Kelly Martin wrote:
On 6/1/06, Anthere <Anthere9(a)yahoo.com>
There is something hugely upsetting in the
comments I read in this
thread. It is seeing people complain things are not publicly
discussed... but who do not even comments when the issues are raised
publicly. It is seeing people complain things are not done... but they
do not do things themselves. It is seeing people complain we do not
welcome their help... but they say no when we ask them.
Well, my perspective on the above comments:
I complain about the Foundation to many people. I don't do anything
about it because the structure of the Foundation is such that I am
disenfranchised from actually having any influence other than through
backchannel politicking. The bylaws of the Foundation concentrate all
power in the Board, and further structured so that a majority of Board
members are not responsible to anyone but themselves. This structure
makes the Board inherently resistant to change. I am not sanguine
that the Board will ever even recognize all of the problems that exist
right now, let alone come up with a useful solution.
it is the second time I see you using that expression. What does that
mean "I am not sanguine" ? except for not being an orange which is
probably true ?
"Sanguine" in English as in French draws its origins from the French
"sang". It can be applied to many things with a characteristic blood
red colouring including varieties of oranges and pears, and hematite
drawing crayons. When applied to persons the subject gets interesting.
While it is clearly related to people who are red in the face, or often
in relation to large people who have many broken small blood vessels in
their cheeks. English and French physiognomists interpreted the
associated temperaments quite differently. For the English it
represents cheerful optimism, and a hopeful and even naïve belief that
everything will be all right. For the French a sanguine person was seen
as someone with a quick temper (un coléreux), unless you were from that
other school of thought that saw them as possessing a calm practical
sense of things.
So, yes, you
may be asking for help, but frankly I find it hard to
figure out what help you need or who to talk to about it -- and
besides, your volunteer coordinators should be working to match
volunteers with tasks that need doing, instead of making volunteers
hunt around to find something to do that fits their talents. But then
again, that's yet another one of the myriad defects of the WMF: the
Foundation appears to have no clue how to manage volunteers, either.
(Does WMF even have a volunteer coordinator?)
Is the job of a board member
1) define the strategy of the Foundation in the long run
2) manage everyday operations of the organisation
3) focus on human management of volunteers ?
According to books, it is 1. According to reality, it is 2. According to
wishes, is it 3 ?
I would rephrase that slightly to refer to the job of the Board as a
whole rather than individual members. The first is clearly the most
important job of the Board. It should set broad guidelines for the
second, without getting involved in micro-management. If you trust
someone enough to put him in a position you need to trust him enough to
let him get on with the job. The human management of volunteers is a
very special skill which could be handled at the highest level by the
right board member, but not necessarily.
Let me see... I need
The length of your list alone says a lot about the needs that have
developed. We may very well have volunteers who _can_ do these jobs,
but how much can you fairly expect of them?