On 3 March 2016 at 11:51, Chris Keating <chriskeatingw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> A few reflections on this subject:
> 1) I would however endorse the idea of publishing more papers /
> presentations, and fuller notes of discussions in minutes.  These give a
> lot of context to what is going on, and often it's lack of context that
> makes people concerned about what is actually going on. (I'd echo Eric's
> comment about the level of depth that WMF staff share in quarterly reviews
> and so on!)

I think this may have got written out of order :-) But, yes, I agree
that publishing board papers can be very useful.

> 2) Audio or video recording meetings is, in my view, a very bad idea.
> Wikimedia UK tried this for a while and then abandoned it. Board members
> start worrying about how their words are going to be perceived by people
> outside the meeting rather than the people in the meeting. In an
> environment where someone will start a critical email thread about every
> single misphrasing or ambiguity, I really worry this would cripple the
> Board's ability to have a conversation about any issue.

Also agree. Detailed minutes strike a good balance here.

> 3) 3 weeks for publication of minutes sounds like a reasonable time frame
> to me. I'm seeing a few "How can it take 3 WEEKS??!!?!?" reactions from
> people. Probably because the Board spends all weekend meeting then on
> Monday go back to their jobs. Then someone starts writing up the minutes
> from their notes, probably the next weekend. The realise they need to query
> something and drop someone an email about it. They respond on Tuesday, by
> which point the minute-writer is spending the free evening they dedicate to
> Board work on addressing some other issue and the next chance they get to
> look at it is first thing on Saturday morning - they spend Saturday morning
> writing up minutes and then circulate a draft .... which then someone wants
> to amend ... .you get the picture. :)

I think this is entirely reasonable for minutes made by and for an
entirely volunteer group. But WMF is a large organisation, employing
many staff. It coordinates and supports the board meetings, presumably
at some cost. Surely it could arrange to provide a confidential
note-taker whose *job* it is to take those minutes, put them into a
fit state the following day, and circulate them shortly afterwards? It
might still take a little while to get them approved and published,
but we'd still be a step up on where we are now.

- Andrew Gray

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