Real Board Solutions - Advising Chief Staff Officers and Board of Directors ||



A Message From Terry


In this month’s message we cover Evaluations and Compensation, the Sidewalk Board Meeting, and our featured career opportunity.

Succession planning has been such a major issue over the past few years. It relates to both the Board of Directors and the Chief Staff Officer. Good succession planning is wonderful when it happens. When it doesn’t, it can become expensive and even lead to disaster.

Succession planning is something that gets talked about a lot and often not implemented correctly. Have a look at the Association Life™ comic below. Could the subject have been Succession Planning?


Evaluation and Compensation

March has been a month of evaluations - of the Board and of the Chief Staff Officer/Executive Director. These are healthy processes for all concerned. For Chief Staff Officers, there is a direct relationship between evaluation and compensation. If you are a Chief Staff Officer and your Board’s response to your evaluation or compensation requests look like this below, maybe it’s time to give me a call at 1-800-531-5796.

didn't say anything

Likewise, if you would like to know the correct compensation level for your senior staff please send me an email at so that we can set up a brief telephone call.



Career Opportunity

Prince George has become a central hub for many organizations. With a lower cost of living, and a relaxed lifestyle, I am pleased to include an attractive human resource management position for the Prince George Community Living Association, better known as “AiMHi”.


Read the posting here. Please feel free to share it with your network.


The Boardroom Sidewalk Meeting

The Boardroom Sidewalk Meeting is a misnomer. It’s not really a Board meeting. Too many times individuals leave a Board meeting without saying what they really mean. They may do it after the Board meeting on the sidewalk (hence, the name) or at the water cooler during a break period.

Typically they have been quiet during the meeting, and in these sidewalk meetings are critical of processes and/or decisions made. We all may have participated in them from time-to-time and know that this leads to dysfunction.

So how can we prevent these? There are a few strong methods such as ensuring all participants participate in discussions. Having a safe board meeting environment is important as well. While this is a full board function the Chair needs to set the stage while facilitating discussion and debate.

There are a number of strategies for this, humor is a good one, even in a joking manner I would hand out a copy of the comic below. My board development seminars always touch on this. If left to manifest, the Boardroom Sidewalk Meeting can seriously impact decision making and overall board harmony.


Closing Thoughts

One of the questions that I get asked over and over is: Terry, can you suggest any areas that we could look at in order to reduce our expenses? One good suggestion is to review how much you are paying for your annual audit fee, and get a competitive quote. Some societies have saved literally thousands of dollars after having done that. If this is something you would like to check out, you may want to speak with Erik Allas, who is a partner with Tompkins, Wozny, Miller & Co., Chartered Accountants. His firm provides financial statement audit services for more than 125 NPOs and charities. You can reach Erik at 604-681-7703 (local 103), on LinkedIn, or at


Terry Clark
About Terry Clark

Terry J. Clark CAE, the Founder and President of Real Board Solutions is a results-oriented, not-for-profit professional who has a unique background and skill set that volunteer board members and their staff truly appreciate.

For the past 19 years Terry has advised hundreds of not-for-profit Boards of Directors and their senior staff members. As past Executive Director with a high profile business association, Terry has also served as an interim Executive Director with eight organizations.

His consulting practice focuses on executive search, Board development, strategic planning, operational reviews, executive director compensation and mentorship/coaching. He has provided those services to not-for-profits in virtually every not-for-profit sector in Western Canada, North West Territories, the Yukon and California.

Terry is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), a Past Area Governor of Toastmasters International and was educated at the University of British Columbia. He possesses leading-edge Non Profit "best practices" and combines them with real life experiences to provide not-for-profits Boards and their staff with real solutions.

In 2013 the Canadian Society of Association Executives presented Terry with the prestigious ACE Award (Association Cornerstone of Excellence) in the ‘Above and Beyond’ Category.

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