On 22/02/16 11:22, Lila Tretikov wrote:
> We started this transformation, but as we move
> forward we are facing a crisis that is rooted in our choice of direction.

Not really. The crisis has always been about means, not ends. I keep
hearing people say "this is a good idea, but why did it have to be
done this way?"

The gripe list which the staff presented to you in November
essentially said the same thing. It complained about process and the
absence of strategy, not the choice of direction.

> The choice in front the WMF is that of our core identity. Our mission can
> be served in many ways, but we cannot do them all. We could either fully
> focus on building our content and educational programs. Or we can get great
> at technology as the force multiplier for our movement. I believe the the
> former belongs to our volunteers and affiliates and that the role of the
> WMF is in providing global support and coordination of this work. I believe
> in -- and the board hired me to -- focus on the latter.

You are referring to the "narrowing focus" strategy introduced by Sue
Gardner in 2012. Indeed, you were hired to continue with Sue's
tech-focused strategy, which was already fully established by the time
you took office. Until now, I have not heard anyone suggest that it is
still a significant source of conflict within the Foundation.

> In the past year we managed -- for the first time since 2007 -- to finally
> stem the editor decline. 

Well, the minimum number of very active editors on en.wikipedia.org
was in September 2013, but yes, more or less. As the blog post said,
nobody is quite sure why this has happened. Nobody is saying that
Wikipedia is a lovely and friendly place to work.

There is no WMF initiative that fully explains the reversal, although
the Teahouse (which was not officially supported by WMF engineering)
may have played a role.

> Over the past two years I have actively pushed funding to improve
> anti-harassment, child protection and safety programs; work in these areas
> is ongoing. We are actively exploring some tangible approaches that -- I
> hope -- will turn into concrete outcomes
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Harassment_workshop>. 

I am very happy to see this. For years I argued for more effective
moderation of Wikipedia as key to editor retention, and I was very
frustrated that nobody ever had the guts to do anything about it. Not
Sue, not the Board, not the ArbCom.

I agree with your broad strategic goals (educate, innovate, retain
volunteers, secure funding), I just doubt your ability to implement
them. Because an ED of a non-profit organisation needs to be able to
lead, not just dictate. And an effective manager should make decisions
rationally and collaboratively.

-- Tim Starling

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