on merit (I think I get that)
These options are optional (Can't stand mandatory options)
Director: You forgot to call the question after the motion was moved and seconded.
Chair: Well, it is only the 419th meeting of this Board.
Don't withdraw the motion! It would mean renumbering all the other motions and that would be a nightmare!
So many people get this wrong. I guess that's why Alberta Health published a really helpful reminder for drivers.
When an emergency vehicle approaches with lights/sirens:
- If you're in the intersection,
clear the intersection (safely)
Move to the right, slow down, then stop (signal).
- Come to a complete stop and
wait for emergency vehicle(s) to pass.
- Shoulder check, signal, and re-enter traffic safely.
Another great e-zine, wow you had a busy month! EP
I so love reading about your adventures...and all the excellent info for Boards that I share right away. JSS
You bring a larger world view to Councils...your experience in working with people is strong. You are appreciated. RM
I look forward to every edition...Insightful and to the point. TR
Contributors to this issue: Liz Garratt, Vicki Hackl, Helena Hill, Sarah Leib, Karen MacKenzie, Joe Senese, Ralph Suppa, Paulette Vinette, Don Wilson, Joe Wood
Wish I'd said that...
"Become the person who would attract the results you seek."
"All the so-called "secrets of success" will not work unless you do."
"The secrets of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."
"To often we only do the transactions of life rather than living."
"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."
Elizabeth Millard did some excellent research to come up with 24 simple techniques to find calm in a frantic world.
- Be Ridiculous
- Focus on a Game
- Slow Your Breath
- Listen to Your Environment
- Sniff a Lemon
- Carry a Talisman
- Take a Play Break
- Get Tech Support
- Drink a Glass of Water
- Listen to Music
- Eat Some Protein
- Try Alternate-Nostril Breathing
- Name the Feeling
- Pet an Animal
- Enjoy Some Greenery
- Reconsider Caffeine
- Make a Request
- Consume News Wisely
- Write About What Matters
- Taste Your Food
- Use a Mantra
- Express Your Thanks
for the whole article and all the science, rationale, and resources behind each idea.
According to a report on World Polio Day (October 24) there are only
12 cases left in the world, in
2 countries. It's possible that the disease could finally be
eradicated in 2018.
Here's an article on the concentrated efforts, largely through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to rid the planet of this awful disease.
Books by Moi
Understanding Bylaws: A Guide for Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations
(NOTE: There is good stuff in here, but this book isn't aligned with the Federal NFP Corporations Act or the new BC Societies Act. Email me directly with your bylaws questions about NFPs registered federally or in BC)
Exceptional Board Members, Exceptional Boards
|With fond acknowledgement to Douglas Adams and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
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on the road, it seems. I said hello and had some laughs (and some stress) in
Red Deer (twice),
St. John's NL, and
I read to four classes at two schools for
Read In Week. Young children still like
Skippyjon Jones as much as I do, but they also liked my
chest (one just grabbed and held on) and another liked my black patent leather
boots. At least I assume so, because she was
licking them. Perhaps not surprisingly I got a cold shortly after that dogged me the rest of the month. Yet every time I think of those classes and those kids, it cracks me up.
I was privileged to attend the
Edmonton Eskimos Annual Dinner. It is a posh affair and I was seated with
alumni (i.e., Royalty), including #63
Hector Pothier (below) so it was a real honour. I am grateful to everyone who made that experience possible for me.
I participated in a huge
AGM for a profession and was reminded that while
Parliamentarians serve an important purpose in such forums, it is the
wisdom and experience of the
Executive Director that is the real key to getting members through difficult matters. If I hadn't had so much at stake on the agenda, I would have truly loved watching the entire thing unfold. But, then again, I'm weird that way...
I attended a small industry
conference I organized and found it refreshing to hear the speaker talk about customer service (remember that?) and the latest buzz of
customer intimacy, which talks about actually caring and being invested in your customers. So now there's a name for what I do!
I attended an industry tradeshow as well as a dinner where I got to hear
Ellen Rohr, "The Plumber's Wife to America's Top Expert on Making Big Money Doing Dirty Jobs!" I really liked her style. I don't know if you travel in many plumbing circles, but if you get a chance to hear Ellen you really should.
I attended CSAE Edmonton's breakfast on Alberta politics with Paul McLoughlin. His views are always insightful and it was great to reconnect with many colleagues. I also had the privilege of attending CSAE's national conference in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador.
That bucket list trip was only made possible by some generous angels in my life, most notably MaryJane Alanko with an assist by Ralph Suppa. Thank you, MaryJane and Ralph, from the bottom of my heart.
The conference was good, the AGM was efficient, the
entertainment was wicked-good (
Alan flippin' Doyle, people!), catching up with colleagues was smile-exploding, and the location was
I did miles of
walking and fit in as much
sightseeing as I could given a short time and a busy schedule. I was
screeched in (twice), which means I
kissed two cods. My lips still taste salt (pffffft). I learned to play the
ugly stick (that's me on the left).
I got to try on
Fluevog shoes at a lovely shop where the astute salesperson let us in a half-hour before opening because she saw us pitifully staring in. I ate all the required foods, including
fish-and-chips-and-dressing-and-gravy (twice). And I will definitely be back to
explore more of that end of our great country.
In October I have been in more
orientations, and board
planning sessions than I can actually keep track of. That's why little distractions like Golden help give me
perspective and inspire me to
write using adjectives (i.e., plays).
It also helps that after a losing streak my
football team is picking up steam at the right time. There's only four weeks of football left! Yikes, I better get focused on my
So even though I've been sick and so busy I don't know which way to turn, I am exceedingly grateful.
Thanksgiving was also part of October, and I had no problem coming up with a long list of things for which I am truly
grateful. I hope your list is long, too. May November bring us even more smiles.
"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back."
Q: WHAT'S NEW IN THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT SECTOR?
A: Nice timing on your question! A new study is out.
Heidrick and Struggles have just published the results of their latest survey
Association and Nonprofit Boards: Maximizing Effective Service. They were trying to get at how board participation is evolving as society continues to change around us.
While it is a US-based survey, I thought some of the findings were interesting.
In general, the good news is that peoples' board experiences are positive, but on the downside, on boarding practices are weak. Gender diversity, of course, is still not where it should be either.
- 92% said their board service was a good use of time
- 172 hours/year is the average time spent on board service (High 3000, low 4 hours)
- 51% said there was no expectation of a financial contribution
- 30% female, 70% male
- 29% were 55-60 years old; 18% were 51-54; 16% were 65 or over; 15% were 61-64; 14% were 45-50; 6% were 35-44; 2% were 25-34; 1 person was under 25
- 58% were charitable; 49% were industry/trade association; 26 were professional association; 13% were other NFP
- 66% had 11-25 board members; 27% had 2-10 board members; 14% had 26-50 board members; 2% had 51-70 board members; 1% had 71-100 board members; 1% had more than 101 board members (Frankly, these numbers astonish and upset me)
- 31% served on the board 2-4 years; 19% 5-6 years; 17% 7-9 years; 12% 10-12 years; 10% less than 2 years; 7% more than 15 years; 4% 13-15 years (The need for term limits screams out to me)
- 36% had annual org. revenue of less than $5m; 20 were $5-$10m; 16% were $10-$20m; 11% were more than $100m; 8% were $20-$35m; 5% were $50-$100m; 4% were $35-$50m
- 60% had fewer than 50 employees; 16% had 51-100; 9% had100-200; 8% had more than 500; 5% had 201-400; 2% had 401-500 employees
- 91% supported the mission
- 68% thought they could make a difference
- 53% felt an obligation
- 43% had a personal connection
- 41% saw an opportunity to network
- 41% were asked to serve by a colleague/friend
- 18% saw an opportunity for business development
- 4% were approached by an executive search firm
Main responsibility of the board?
- 65% Set vision and mission
- 64% Set broad direction
- 54% Oversee finance and performance
- 49% Serve as an ambassador
- 41% Oversee and evaluate CEO
- 18% Impact organizational culture
- 6% Engage in crisis management
- 3% Oversee day-to-day operations
- 2% Senior staff talent management
Demands on board members?
- 64% Increased
- 26% Stayed the same
- 6% Uncertain/Did not know
- 4% Decreased
Board term limits?
- 68% Yes
- 27% No
- 5% Did not know
Defined onboarding process?
- 53% Yes
- 45% No
- 2% Did not know
- 46% Properly prepared to serve
- 35% Neither helped nor hindered
- 15% Did not properly prepare
- 3% Did not know
When do you want board materials?
- 67% said 7 days
- 20% said 14 fays
- 12% said 2 days
- <1% each said Day before, Immediately before, or Didn't Know
- 68% Yes
- 31% No
- 2% Did not know
It's fun to get some numbers to support our hunches, right?
Avoiding Communication Mistakes
In an earlier article by CSAE, they outlined 4 Ways to Improve your Business and Marketing Communications:
- Spelling. Double-check your spelling. Spelling errors account for over half of all mistakes. Automated spell-check won't catch every spelling error, but it will catch some and leave fewer for you to find on your own.
- Social Media. Take extra care with social media posts. According to Grammarly's data, social media posts contain the highest percentage of errors. Emails analyzed in their app average about 13.5 errors per 100 words, and blog posts average about 7.9 errors. Social media posts average a whopping 39 mistakes per 100 words. While some of these may be because of the slang and shorthand often used on social media, fewer mistakes make posts clearer and will help you reach your audience better.
- Watch Your Apostrophes. Using the wrong word is a common problem in written communication, and the top mistake of this variety is misuse of apostrophes. Look carefully at words like its/it's, lets/let's and other words that only sometimes take an apostrophe to be sure you're using the right form. A spellcheck won't catch these, but a grammar checker in your word processor or an app like Grammarly should most of the time.
- Similar Words: Words most often interchanged are their/there, to/too, of/off, every day/everyday and then/than. People who write their emails and content at night make 66% more errors involving similar words than those who do their writing early, so if you're a night writer, pay special attention to these.
Making Communication Mistakes
"The need to keep the conversation going with one's audience outweighs the need to make sure that communication is perfect. Maybe in the past someone would get fired for a typo in a print communication, but in the digital space it happens and you can go back and fix it immediately."
-- Suzanne Carawan, Chief Marketing Officer. HighRoad Solution
for an article on this topic (via CSAE)
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, facilitation/training, presenting, 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 am grateful for my good life. If I can help to improve your life, let me know.
Contact LUE-42 Enterprises firstname.lastname@example.org www.lue42.com