On 02/06/2017 11:53 AM, Pine W wrote:
Hi Christophe,

You wrote, "This delegates authority, not responsability." Perhaps you
could explain the distinction. It seems to me that the two go hand in hand.

Pine, I disagree. I have had plenty of jobs where I had the authority to do something, but the ultimate responsibility fell to my boss. For instance, as a teenager I worked for a bakery. I could give away the occasional muffin to a dissatisfied customer, but if I had done so every day, or if I only gave muffins to my friends and cute girls, I would have been fired, and the bakery would have borne the responsibility of making good with any customers I had slighted via my decisions.

My reading of Christophe's message is that the board trusts the ED to know when, and what kind, of consultation is needed. An example that fits with my analogy: "Hey boss, I just spilled a full cup of coffee on this customer's purse. Yes, it's true I have a crush on her, and I realize she's gotten free muffins here in the past. OK with you if I give her a muffin anyway? I think it's in the bakery's best interests." Then, my boss could make the decision.

One might ask whether that trust is justified, and events from last year might even make such a question compelling -- but I think you'll agree, in a healthy organization, the board has reason to trust the ED; and I don't think we've seen any reason to doubt the current ED's trustworthiness.

All that said, I very much agree with the sense that the Delegation resolution was *impolitic*. The board has taken almost no substantive action via resolution; above all, it has declined to pursue an independent governance evaluation, which you (Pine) and many of us have urged. In that context, a single resolution to make its own job easier certainly *looks* weird, and *seems* like cause for concern. But in my view, Christophe's explanation is satisfactory, and suggests that the board wants to proceed in a way that presumes health, rather than dysfunction; that may be rather far from the present reality, but it's a worthy aspiration. I don't think this one resolution is a problem, provided that the board is fully willing to accept responsibility for any poor decisions made by its ED.
Stepping back a little, I am wondering if the underlying problem is that
the Board is finding itself overworked, especially keeping in mind that
Board members are not compensated for their time on the WMF Board (though
they do get some limited perks). If overwork is the problem, I would
suggest that there are other ways to address that problem that are less
I agree with this part, very much.

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