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  • 27 Aug 2021 9:43 PM | Jenifer Horvath

    Considering Adding Board Member To Your Resume? Check Out These 5 Affordable Board Training Resources

    As professional coaches, we know in our marrow that there’s nothing better than offering your head, heart and hands in meaningful service as a volunteer.

    Not only does volunteering get us out of our daily grind, expand our horizons and social or professional circles, but it can challenge us to build skills and competencies that stretch us. And all of this has a reciprocal and positive effect in knowing we are needed in and appreciated by our communities, professions and areas of passion.

    What better way to amplify that volunteer spirit and make a real impact on the coaching profession than to run for a board position?

    But wait! Perhaps, like many, you feel ill equipped about how boards operate and you’re concerned that it’s perhaps too complex to learn.

    Well, when it comes to learning the ropes of board operations, you’re in luck. There are several resources out there designed to help you gain an inside track on building your board leadership know-how.

    Below are a handful of easily accessible resources to get you acclimated to board operations and help you make that next step in adding a board position to your résumé.  

    Board Training in Alberta

    DirectHer Network - This non-profit network hosts a live Board Basics session two - three times yearly. The next session is slated for September and is a pay-what-you-can offering. In alignment w/ DirectHer’s commitment to increase board gender diversity by demystifying the boardroom, this women-led, not-for-profit has a Board Basics session that’s both informative and interactive. During this live, hands-on session that includes a mock board meeting, participants will learn about the following using a real non-profit Board as an example:

    • Why Gender Diversity on Boards Matters

    • What’s a Board and Why is it Formed?

    • The Hierarchy of Documents Critical to a Board

    • Common Board Language & Process

    • Duties & Liabilities

    • Basic Financial Literacy

    Volunteer Alberta - This non-profit organization supports volunteerism throughout the province. While there are many on-offer webinars and live events individuals and volunteer organizations alike can attend listed on their site, VA has a wealth of reading material related to boards and associated duties you won’t want to miss. Interested in finance? Check out the self-guided workbook on the Financial Responsibilities of Not-for-Profit Boards. This workbook, like others on the site, is complete with reporting examples and a handy financial management checklist, to name but two tools. VA has several free, downloadable workbooks to support key board positions like governance, finance and board chair.

    Board Development Program - BDP is an Alberta government unit dedicated to improving the governance of non-profit organizations through curriculum-based training, presentations and consultation services. Their Community Development event series is particularly interesting with sessions like The Role of the Board Chair, Committees & Meetings, and So, you are the Board secretary? Now what?!. Follow them on EventBrite to receive notifications about free, online board development events in the near future.

    Do you prefer something readable? Have a look at these options.

    Board Opportunities with ICF Edmonton 

    Are you interested in joining the ICF Edmonton Charter Chapter Board? 

    Learn more about the available positions and election process on the Board Election page

  • 2 May 2021 5:20 PM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    IGNITE is an initiative of the ICF Foundation.  Through IGNITE we leverage the power of coaching in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Many of you will remember our Chapter's IGNITE work last year. Through pro bono coaching we helped the leadership of the Red Deer Public School District and Inclusion Alberta to become better at what they do: moving us closer to UN Sustainable Development Goal #4 (Education).

    Changes for IGNITE 2021:

    • any coach holding an ICF credential can participate as a pro bono coach
    • coaching can be related to any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
    • coaches can provide up to 10 pro bono hours per client - increasing the potential impact of our work.

    Would you be interested in being a part of a committed team of coaches out to help to make our city, our province, our world a better place?  Do you hold an ICF credential?  Are you willing to volunteer up to 10 pro bono hours between now and 31 Dec 2021?  If so, please contact our IGNITE Project Manager, James Greengrass, using james@fortfico.ca, to sign up!

    In addition, if you know of any organizations which have a mandate aligned with any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals that may be interested in this initiative, please provide James with their information again, using james@fortifico.ca.

  • 9 Mar 2021 4:12 PM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    Your board is excited to announce a new opportunity for experienced and new members to participate in a collaborative mentorship in 2021. 

    The goals of this newly created Ambassador Pilot Program are designed to:

    • support onboarding and the development of new coaches
    • increase and improve member engagement
    • build a stronger culture of communication, knowledge sharing, and skills building
    • provide reciprocal learning opportunities for experienced and new members/coaches

    These goals are aligned with the Edmonton ICF Chapter’s mission to operate a thriving, credible, influential Charter Chapter of ICF and be a leading voice/source of professional coaching in Edmonton  and Chapter’s vision of growing and serving as professional coaches through connection, collaboration and community.

    What are the benefits for new members? 

    • gain skills and insights based on your needs and coaching practice
    • develop a relationship with a “critical chapter friend”
    • better understand the benefits of  ICF global and local chapter membership 
    • cultivate a larger professional network

    What are the benefits for experienced members? 

    • gain a new perspective in your coaching specialty by interacting with new members 
    • give back to the profession by supporting and engaging with mentees in the work
    • enhance your mentoring and/or coaching skills
    • broaden your existing professional network


    Participation in the Ambassador Pilot Program requires a six-month commitment from May to October. The nature of the mentorship relationship will be determined by the two participating members based on the needs of the new member with an expectation of regular connection. In November, participants will be invited to provide feedback which will be used to shape the Ambassador Program for the following year. 

    Interested in Participating? Here's how to apply!

    If you are an ICF chapter member with two or more years of membership and are interested in mentoring a new member, we invite you to submit an Expression of Interest by clicking here. 

    If you are a new ICF chapter member with less than two years membership and are interested in partnering with an experienced member, we invite you to submit an Expression of Interest by clicking here. 

    The deadline for submitting your Expression of Interest is April 23rd. Interested participants will be matched by the Ambassador sub-committee based on the experienced members’ areas of expertise and new member needs. Both parties will be notified by email by May 7th.

    For further information or questions, please contact one of the members of the organizing committee: laurie@fenskecoaching.com, charlene.kushner@gmail.com, or contact@joannebergos.com

  • 4 Mar 2021 1:30 PM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    Thank you to all who attended our Annual General Meeting (AGM). We had a great turnout and a very meaningful presentation from Sara Smith, ICF Global, Past President.

    This blog post includes the ByLaw Voting Outcome and the Meeting Minutes.

    ByLaw Voting Outcome

    One of our orders of business was to vote on a bylaws amendment detailing quorum for our general members' meetings. We are excited to report back that we had 73 members vote on the amendment, which represents 42% of our membership. 

    2 comments were included 

    Comment 1

    Just a query -- is the reduced quorum related to reduced participation in the monthly meetings? Do we know why the participation is reduced? Covid certainly is a contributor and likely more 'webinar-based' time added into the evenings also is a deterrent as we are on webinars all day. These are challenging times, I know. Thank you for the work you are doing on our behalf!

    The rationale for amending quorum was to put us in line with industry standards for quorum and ICF Global. This does not mean we won't continue to strive for a turn out beyond quorum and better attendance to our meetings and events.  The rationale for amending the bylaws was explored in greater detail in one of our past blog posts, you can read more about it here http://edmontoncoaches.com/are-you-a-clutterbug/ 

    Comment 2

    Good work on all of this. Very good communication.

    Thank you to both our commenters for recognizing and appreciating the work of the Board. 

    Meeting Minutes

    ICF Edmonton Charter Chapter's meeting minutes can be reviewed in the PDF. Also, the meeting was recorded, so if you'd like to watch it, please email Sarah at past.president@edmontoncoaches.com to get the link.


  • 1 Dec 2020 6:30 PM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    As professional coaches we are convinced of the transformative power of good coaching and  share an enthusiasm for using our expertise to make a positive difference in people’s lives and the  world at large. The ICF Edmonton Charter Chapter has a history of looking for ways to give back to our  community by providing pro bono coac

    hing services to community organizations. In 2019/20 the  Chapter took this to a new level as part of the ICF Foundation’s IGNITE initative.

    IGNITE uses pro bonocoaching to harness the collective power of ICF Chapters to accelerate the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Our Chapter focused on Goal #4 – Quality  Education.

    In 2019-2020, two organizations partnered with us: the Red Deer Public School District (9 clients) and  Inclusion Alberta (8 clients). Nine credentialled coaches, seven from the Edmonton Chapter and two  from the Calgary Chapter, donated a total of 85 hours of coaching. The response from the sponsors and the clients was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, at least one client has chosen to set aside funding for professional coaching in their budget so they can make it available to their entire team. Truly a win/win! 

    Edmonton Chapter is looking forward to launching a new IGNITE initiative this coming year. If you hold an ICF credential at any level you are eligible to participate. Stay tuned for more information, and I hope to see you on our team as we seek to IGNITE Something Special in 2021!

    James Greengrass
    IGNITE Edmonton Program Manager 

  • 2 Nov 2020 6:00 PM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    ICF 2020 Advance is a three-week virtual conference. The theme this year explores how the world is changing coaching, how coaching is changing for the client, and how coaching is changing the world. Host Ann Betz, CPCC, PCC, kicked off the conference by providing a "bell curve" adoption and evolution of the coaching profession starting from the Late Majority and worked her way toward the Innovators.

    While ICF has been in existence for 25 years, the coaching profession is closer to 35-40 years old.  As evidenced by the Late Majority, 84% of the population will say they have heard of coaching.  They may not know exactly what it is, but they do know it is not sports coaching.  I think that is progress if you think about how long you have been trying to explain coaching!

    As we move into the Early Majority and Adopter’s space, corporate coaching strategies are aligning with development vs performance/punitive, more managers are using coaching skills and neuroscience proves legitimacy in organizational space.  There is a focus on trauma and toxicity present in relationships and organizations, the overlap that can be addressed in either coaching and therapy and out-of-box strategies like equine-assisted coaching and technology (AI, bots).

    Finally, in the Innovators space is coaching infusing other professions. Imagine lawyers, doctors, teachers using coaching skills. 

    I think Ann said it best when she told a story about being asked a question 10 years ago about what she saw as the future of coaching. Her response: A world without coaches…

    Imagine a world where everyone listens with curiosity and without judgment, champions others and believes in the potential of his or her fellow beings.

    That is a world I want to live in. I’ll see you there. 

    Lisa Shepert, PCC, CPCC
    ICF ECC Secretary

  • 2 Nov 2020 4:27 PM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    By: Lisa Jackson, ICF ECC Director At Large (Governance)

    Time to clean up the governaance clutter.

    Recently I came upon a program on HGTV called “Hot Mess House”. The premise is that a person virtually helps people bring order to their messy spaces. It proposes that we each have a unique organizing style that brings us satisfaction. I’m a bee – that means that I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I am visual. I like to see things in front of me. (Hmmm… a good person to dig into the governance!) What type of clutterbug are you? https://clutterbug.me/

    What does this have to do with good governance? The ICF Edmonton Charter Chapter has bylaws that help us operate. Over time, the bylaws need cleaning, organization and de-cluttering. Regular maintenance helps us make sure that we are operating at our best and it will allow us to focus on the work we really want to do – pursue our shared interest in coaching!

    One of the bylaws that needs some attention is our quorum bylaw. Quorum is the minimum number of members we need at a meeting to approve chapter business. Why is quorum important? Because we as a board want to make sure we are representing the interests of you, and that our business plan is reflecting your input.

    Section 3 of our bylaws says that 33% of members in good standing will constitute quorum at any meeting. In today’s numbers, assuming we have approximately 150 coaches, that means we would need 50 people at our annual general meeting so that our programming could be approved! We would love to have 50 or more attend our meetings, but more typically our attendance is between 20 or 30. This year we have held virtual meetings in response to the global pandemic, and that has impacted attendance.

    So how do we start bringing order to this messy space?

    ICF Edmonton Board is taking a couple of approaches to get a quorum for the AGM

    First, we are going to get your input, even if you cannot attend a meeting in person. Look for more online voting opportunities and surveys. 

    Second, we did a jurisdictional scan of what other ICF coaching charters set for quorum. From this scan it appears that our quorum is high: the other charters we looked at range from 10-25%. The Board will be proposing updates to our bylaw prior to our 2021 AGM. This proposal will include a reduction in % with the inclusion of an alternative minimum number of required attendees. Including a minimum number will allow us to remain adaptive and accountable as our membership grows. You will have the opportunity to provide input on this proposal and you can expect us to report back on what we hear. 

    We welcome your thoughts on bylaws anytime, either through the survey or directly through email at president@edmontoncoaches.com.  

    Finally, during our fall board strategic session, we are going to keep governance on the agenda and make sure it all stays organized.

    Best wishes everyone as we all organize our homes and yards (and bylaws) for fall! 

  • 1 Jun 2020 8:00 AM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    By: Lisa Jackson, ICF ECC Director At Large (Governance)

    Plastic monkeys illustrating the connection we have in our coaching association in Edmonton

    Have you ever seen “governance” and “fun” together? In my role as the ICF Edmonton Director At Large (Governance), I truly enjoy ensuring the chapter rules and procedures are up-to-date so our chapter runs smoothly.

    Over the coming months, I will be doing some bylaw updates so we can be assured that we’re following the rules while continuing to deliver fun programming. So while I’m working behind the scenes to clean up our governance, I thought I’d take the opportunity to introduce myself and share some insight on why I enjoy governance so much.

    There is a part of me that likes to figure things out, and to sort and order. Governance pieces (like bylaws and policies) help me understand where I fit in to the world around me. Bigger than that, governance builds a foundation for me to have more fun. Let me explain.

    When I was young, I wanted to learn to play the piano. I sat at the piano at my Aunt’s house and my fingers flew over the keys. You can imagine the sound I created! I needed to learn the rules, scales, theory and practice, in order to build a foundation of music knowledge. Once I did, making music was all about fun! In fact, when I learned to play jazz and blues, I learned where some rules could be bent, and sometimes broken – even more fun!

    Something similar happened on my journey to becoming a coach. I attended Royal Roads University and learned the EXCEL framework. At first my mind was taken up with learning the rules and process of coaching. Over time, I built a foundation of knowledge. I was then more available to be present to the needs of my clients. And there is nothing more gratifying and fun than being a coach!

    In a similar way, governance for the ICF Edmonton Charter Chapter builds a foundation so that members can focus on the fun of connecting and socializing with fellow coaches who share a passion for coaching. As members, we trust that the business of the committee is well handled, that the money we contribute is well managed, and that we will have opportunities to provide input into the plans and priorities of the group. It’s my role to make sure the rules and procedures are up-to-date so our group runs like clockwork.

    Bylaw housekeeping items need to be addressed this year so we can provide assurance that we are following the rules, and continue to deliver fun programming! We are expanding opportunities for you to share your voice, such as online or email voting.

    September is our chapter’s election season. You will see calls for nominations and opportunities to vote for board directors. Raise your hand if you are interested in serving on the board!

    Stay tuned to the blog and our newsletter to stay up-to-date on any governance changes for our chapter!

    Contact me if you share my interest in governance, music, or coaching. I’d love to connect.

    Lisa Jackson
    ECC Director At Large -Governance (2019-2020)

  • 9 Aug 2019 8:28 PM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    All of us can probably identify a scenario where an all-star leader seems to have plateaued.  They have shown early promise.  They have taken on series of challenging assignments and knocked those opportunities out of the park.  They seemed destined for even greater success down the road.  Mysteriously, however, something seems to have gone amiss.  The energy and drive that characterized past performance is gone and the pace of successful projects undertaken and completed has slowed.   

    Sometimes we describe this scenario as the "Peter Principle" - somebody keeps getting considered for more challenging opportunities until they succeed in getting a position for which they do not have the requisite skills and abilities. 

    This may not be a failure of the individual leader but of the organization who hired or promoted them into the opportunity.  Was there a realistic assessment of whether the candidate did have the leadership toolkit to succeed at the next level?  Or did both parties underestimate the size of the jump, overestimate the candidate's current skills, or neglect to assess the candidate's ability and willingness to learn.

    It's this last point that I believe we too often ignore - either for ourselves as leaders or when being evaluated by others for more senior roles.  A challenge of success is that it can reinforce a pattern of behavior - it worked before, why wouldn't it work again?  In many sectors we do this when promoting technically skilled people to their first management position.  They are a great nurse, technician, or carpenter.  We then presume that what made them great at that level will allow them to easily move into a role as manger, supervisor or foreman. 

    Another analogy that we're probably familiar with is that of the tradesperson who is particularly skilled at using a hammer.  If you have great skill and success with this one tool, every situation would seem to call for a hammer, until you have a plumbing problem to solve, or need to lay out a concrete foundation and so on.  The same holds true for leadership.  If you've been recognized and successful by using a limited set of tools the incentive to expand your repertoire is similarly limited.  Don't fix it if it isn't broken could be the mantra.  In fact, there may be a disincentive to invest in ongoing training, education and learning.  After all, there is real cost – and time - associated with new or ongoing learning. 

    This unwillingness to learn, change and adapt can manifest itself in the form of complacency, defensiveness and even arrogance - don't need it, not me, I'm already great!  Regardless of the form it takes, the consequences for an individual leader, and the business unit or organization they lead, can be significant.  If remedial action is not taken business opportunities can be missed, competitive threats can be dismissed, and other organizational talent lost.  Eventually either the leader or organization - and sometimes both - pay a heavy price.

    So how to overcome this Achilles heel of success?  First and foremost, is a need for powerful personal humility.  I have always believed that the surest path to personal failure and irrelevance as a leader is to believe that all learning is done.  This scenario is more untenable today than it has ever been with knowledge, technology and competitive factors seemingly changing daily - or even hourly!  If we think we are the experts in something just wait a minute. 

    Second, today's leaders must recognize that these rapid changes demand reliance on a team of people to succeed.  Leadership - particularly at a senior level - is all about getting things accomplished by working with and through others.  It is impossible to succeed without tapping into and effectively utilizing the FULL collective knowledge, skills and abilities of the team.  A leader these days needs to consider themselves less of a boss and more of a facilitator. 

    Closely related to this ability to work through others is a readiness to be fully open, and demanding of, honest assessments and feedback from the team and others about what is working and what is not.  This willingness to be open to feedback must be truly authentic otherwise followers will quickly realize that their personal success and survival depends on parroting the party line.  Moreover, they will likely start looking for ways to distance themselves from any negative fallout if their expectations of failure come to pass.  To ensure long-term success, a leader has to be able to hear the good with the bad and see all feedback as an opportunity for further growth. 

    Finally, a leader needs to continuously and vigorously evaluate their personal toolkit.  Just because a certain style, approach, frame of reference, set of assumptions or model worked in a previous position, or last year, or yesterday is no guarantee of success in meeting the next challenge.  As a leader you need to be constantly evaluating yourself, your toolkit and your frame of mind.  To continue the analogy, you need to be constantly sharpening your saw.  And you are going to have be prepared to hear and learn from a number of "instructors" or "tradespeople" along the way - your staff, your peers, colleagues, coaches, and others.  They have much to teach you if you are ready to learn.

    Don't rest on your laurels.  Don't assume that what got you to your current leadership position is going to help you get to the next level - or even keep you where you are.  As a leader you need to invest much in your own self-evaluation and redevelopment. 

    Assess yourself honestly, be open to feedback, and embrace your ongoing development as a leader. 

  • 2 Apr 2019 9:30 AM | ICF Edmonton (Administrator)

    ICF Edmonton is happy to announce we are adapting our annual pro-bono coaching initiative to align with the ICF Foundation’s pro-bono initiative, Ignite.

    Through pro-bono coaching projects, the Ignite Initiative uses the collective power of ICF Chapters to accelerate the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Since its launch in 2017, the specific focus is on Goal #4: Education – ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.

    Together, our chapter will ignite social progress in the Edmonton area by providing pro-bono coaching to partnering educational organizations. These organizations may include schools, educational nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and associations that focus on education. When we share the power of coaching with our world, we have the power to ignite our local communities and spark a global impact.

    What’s Happened to Date

    In March 2019, our Chapter President, Kevin Tomkins, formalized our participation in Ignite by signing a Chapter Agreement with the ICF Foundation.

    James Greengrass has been nominated as the Project Manager for our local initiative. He will formalize agreements with local educational partners, coordinate the program, and match volunteer coaches with the needs of our partner organizations.

    During the early stages of the initiative, James is working to identify potential partner organizations and coaches who are interested in donating their time as a pro-bono coach.

    How To Get Involved

    There are two ways to get involved at this early stage as we launch the initiative:

    1. Indicate your interest in being an Ignite pro-bono coach. ICF Edmonton members who have held a credential for a minimum of 3 years and can commit to a minimum of 3 pro-bono coaching hours qualify to participate in the program. Please email James at james@fortifico.ca subject line “Ignite coach,” to get more information and indicate your interest.

    2. Introduce us to an educational organization that could benefit from pro-bono coaching. Please email James at james@fortifico.ca if you are connected to a local educational institution that could benefit from the Ignite program. We look forward to hearing your ideas on how we can support the local education community through the power of coaching.

    To learn more about Ignite as a whole (including program history, requirements, background information, FAQs), please visit the ICF Foundation’s Ignite website.

International Coaching Federation | ICF Edmonton Charter Chapter 
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