Episode 10 - Finding the right Directors for your sport organization

Episode 10 May 23, 2023 00:42:09
Episode 10 - Finding the right Directors for your sport organization
Episode 10 - Finding the right Directors for your sport organization

May 23 2023 | 00:42:09


Hosted By

Steve Indig Dina Bell-Laroche

Show Notes

Welcome to Sportopia, the place to re-imagine the future of sport! This week’s episode kicks off a conversation about how to find the right Directors for your Board and the implications of being a Director. For this episode, we welcome Mike Bruni, KC, Barrister and Solicitor, as well as the recent Nominations Committee Chair for Hockey Canada. Hosted by Dina Bell-Laroche and Steve Indig, partners of Sport Law, alongside Mike, this podcast explores considerations for sport organizations in seeking new members for their Board of Directors, the nomination process, and what it means to be a Director in sport today.

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Email us at [email protected] or contact us on social media @sportlawca to let us know what you want us to discuss next. We want to hear from you! Stay tuned for new episodes every two weeks!

Hosts: Dina Bell-Laroche, Steve Indig, and Mike Bruni
Producer: Taylor Matthews 

Learn more about how Sport Law works in collaboration with sport leaders to elevate sport at sportlaw.ca

About Mike Bruni KC, Barrister and Solicitor
Mike is a lawyer for over 44 years currently with the firm Bruni Law in Calgary. Prior to this was General Counsel and Board Member for the Alberta Utility and Energy Regulator which included heading up realignment and governance initiatives. Parallel to his professional career, Mike has contributed 35 plus years as a volunteer with numerous not-for-profit organizations including many sport organizations. Some of which included Chair of Hockey Canada, President of Hockey Alberta, COC and IIHF NSO Representative, member of the IIHF Disciplinary Committee and numerous other committees including several nominating committees most recently the chair of Hockey Canada Nominating Committee. He served two 3 years terms as a board member on the SDRCC. Mike continues to act as an advisor on governance matters as a volunteer and as an advocate for cultural evolution toward respect, safety, and fun in all activities both in sport and professionally and has headed many initiatives locally, provincially and nationally in that regard.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Speaker A: Hi, it's Steve indigot sport Law. Leave me a message. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. [00:00:07] Speaker B: Hey, Steve, it's Dina. You aren't going to believe what just came across my desk. We need to chat. Give me a call. [00:00:26] Speaker C: Welcome to the latest episode of Sportopia. We're so excited to share our knowledge and have conversations about healthy human sport. And this is a very special episode. We'll be talking about how to get it right when you're looking for your next board of directors. [00:00:42] Speaker B: That's right, Steve. We're so excited to welcome Mike Brunei to the episode today. Mike is a lawyer based out of Calgary. He's a longtime sport volunteer, having served on several boards and committees from the provincial all the way up to the international level. Most recently, Mike served on the nominations committee for the Hockey Canada board of directors. And we're really excited to hear more from Mike about all the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a volunteer in the Canadian sports system through the prism of the nominations committee. So in this episode, we're going to be talking to Mike about all things good governance, some of his ideas about how the sports system needs to modernize its governance practices to better meet the complexities of the 21st century. [00:01:27] Speaker C: As usual, Dina, before we jump into chatting with Mike, what's been happening this week? What's come across? Your know? [00:01:36] Speaker B: Steve, it's almost like what has not come across my desk this week? I think the one thing that I'm going to share is just a little snippet from a sport leader who basically called me and said, can I have a leadership coaching session with you? Because she's looking to succession plan herself out of Canadian sport. She is a bright leader. She's at a sea level in Canadian sport, at the national level, a bright star, former high level athlete, and she's exhausted. So at the end of our meeting, we kind of got to a place where she was feeling more restored, understood that maybe what she was experiencing was the natural fatigue after the pandemic, but also she was recognizing that she actually wanted something more, something different. She was longing to maybe work in a bigger organization, didn't want to be on the front line because she's had a lot of that experience for the last several years. And when we were completing our know, she said to me, and this was like music to my heart, she said, you know, Dina, one of the greatest gifts you gave me and what I try and emulate is I hope that people feel seen, heard, and valued in my presence. And that is something that I said to her, I don't know, years ago, because we've been working together for a so. So there you go, Steve. I hope you feel seen, heard, and valued. [00:03:09] Speaker C: I hope so, too. I hope so. Know my desk has been very busy, and as normal DNR practices are a little bit different where you are very involved, get in touch with the leaders and the organizations. And my work is very quick. It's very quick to do something, get it out the door to get onto the next project. And this week one of the most interesting ones was how match manipulation has started to get into the system with online betting and single game betting now being illegal in Canada. That is something that is starting to get a little bit of attention as normal. There is the bylaw work that is particularly happening here in Ontario with the changes of the Ontario Corporations Act to the Ontario Not for Profit Corporations Act, where 6000 sport clubs do have to update their bylaws. So we're waiting for that waterfall to continue to drop. And last thing, it is something that we deal with quite routinely, but I starting to realize again how difficult can be to deal with employment issues. This morning or yesterday afternoon on the drive to pick up my children from school, was speaking to a client about the difficult decision that she was making to dismiss an employee that just wasn't working out and spent some time with her yesterday and then this morning after she had done it. So a lot of the same things going on, but just a reminder of how personal everything that we do is, even though there's a legal component to it, feelings have become very important as well. So it keeps going. [00:04:50] Speaker B: Yeah, it keeps going. So we're excited to learn more from Mike So. I know you wanted to start off with a question for Mike. Steve So. [00:04:59] Speaker C: Hi Mike, we are super thrilled that you are here with us today. I was thinking about the first time that we met was about ten years ago. Unfortunately it's been a long time trying to do some governance work as well and making some shift to the way members think, the way boards think, the way we want to design our board compositions. But I do appreciate getting to know you back then and throughout the time over the last ten years. Can you please tell our listeners a little bit about yourself, about yourself professionally as well as personally and the extensive amount of volunteer time you give to the sport community. [00:05:42] Speaker A: First of all, Steve and Dina, thank you very much. I'm privileged to be involved. I got so much respect for your organization and your support. Steve, through some very interesting and trying times. I can't thank you enough. My involvement? Well, professionally I'm a lawyer, full disclosure. [00:06:06] Speaker C: As we like to say. [00:06:07] Speaker A: Mike, sorry, yes, there's an apology for that, but my initial degree was in engineering, so I do have a different type of approach to practicing law. I'm married to a real lawyer who keeps me in the straight and narrow. My wife is incredible and she's practiced like I have for some 45 years. It's important practically to look at problem solving, so to try and look at the solution. And I try to do that not only professionally in my practice, but also for my not for profit. I think the amount of enrichment that I've got volunteering is second to none. And I hope our children continue that because you learn so much, particularly about relationships. Relationships are so important and you mentioned that about you talking to people about employment issues. Relationships are very, very important. We can't be too legalistic about things, but we've got to be practical. I'm very passionate and focused on trying to impart respect, safety and fun in anything I do, particularly any of the volunteer stuff. I have no vested interest in what I say today. I'm not looking for a job, I'm not looking to be elected. So my views are very clear. Some people might like what my opinions are, may dislike. I like to be constructive, but I like to be respectful as well. And I've learned a lot, I've made a lot of mistakes. And with water under the bridge, you can really try to implement something in the future for other things. I've learned with raising children, the only advice that's worth giving is the advice that's asked for because all other advice goes in one ear and the other. So it's interesting. I really enjoy what you people are doing. I have a lot of energy in the future to continue as a volunteer to help any organization to try and get through this troubling time. But it's a privilege and an opportunity to serve anyway. You know what? We can talk for years, but 45 years, there's been a lot of things that I've done that I think that have really impacted and what I'm going to try and continue to do. [00:08:32] Speaker C: One of the last times Mike we spoke, you had mentioned to me you were retiring from sport and serving on boards. And I'm happy to see that you are doing a terrible job of retiring. [00:08:44] Speaker A: I don't like the word retiring. In fact, my wife and I are still very active, the lost side of Alberta. We're still on the active list. My wife is an incredible lawyer. She's still doing stuff. We can do it at a distance. I don't like the word retired. I just like the new chapter. There's a new chapter. We evolve, we mature until we don't. [00:09:06] Speaker B: I love that. So you might not know this, Mike, but I'm practicing to become a death doula. And one of the things that language for me is everything. It can open up our worlds. You need to name it to tame it. So one of the things that we speak about in our practice is there is no retirement. You might retire a horse to pasture, but for people, what if we talked about renewalment? Right? There's something around the I'm going to because so much of and this will bridge nicely into where I want to take the conversation next around volunteerism. I find right now there is so much sadness, so much sorrow, so much grief inside the sector. And so if we allow for that to be true and we accompany people in their journeys, when they're ready to let go of something, they need some time and space to transition into what's next. So if we normalize some of this, I think we're going to help people feel a little bit less isolated as a result. So thank you for all of that. I do want to ask you a question around volunteering, and in light of the fact that the next generation you mentioned, your four children, I have three, they're older than Steve's, little ones, and so they've grown up with parents who volunteered who still volunteer. What I am seeing, though, and have done some research in this space, is the next generation does not want to volunteer the way our generation did. And so I'm curious, as sport is one of the institutions that relies on volunteers and never is that more present than at the community level, where I'd say upwards of 95% is designed, stewarded, delivered by volunteers. And so what would you say to a volunteer right now who's kind of looking at sport and going, not sure I want to actually give my time to sport right now. I'm a little scared. Maybe I'm looking at my risk analysis and thinking it's too risky to volunteer. So what would you say to volunteers, mike? [00:11:22] Speaker A: Very good question, Gina. It's troubling when I put my head and I had great loyalty to a lot of people for what I did last year, but this kind of reminds me of a conversation I had with a person I very much respect. He's a judge, former person with Hockey Canada. I won't go too far into how he was. He says, why the heck do you want to get involved in this? Why do you want to be painted with the same brush? Like it's really bad what's happening in hockey? And I said, from my point of view, fine, thank you. But I know what I stand for and what I want to pursue and what my passion was and principles and values, and I'm going to pursue it. I don't really care what people think. With respect to young people getting back into volunteerism, a lot of it, first of all, initially without all everything that's going on in sport, a lot of it that's advertised as negative. Unfortunately, a lot of it's time and space for young people, they have kids, they get involved. Usually nowadays, a lot of the young people don't have children until they're later because they want to get their careers going or get a house or whatever. But once their kids are involved, they are almost forced to volunteer. Now, having said that, because of the risk, because of the notion that maybe there's no benefit to doing it. If somebody came to me, I said everything. Not everything, but the large part of what I've learned is through volunteerism because in our profession you tend to become very clinical, very narrow on representing clients and advocating and all of that, I find it just much more powerful. And with our children who are now volunteering on boards and I talked to them about governance and all of those things I said it's a very enriching experience and find time for it if you can, and try to make a difference in an area where we really need people to make a difference now. We need people to be passionate about those concepts of respect and safety and fun because that is so important right now. And there's still a lot of people involved in the sports community and I don't want to badmouth them the establishment that are still not getting it. So we need young blood new ideas to make it going in the right direction. And it's going to be generational, I mean, it's not going to happen overnight. So when people come to me, I say volunteerism is the ultimate satisfaction that you will get. And another thing, a lot of times there's no ties to it. When you have a job, it's dollars you're tied to being paid for what you're doing. If you're volunteering, you're volunteering based on your own commitment to doing it as opposed to be invested in whether you're getting money or whatever. So I think that I can't say enough about it. And it was interesting. Dina I spent a lot of time on the phone, I don't know how many calls when I'm trying to recruit people. We retained corn fairy. They really helped us out. I tried to really go out and recruit myself, so I had to sell. Why you want to get involved and make a difference. And you know what? I was successful on some of them, but a lot of them I just couldn't. Some of their companies wouldn't allow them to do it. So I had different challenges than with talking to young people getting involved. But they the same type of concepts that the negative aspect of it is overwhelming. And what's the positive for me to do it? Because if I'm going to be criticized or whatever I just heard an interview with related to getting officials, young officials into sport as a volunteer, but they get paid in hockey, $25 a game. But they're having a heck of a time getting officials because they got parents yelling at them. We got young kids that's trying to volunteer. Really, it's volunteerism. They're getting a little bit of money and we got to really work hard to try and get people to understand that there is a benefit and a positive thing. And it's not all about focusing on winning, it's about the definition of success in many different ways. So anyway, it's a long ways around answering your question but I think it's a challenge to get the young people interested. Plus, I know that you've probably hired people. I know Steve has. The generation is different. It's a different know. I've hired tons of lawyers over the years. I'm blown away by their competencies. They're unbelievable. But they're on the know. It's almost like in order to get that next thing, like I'm totally against not totally. I'm going to say working from home does not help development of a person. You need the whole picture. So volunteerism would help a person to develop socially because you're forced to interact in relationships. You can do a lot of things on zoom and all that, but relationships are very important and very good question. I think the essence of our sports organizations is volunteerism. We've got to deal with that in a very serious manner to try and make it as attractive as possible to get. [00:16:59] Speaker C: Mike, let's take it from an intentional perspective because I love what you're saying and I've been a big advocate the last couple of years to try and promote organizations to spend resources and time on their recruitment and their selection process, particularly of board members. And of course, we routinely hear I'm sure you've heard it as well. Well, no one ever puts their hand up. No one wants to help us out. It's too challenging. Half the time we can't fill the spots on our board. But you just chaired the Hockey Canada Nominations Committee and I want you to share, if you can, some of the leading practices that you utilize to recruit. And then how did you select from I know in some previous conversations you and I have had, that number of board members was quite large. So how did you figure out who the top candidates were? [00:17:52] Speaker A: Excellent question, Steve. Firstly, there are a lot of people involved in this process. You need people that are committed, that are prepared to spend time, their own time to try and assist in that selection process. I call him Tom, but it's Mr. Justice Cromwell. He and I are Tom and Mike now. But he was incredible. He was a very incredible impetus and catalyst to getting where we went. Focusing on the skills matrix. Definitely. A skills matrix is very important when you're dealing with an organization like Hockey Canada. And it's one of the biggest multi million dollar budget, lots of sponsors, you name it, you need skills. It's not a matter of putting in time, bless their hearts. There's a lot of great people that like to be whether it's with hockey or with other sports, they're at the rink, they're at the pool, they're at the soccer field. They do great work. But to be on a board is becoming much more complex. There's liability associated with it. So a skills matrix, having a firm and a lot of people will disagree with me. A firm that really has processes with respect to executive search processes is very useful. And the top five we were aware of, and I'm full disclosure, we used Corn Ferry, and they were very good. It's not about them getting people. It's about them understanding how we should be utilizing the recruiting process, the type of people we're in an EDI environment. Okay? But one of the things I was very much an advocate in leading and going through this process, diversity is not diversity of color, of gender, of any other aspect. It's diversity of thought. It's the diversity of thought because we owe it to all of those particular elements of society that they're representing a diversity of thought, and they are qualified. We ended up with a board with five women and four men, but we did not select them, any of them, because of their gender or anything else. They were all qualified, and they all expressed a diversity of thought. And that's what the power is in selecting boards nowadays. And I know others don't necessarily agree with me. You have to have some catalysts in terms of getting to where you want to go. Like, initially, the Board of Hockey Canada put in a criteria. You had to have a minimum of two males or two females, and that was sort of a catalyst to kind of open up the door. But I think one of the things we bring in, the word that people kind of roll their eyes around, is governance. People have to have an understanding, and the definition of governance simply is decision making. What is the decision making? What are roles and responsibilities? And there's nine board members on Hockey Canada, three of which have ICD designation. Okay? Now, that's not the Panacea, but the Institute of Corporate Director's designation is powerful. I've talked to people that have it, and it's helpful to a degree, but it at least have an understanding of some governance. And you do have an understanding of governance as well. But the big thing with what happened here when we first started out in this process, it was an onerous task, because a lot of the questionable, would anybody put their name forward because of the unfortunate thing that had happened in 218. And the problem was, it sort of took off. And I want to thank some people when a process like this happens, and not every board is going to have this high profile, I got to assure you that, which is a good thing. But I had to work the politicians had to do that. We had to work the media, and we had to work the public. And all of them came on side. And I had a connection with the sports media, which totally respect this individual. He conveyed certain messages. I used to talk to him every Saturday, and I said, you know what? This is what you can say, and this is what you can't say. And this was very different from how Hockey Canada did business they didn't want to talk about this stuff. Then the public took up charge, and we got over 560 some applications, and virtually everyone was positive, wanted to contribute. So that was very powerful. So I think it's really important now, and we had a totally arm's length nominating committee. Okay. All of them initially had no hockey background. [00:22:51] Speaker B: How big was your nominating committee, Mike? [00:22:53] Speaker A: Six people. [00:22:54] Speaker B: How many women? Men? [00:22:56] Speaker A: Three women, one indigenous representative, and the rest were men. [00:23:01] Speaker B: And just for fun, I'm curious if you had to guess how many hours you spent on this really important project. I call these projects right, this commitment. How many hours would you figure that you spent? [00:23:15] Speaker A: Well, I was pretty well six months. And I would say that's a very difficult question. Didn't answer, but I would say significant a lot. Fully committed. Let me put it another way. My billable hours, if you want to talk to my wife, my wife and my daughter are my bosses. [00:23:36] Speaker B: Okay. Yeah. [00:23:38] Speaker A: My billable hours were pathetic to say. So I think if I answer it that way, I was totally committed to this every day. Every day. We were doing some, and then we got into Was plus, for me particularly, was the recruiting, the calls I called. I have a lot of contacts. I talked to Steve, a lot of contacts to try and figure out how we're going to do this, to get it going to be I'm so happy, so privileged and humbled by the board members, as was approved. But there were several others that we were really trying to get that wanted to contribute, but just couldn't. [00:24:23] Speaker C: Mike, what was your experience? And I've seen this happen a few times where people like yourselves will recruit an individual because they think they'll be an excellent board member, but then they may not be well known to the sport organization, to the voting pool, who could be coaches or athletes or provincial and territorial sport bodies. Maybe you want to speak to the education piece that might be necessary to help align what we would call a good board composition with the expectations of the members. [00:24:57] Speaker B: Yeah. And the reason why that's important, Mike, is because the nominations committee for many of the boards will put forward this slate of possible candidates only to have the membership not choose them, and to choose the person who knows hockey or knows soccer or knows triathlon and or someone who they are buddy buddy with. And so it's a really important point that Steve's raising, because I can't tell you how many times I've worked with CEOs who are, like, pulling out their hair. They're trying to get that diversity of perspective. They're trying to ensure a balance, or relatively a balance in terms of things like you said, geographic and language and ethnicity and background and gender. And when they put forward a slate after doing their due diligence for five, six months, only to have the membership say, yeah, I don't want to choose that person. I want to choose the person that I know that understands the sport, who I have trust with. Really important. So curious what you have to say about that. [00:26:00] Speaker A: Dina, you are very eloquently talking about politics. I mentioned three entities. I mentioned the politicians, the media and the public. The one barrier that we had, or I had, and I had to deal with it because the committee didn't really know them, was the members. Were the members. And I think we need a new mousetrap we're not going to get around was on as you know, I was on the SDRCC just an incredible six years, and I said this when I first was appointed by the minister to that board. I like it because this is essentially apolitical. We were appointed based on the legislation for different qualifications and we were there because we filled in certain categories of qualifications. So I don't know what the answer is to that. Dina, it is a problem. I've been very clear on my view on this and I don't want to beat up volunteers because the members, provincial bodies with respect to Hockey Canada, are very committed to their constituencies, but they are really not accountable nationally. But they want control, they want to pick a board and they're not accountable. So my view is we've got to work through this in some way. There may have to be a new mousetrap, there may have to be complete autonomy with provincial bodies that take care of their constituencies and they're accountable. And we figure out how we're going to formulate national NSO boards because it's just not going to work. What you say is a barrier to where we want to go. One of the things that I had to pull my hair out through our process. Thank goodness for Tom Cromwell. Thank goodness. He was amazing. His advice and direction as a third party was very useful for getting us to the endpoint where we wanted to. But it's a very difficult situation to try and manage and I'm trying to think of some governance mechanism or framework that will allow a better opportunity for selecting the boards that we need at the national level. And I think it'll percolate down into the provincial bodies as well, once they learn how that should happen. And these organizations are very adverse to change. They don't want to change and they're really entrenched in that. So I think that we need some mechanism to allow for a better way of getting booked. One thing that I did not agree with, all the recommendations of the Cromwell Report. It is a treatise, it is an incredible report. The one thing he did recommend is that there's no more weighted voting. And I love that that's at least a step in the right direction. But who's going to decide that? The weighted voters decide to make that change. So how the heck is that going to happen? He did recommend a larger nominating committee with some members on it and some board members. I have voiced my view to Tom about that. I do not agree with it. I think it should be completely arm's length. Now, how you connect with the organization is another challenge, but I think that I'm not sure you want members on there and definitely not board members. Those are logistics that I think that have to be worked out. But I do think we've got to look at a much broader know. It's interesting too. Hockey Canada has gone through three iterations of governance. One where Steve helped me. I will say that we made some steps, but then it went by the by the roles and responsibilities went away. We didn't have the commitment after. Then another person tried and so it didn't work out. And then we came around with the Cromwell report and one of the big reasons for the catalyst for that was the, you know, we had a crisis and crisis are great if you make good use of know Rick Hillier said I remember dealing with Rick Hillier years ago and he said never waste a good cris. [00:30:20] Speaker B: That's what we talked about in our last podcast. We talked about crisis interrupted and how it's disguised as an opportunity if you seize the moment to make the required changes. [00:30:33] Speaker A: Absolutely. And I know it's an onerous task for Hugh and his board because I think cultural evolution is very, very important. I was involved in the formulation of the Sports Integrity Commissioner and one of the things that I kept on saying with respect to that was it's a great thing, but it's after the fact. It's an after the fact. We need something before the fact to try and impart a cultural and I looked at attitude cultural paradigm. We got to evolve that education is good, but we need leadership. We need leadership that has some courage to really step out. [00:31:10] Speaker B: Can we move into that direction? Then Mike and Steve and of I'm looking at some of the questions we were going to ask you and instead I just want to affirm a couple of things that you've shared and then Steve will probably bring this home for us. So a couple of things. You talked about the importance of having educated governors and directors and one of the things that we would say is we agree with you. And the vast majority of well intentioned volunteers don't really understand what it needs, what is required to govern, to direct a 21st century organization. So we're totally with you there. And in fact, we created a 101 learning program for directors for that very reason. So that's the first thing that I wanted to affirm with you. I want to take you back to your observation around governance. What Steve and I, and we've talked about this before on other podcasts, the current structure. So. The systems and structures that underpin sport currently were designed back in the as students of sport here, the three of us, I think we can acknowledge that those amazing people that designed a more modern day expression of Canadian sport never said that this should and be the only governance structure into perpetuity. So what I would love to know from you understanding that the vast majority of sport is built on a parliamentary model, basically it's representation by population where the national office can influence the affairs of the sport at the middle, but only indirectly, if they're lucky, influence what happens on the field of play. And it seems to me that this house of cards that sport is built on needs to modernize. And so as we acknowledge risks related to less people want to volunteer. Less people have the knowledge and the capacity to volunteer the way that you were speaking to. And that this whole beholden to volunteer, which we describe as the fossil fuel for Canadian sport, this needs to be, and this is what Steve and I talk about it's the great Reimagining. So we're curious and I'm sure, Steve, you'll have a final question, I'm really curious. In your opinion, what do you think about that? Like the invitation to have a different conversation about the structure of sport, to allow greater integration and alignment between national, provincial and clubs. What are your thoughts about that? [00:33:42] Speaker A: Oh, lots. [00:33:44] Speaker B: How long do we have? Well, in five minutes or less. [00:33:48] Speaker A: That's incredible what you just said. And it gets me energized to just talk about it. Part of me dreams of winning the lottery and then forming a whole new sports organization. Same for hockey. And how do you start that out? I mean, how do you start it? And it's going to be difficult because of what has unfolded here financially for sport, et cetera, et cetera. The national sports organizations really focus on, and I'm going to be categorical here, and I could be absolutely wrong just to make a .1 thing, gold medals. And I think we've got to look at recreating the concept of involvement, seeing how kids are being raised now, there's a lot of challenges that weren't there in the mean we got both parents working, we got different types of parents, different type of demographics. People don't even know about sports and they have a focus on different types of sports. So I think we have got to have a think tank where we look at this and have people that are not scared to say what they think. We've got to put that together in form of a summit. I hate to use the word summit because I don't want to get bureaucratic, because we want to be practical in trying to do that, but I'm not going to say it's not working, but it sure as hell could work a lot better. Whether we talk volunteerism, whether we talk governance, a lot of these organizations didn't even know what DNO insurance was. But now do they have VNO insurance? Before you get all involved, are we covered? So what happened with Hockey Canada and hockey is in our country. I'm hoping that hockey can be a model because we cannot default to the status quo. And that's what's going to happen. It may happen. [00:35:48] Speaker C: It sounds like we might have your next volunteer position established before what I was thinking. Steve podcast is over. One last question, Mike, and we'll wrap know you talked about your experience with Hockey Canada and using a communications company and you had a very large nominations committee to help you through that process. A majority of our listeners are likely smaller organizations, maybe have no staff or one staff or a small number of people that are. And what would you say your top three points are? Top five points are for successful recruitment of a board. Regardless for an organization that may not have all the resources that a hockey. [00:36:36] Speaker A: Candidate would have for a smaller organization. I would think, first of all, it is incredibly important that you formulate a group of people that are there at arm's length. They have no vested interest in anything but getting the best possible board. And those are volunteers. And you can pick them out. I mean, you can pick them out, people that are committed to doing that and also utilize resources in the sports community, people like yourselves or somebody like myself or other organizations that can advise you to try and get you through this. And I think as well make sure that there's a process and it's transparent and you can do this stuff without a lot of cost. Because now with the internet or with emails and all of this stuff and zoom calls, you can do this. So I think it's really important, number one, that it's an arm's length committee, very arm's length committee. Not every one of them has to have a hockey background, but maybe one or two should, particularly at a local level, much more so than at a national level, maybe understanding of the organization and also they understand what the mandate of the organization is. And that all that takes is to read the bylaws and ensure that they have an understanding of it. So I think that long and short of it. They've got to be arms length. They don't have an agenda and that their only agenda is to get the best possible, I think too don't get hung up on diversity based on gender, color, sexual preference or anything like that. That will work itself out. When you talk to people that have a diversity of thought, if they have a diversity of thought, then that will work itself out. And you know what? You don't have to use a recruiting frame. You don't necessarily. But you can go out and you can advertise and make sure it's out in the public domain. So that people know that you're looking for certain types of individuals and describe the types of individuals you're going to look for. [00:38:54] Speaker B: Yeah. Wonderful. We are so grateful, Mike, to you for joining us today. I've learned a lot, which I love as a student of life and really appreciating your invitation to be more creative, to be clear and transparent and open. So thank you for that. And there's a little something here that I wrote down because there's so much dialogue right now that I feel is creating a distraction, calling for a national inquiry into safe sport or unsafe sport. And what maybe we can leave our listeners with is what if we actually held a national think tank to inquire into the state of sport? So thank you for that dose of inspiration as we continue to grapple with this deep transition that sport is in. Steve, any last words before? [00:39:49] Speaker C: Absolutely. I really want to thank you, Mike. And just so you know, I'm going to be stealing from you diverse thought. I'm going to be using that 100% moving forward without contribution or acknowledgment that you said it. So, just so you know, I will. [00:40:03] Speaker B: Go right ahead as the lawyer. [00:40:05] Speaker C: I will be stealing that it is. [00:40:08] Speaker B: The best form of flattery is to beg, borrow and steal. [00:40:11] Speaker A: Steve, please keep up the great work which you're doing. I really feel compelled that we have to make this a better place so that it can keep going. [00:40:20] Speaker B: And so I love that. I love the intention to be more hopeful. So thank you so much for that, mike, we are going to learn more. If you're curious about learning more about our organization and how we can ensure a good fit for new directors and sport leaders, we invite all of our listeners to check out our blogs which are linked in the episode notes today. We're so grateful to you, Mike, for joining us today and your invaluable insights into leading board practices as it relates to recruiting the next gen of directors. We appreciate the importance of the nominations committee and the critical role this committee can play in recruiting the next crop of volunteers. [00:41:04] Speaker A: Thank you very much for having me. And I think where we are now is because we had a good crop of volunteers to get us to that place of Canada. So. And thank you, Steve and Dina. [00:41:14] Speaker C: Thanks, Mike. To have your say in sporttopia, email us at hello at sportlaw. CA or on social media at sportlaw. CA to let us know what you want to hear about next. We look forward to sharing our next episode with you. [00:41:29] Speaker B: Thanks, Mike. Bye, everyone. Sam our.

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