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


As we head into the holiday season, this newsletter will be the final one for 2012. Real Board Solutions has had a fabulous year. From board orientations to strategic planning to executive searches and our mentoring programs, more Board members and their chief staff officers have benefited from our consulting services than ever before. The feedback we recieve from these newsletters and our blog articles indicate we are serving you by providing high value-high content articles. Special thanks to the British Columbia Board Voice Society who invited me to present at their 2012 Conference and Annual General Meeting, last week in Richmond. We thank all of you and look forward to serving you in 2013.

Terry Clark

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Feature Article

What Should the Chief Staff Officer (Executive Director) Expect From The Board?

We spend much time discussing what a Board should expect from an Executive Director. Equally important is what the Executive Director should expect from the Board. We have included 10 key areas that every Executive Director should expect (and receive) from a Board. If you are not receiving these, perhaps you may want to reflect on why. The annual evaluation process #10 is key as these annual evaluations can be overlooked or in some cases 'glossed over' which does not help anyone.

Click here to learn more about the 10 key areas!

Chief Staff Officer New Recruitment Update

As you know, with the relatively high turnover of senior staff in the not-for-profit sector, many organizations turn to a search firm for assistance. There are many good search firms in the community who focus in a number of areas including mining, retail, accounting and other for profit sectors. Real Board Solutions singular recruitment focus is the not-for-profit sector. The Board/Chief Staff Officer governance is unique. Chief Staff officers are titled Executive Directors 60% of the time whereas the more corporate sounding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is only used in about 5% of the time. This (CEO) title will increase as Tom Abbotts's Complimentary Governance Model becomes much more widely accepted. You will see other titles such as General Manager, President (not to be confused with volunteer Board President) and even others such as Principal in an educational setting.

Some organizations are using search committees to do this important recruitment process. One of my Board mentoring clients, the Vancouver School of Theology have asked me to assist their search committee as they go through an intensive, well organized and thorough search for a new Principal. Ensuring that the new staff officer and the Board are in sync is a key to the Board mentoring process. Click here to read more!

If you are planning a recruitment in the future and would like to know how Real Board Solutions can assist you can contact us at or 1.888.531.5796. Remember our search is unique and focused. We can provide the complete service or a portion of it.

Roberts Rules Review

Each month our newsletter highlights a portion of Roberts Rules of Order. Roberts can be confusing to many. I have found that another book on the subject is easier to read and understand. This covers most everything that a Board needs to know for a meeting governed by democratic rules of order. The online version of the book "Democratic Rules of Order" can be purchased at

For those of us who would like to, but don't interrupt a speaker at a Board meeting, following Roberts Rules allows us to IN SOME CASES ONLY!

Read our Nov. 29 blog for more info!

Board Voice Society

Do You Have Some Board Members Who Don't Show Up?

Does your Board have Board members who don't show up? Actually many Boards do have that problem. Perhaps as bad is the board member who shows up and does very little, if anything.

Even worse, how about the Board member who shows up, promises the world and delivers not a thing! This lets others down and can affect the performance and moral of the group. Earlier in my career when I was a CEO I found this troubling and wanted to know why someone would volunteer and/or be elected to a Board and then do nothing at all. In time I got the answers, some made sense others did not. The one surprise I did receive was when a Board member answered that they discovered that they just did not have the time to be on the Board and they 'did not want to let me down' by resigning. It would have of been better if the Board member did resign and allow a willing participant to take their place. The lesson I learned was in the annual Board orientation, include a section that deals with the inactive Board member. Our Board orientations always include this topic so that a Board member clearly understands their role, responsibilities and how to resign from the Board if they are unwilling or unable to perform their duties.

September and January seem the best times for board orientations, however the absolute best time is before the first Board meeting of the fiscal year. A Board orientation can last from 2 hours to 2 days, we have facilitated both. Some of these Board orientations are now done through distance learning by webinars or video conferencing. Please let us know if you have any questions or would like the use of our many templates for these projects.

Ask a Consultant

Your Assignment

As the festive season draws near and 2012 winds up, the very nature of our sector is that we have left some tasks or not made all of the phone calls we could have. Let's take a few minutes over a cup of coffee, write them all down, and then focus 100% on getting them done. Work into the evening, come in on a weekend. Do whatever it takes to clean off that list and start a fresh 2013.

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. He has recently become 'certified' by Directors and Officers Liability Insurance underwriters so that Associations who have taken his board orientation receive a discount on their D&O insurance annual premiums.

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.

Real Board Solutions

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