Real Board Solutions - Advising Chief Staff Officers and Board of Directors ||
A Message From Terry


It's April and for many not-for-profits and other associations that means getting ready for summer. These organizations are preparing for Annual General Meetings and in many cases looking at new Chief Staff Officer (CSO) recruitment.

This month's issue provides useful information for board development, meeting management, and tips and advice for the CSO recruitment process.

Did you know that recruitment is not as costly as you may think? The recruitment investment can be done in stages.

The first stages to successful recruitment include:

1. Preliminary Process: Defining recruitment parameters and strategy with your Executive and/or Hiring Committee, creating candidate packages, briefings with board and staff.

2. Candidate Attraction: Executive search and advertising.

3. Application Reviews: Respond to candidates, review applications, narrow down list according to pre-defined parameters.

4. Compensation recommendations, reference check, preparing and assisting the organization in final interviews.

Successful recruitment takes time and effort, but can be conducted in a timely manner and within a reasonable budget. If you have questions about your board's recruitment or you are thinking about a future move, give me a call at 1-888-531-5796.

I hope you enjoy this month's issue.

Terry Clark

Feature Article

Setting an agenda streamlines the meeting process

board meeting roomThank you Robert C. Harris, the correct agenda for every meeting is critical.

If there is a reason to meet, there should be a meeting agenda.

Most agendas are built on precedent: “We’ve always done it that way.” Seldom do incoming officers consider the format of an agenda to craft improvements, and agenda development is often delegated to staff.

The cause of lengthy meetings is frequently a list of “updates and reports.” The information-only reports could have been provided in advance (i.e., on a board portal or emailed as PDFs to read) and then quickly managed by a motion to approve the consent items.

Read More

Why Chief Staff Officers Are More Important Today Than Ever

A forthcoming study claims that corporate CEOs have gained increasing influence over their organizations’ success—particularly as measured by the bottom line. Can the same be said of association chief executives?

As the face of an organization, the chief executive officer gets the bulk of the praise and criticism for how an organization performs under his or her leadership. And, as fair or unfair as that may seem, a new study by researchers at the University of Georgia and Penn State University suggests that corporate-world executives have a bigger impact on their organizations’ bottom lines today than ever before.

Read More

CSAE-BC Provincial Conference, Whistler, April 11-12

The topic is Building Dynamic Futures. This promises to be an interesting conference. Attend a weekend of events including informative seminars, networking opportunities with professionals in your field, a gala dinner, and the chance to get away and enjoy some rest and relaxation. Register here.

Executive Director Opportunities

Executive Director - The BC Chapter of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS-BC). Are you passionate about protecting B.C.’s wilderness and oceans? Protecting wilderness in every corner of B.C. and deep into the ocean since 1963.

Executive Director - Burnaby Hospice Society. The Burnaby Hospice Society envisions a community where no one goes through the journey of dying, death and grieving alone.

For further details, please contact


the right executive directorAre your staff performing effectively? Answer the following 5 questions to find out:

1. Are they effective communicators who naturally connect people? -good communication is essential to the success of an organization.

2. Do they have passion? - good staff must care about the associations mission and genuinely want to help people.

3. Do they have proven fundraising ability and a knack for numbers? - in non-profits fundraising is key and good staff have had past success in this area and understand the financial side.

4. Do they have experience in this kind of role? - experience is a must. Every non-profit and other association is different, but skills gained in previous roles are invaluable.

If your staff are lacking some or all of these traits, effective mentorship may be answer. Alternatively, it may be time for change. Call to discuss your options today 1-888-531-5796.

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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