*nod* very good points; it may be worth thinking about whether "minutes"
and "communicating a clear reference of what's going on" should be distinct
issues treated separately. If we've been conflating them in out discussion
that might be leading some of us down wrong paths in potential solutions.

Definitely agree on not making major changes too fast. Thoughtful,
deliberate changes only!

-- brion
On Mar 3, 2016 8:03 AM, "Risker" <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On 3 March 2016 at 10:36, Brion Vibber <bvib...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> > On Mar 3, 2016 7:00 AM, "Risker" <risker...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Those who think it's an easy task that should be
> > > able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no
> > real
> > > experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
> > > non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is
> > important
> > > that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
> > > early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are
> 9
> > > board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct
> and
> > > approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not
> > be
> > > the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.
> >
> > What sort of problems are envisioned from public drafting of minutes lead
> > by a dedicated secretary/minute-wrangler (ideally a professional staff
> > member with experience doing this and enough time to dedicate to it
> rather
> > than double-booking a trustee or a C-level)?
> >
> > -- brion
> >
> >
> Well, there's the fact that board minutes are actually legal documents;
> they are required by law, they need to contain certain information, and
> they are binding on the organization.  I do not believe you will find
> any major international non-profit organization (whether or not they've got
> strong community links, support open and free knowledge, or are just
> ordinary charities) that would publish drafts of their legal documents.
> Getting approved versions out more promptly, and in particular including
> more information and context for the decisions and discussion, is probably
> a  better first objective; this should be achievable because we can find
> good examples from other organizations.
>
> And, not to put too fine a point on it, but there are plenty of people who
> will point to the public draft and insist that's the "real" information and
> that any subsequent modifications were made for political reasons rather
> than to reflect correct information.  I think it's fair to say that, as of
> this precise moment, there's not a huge assumption of good faith directed
> at the board by at least some sectors of the broad community.  Whether or
> not it is deserved, I think it reasonable to say that the Board has some
> work in regaining the trust of the community. I'd encourage them to start
> with small steps that are easily repeated and documented and don't need a
> lot of exceptions, so that they will be building a more solid foundation.
> Making major changes that, after a few months, turn out to be
> unsustainable, will be more harmful than helpful.
>
> Risker/Anne
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