[Foundation-l] Report on board meeting in Florida

daniwo59 at aol.com daniwo59 at aol.com
Sat Mar 31 02:46:19 UTC 2007

Thank you for your  email. I will try to clarify exactly what you are saying—
the best way to do that  is to read your email from bottom to top. You wrote: 
" As I was explaining, we  have no ED. Which means that the points listed 
above as ED issues will either be  left unfixed until we have one, or will have to 
be dealt with by someone else  (undefined). We might make an  exception and 
hire a legal coordinator,  because this is a critical issue." 
So let us look at the  critical issues. I can safely assume that "Do it soon 
and is important" is most  critical
* Coordinate legal activities (ED)
* Job description for all  (ED)
* Personnel needs (ED) 
Note that they are all  ED. Am I too assume that, except for the coordination 
of legal activities, these  will all be left unfixed until there is an ED, or 
will they be dealt with by  some undefined else. It seems the former is the 
answer, with the exception  of a legal coordinator. In other words, are you 
leaving the most pressing issues  unfixed? If it is the latter "undefined else," 
how will the "else" be  selected?

Next came, " Do it  soon (but not necessarily very important)" 
* Data Gathering (ED)
*  Fundraising Planning (ED)
* Board Skills and Expansion and Election  (board)
* Short term budget (COO)
* Wikimania Finances (ED)
* Tech  stuff in office (ED) 
4 out of 6 are  ED-related. Am I too assume here that this "do it soon 
category" is delayed as  well? (Wiktionary defined "soon" as "Within a short time; 
_quickly_ (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/quickly) .") In fact, the  only 
Board-related one involves the upcoming election for community  representatives. 
That will be soon, even though it is "not necessarily very  important").

Finally, you had "  Important (but not necessarily to do immediately)"
* Brand Strategy  (board)
* Business Development Strategy (board)
* Technical Management  (ED) 
What professional  expertise does the Board bring to the first two? When 
talking about a brand  worth billions of dollars--and that means billions of 
dollars for free culture  and knowledge--I would assume that the Board would 
consider some professional  advice and assistance. As for the last point, Technical 
Management, I assume you  mean managing Brion, Tim, Domas, Mark, and the other 
developers. Wouldn’t the  last be the job a CTO, and not the board? 
As for some of the  other topics discussed, you wrote "What can be mentioned 
probably is this:"
*  work on a travel policy (nothing very fancy to report) 
I ask: what is the  current travel policy which is being amended?
* work on a policy for  reimbursement (nothing very fancy to report) 
I ask: what is the  current reimbursement policy, which is being amended. If 
there is no  reimbursement policy, how are reimbursements made? What is 
eligible for  reimbursement and what is not? 
* study of some  collaboration propositions (details confidential) 
I hope you don’t mean  the collaboration proposals with three major 
organizations in DC that I brought  to the table. If you do, why was I not asked about 
* study around  brand licensing (not surprisingly since we are in the top 
of most recognised  brands, we get some propositions from branding 
companies. Brand licensing is  probably one of our best assets to collect 
money for the development of the  projects in the future, so we should be 
careful about what we do on the  topic. Brand licensing has also various 
ramifications, in particular in our  relationships with chapters). 
Blah blah blah—who on  the Board is actually qualified to discuss this on a 
professional level?
*  approval of two new advisory board members 
Can you please provide  a summary of what the advisory board has done or been 
asked to do to date. Not  who is on it, but what they actually do.
* discussion about a future CTO or a  tech project leader. No conclusion at 
the moment.
Does that mean that there  is no direction in technical development as of 
now? Considering the size of the  website and the amount of money poured into 
tech development, a basic roadmap  should be the least one should come to expect.

You also  wrote: 
"During that week, the  office was really populated, as it also hosted two 
other meetings, one  dedicated to Quality (might be worthwhile to ask 
Greg to make a report on  this one...), " 
While Greg is  extremely qualified to report on that, you might also ask the 
person who  organized it. Oh, and how much time did the Board take discussing 
its  recommendations.  
You wrote: "Delphine  was also in Florida for several  days." 
It is always very nice  to see Delphine. What was her role in these meetings? 
Or does that go under the  discussed Travel Policy (to quote you, "nothing 
very fancy to report.")

It would also be nice  to hear some more elaboration from you about the 
"difference of opinion" between  the Board and the Search Firm regarding the role 
of an ED. How does the Board  see the role? How does the Search Firm see the 
role? What efforts are being made  to bridge this difference? 

All in all, it  sounds like a fascinating meeting. I look forward to reading 
the minutes.   

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