On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 4:29 PM, Chris Keating
<chriskeatingw...@gmail.com> wrote:
> If I read Denny's email correctly, this section is broader than conflict of
> interest:
>> I discussed with Jan-Bart, then chair, what is and what is not
> appropriate to
>> pursue as a member of the Board. I understood and followed his advice, but
>> it was frustrating. It was infuriatingly limiting.
> E.g. any comment Denny made on Phabricator now being read in the light that
> he was a board member.

While I'm not sure exactly what Denny meant in his mail, I think
Chris' comment is spot on -- every trustee, especially those used to
weighing in on community discussions, feels somewhat limited in what
they can say and how to say it when they join the board, whether
that's proposing a new idea or weighing in on an existing one. (Then,
of course, you also get criticized for not speaking up enough!) It can
be an awkward balancing act that takes some time to learn, and can
indeed be frustrating.

Partly I think it's simply inherently difficult. As a trustee your own
interests and areas of volunteering are often not what's best for the
WMF overall to focus on -- either because they are too narrow, or too
resource intensive, or a host of other reasons -- not least because
one contributor cannot possibly speak for a whole area of the
movement, and as a movement we value consensus and broad input for
every idea. But I also think we're not very good on the board at
utilizing people's individual strengths and recognizing that the very
reasons why someone is interesting as a trustee (because they are an
expert contributor in some area, as all the trustees are) also means
that they likely have biases and opinions about strategic directions,
and could use those opinions productively to help the organization
learn and grow.

As for what we can learn from this situation, I'm intrigued by this proposal:

On Sun, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:38 PM, Atsme <at...@outlook.com> wrote:
> Establish alternates who are non-voting members but are in the wings waiting 
> to fill vacancies.  It’s a win-win.

We could certainly vote in alternates; it would be as simple as taking
the 4th place winner.
Also, we do have a mechanism set up for observers at the board
meetings, and have not taken advantage of it recently; 1 or 2
community observers could join.
Another idea: what about field training of some sort for candidates or
those considering candidacy? It's a big commitment that people make
and that the movement makes to those people, and having a week or two
immersion and preparation -- it could be done virtually -- wouldn't be
the worst thing. Board boot camp, if you will.


* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers
<at> gmail.com *

Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 

Reply via email to