Legal Compliance Made Interesting (July 2016 Board Meeting)

The July 2016 Creating the Future board meeting will focus on legal compliance.

• While Creating the Future is in transition from one organizational structure to the next, are we remaining in compliance with the law? With our own bylaws?

• If not, what will we do about that?

Board Meeting Graphic - time & dateWarning: If you’re thinking this is a dry topic intended for legal and accounting minds, think again. The goal of this discussion is not about complying for the sake of complying. The goal is that our bylaws provide guidelines that allow us to accomplish our mission. We will therefore be aiming the meeting at two mission-driven results:

  1. WE will have guidelines that align Creating the Future’s structure with accomplishing our mission, and
  2. YOU will find ways to have these same conversations at your own board table, to bring out the best in your organization’s ability to do its own work!

Using Catalytic Thinking, our board will therefore be asking the following questions about our current bylaws.

  1. During this restructuring period at Creating the Future, what do we want our bylaws to make possible for accomplishing our mission and goals?
  2. For each item of concern – an item where we are not sure if we are in compliance – what will it take for us to accomplish what we said was important in Question 1?
  3. What actions will we take to accomplish that? And who will take those actions?

Be Part of This Discussion
Most organizations would see this as an internal discussion, with no need for public input. We hope you know by now we believe just the opposite. At our most recent board meetings, knowledgeable community members who care about our cause have been outnumbering board members at our virtual “board table.” We would be foolish to lose all that great wisdom about a matter as important as this!

(And again, we hope this encourages you to include community members in your own internal discussions. Because in an organization whose mission is about the community, every issue is a community issue.)

If you would like to be at the table with us, in the actual meeting discussion on the video screen, please send a note via the Contact form here.

If you prefer to watch the meeting without actually being in the meeting, participating via Twitter as the spirit moves you, the meeting will appear right at this blog post at 2pm Eastern time (US) / 11am Pacific time on Monday, July 11th. Just tweet using the hashtag #CTFuture and we’ll pull your comments into the discussion. (And if it’s a few minutes past the hour and the video is not showing, just reload your page. We may be starting a few minutes late.)

We look forward to an energizing discussion about an issue that is often not interesting at all. And we look forward to your being part of that conversation!  UPDATE: For a summary and analysis of the discussion, head to this post.

Watch the meeting here

Twitter stream from the September Board Meeting

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0 thoughts on “Legal Compliance Made Interesting (July 2016 Board Meeting)”

  1. As I read the bylaws, the following jump out as items to clarify (and thanks to Rebecca Hurd for the last item re: term limits):
    • Elected officers
    • Need for updated conflict of interest statements
    • Annual meeting
    • 3 year term limit

  2. Quick read of the by-laws, these jump out:
    Article 1 sec. 3: Has AZ been notified of the change of address?
    Article 2: 2a: has the board actually set a # of directors?
    Article 2:4 – term limits. No provision or discussion of whether the terms can be renewed – or not.
    Article 4:3 – no indication of HOW to remove an officer or how to fill a vacancy.

    Annual meeting – Don’t know if AZ requires an annual meeting, but if yes, has it been held?

    Some of these aren’t a question of whether you’re in compliance, but might create confusion on whether or not you are.

    Officers – does each officer know what they are an officer of? e.g., since bylaws allow for one person to hold multiple officerships.

  3. The bylaws combine the offices of chair and CEO under President/Principal Executive Officer. This approach has become less common in the corporate world, and against the recommendation of securities commissions. It is uncommon in nonprofits that are not charities, and rarer still in charities. It would be illegal if Creating the Future were based in Ontario and certain other provinces. I know of no governance consultant that would recommend it (though I will probably now hear from some!).


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