[Foundation-l] PD in Israel

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue May 8 18:54:08 UTC 2007

Florence Devouard wrote:

>Ray Saintonge wrote:
>>Florence Devouard wrote:
>>>Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>>>>Just as I was clicking on "send", another member who had not spoken yet,
>>>>>gave its opinion, which fully contradicts the 3 other ones opinion :-)
>>>>Is it really wise to speak for the board when you've only consulted 3
>>>>members? I don't know what the quorum is, but I'm sure it's more than 3.
>>>Plus my opinion, makes 4. That makes a quorum.
>>>I will mention that I did not consult ONLY 3 people, I never do that. I 
>>>ask all of them. They can answer or not answer.
>>>And yes, that outlines that there should be a deadline to answer a 
>>>question/gives an opinion.
>>Why should you need a deadline?  Is it your demand or someone else's?
>This was a general comment. Not a demand for this specific situation.
>Currently, a resolution may stay open for vote for weeks, as there is no 
>mechanism to close it (except when all members have voted). Often, a 
>resolution is closed after we reached the quorum. Sometimes, it is left 
>open for a few more days to allow late members to vote as well. In most 
>voting systems, there is a beginning to vote... and an end.
>Legally speaking, I just need a quorum. But practically speaking...
>I just need to fix that :-)
I sometimes feel that your "job" must be very frustrating. :'(
I don't think that the quorum quibble which Thomas raised was very 
helpful, nor is anyone's anxiety to view everything you say as the 
pope's official word.  Sometimes when you ask questions, it's because 
you are looking for answers.  The internal procedures that the Board 
follows in arriving at decisions belong exclusively to the Board.  One 
hopes they will be fair, and in the end, as the Carver model shows, the 
Board speaks with one voice.  The Board may choose to be open in its 
deliberations, but those who observe those deliberations must fully 
understand the difference between a proposal and a decision.  Even a 
proposal that has the unanimous support of the Board's members is not 
yet a decision.

BTW when I attended a conference I had a chat with a person who trains 
non-profit boards in Carver governance.  I still can't say that I fully 
understand some of the ideas. :-(

>In a similar way, when I ask an open question to the board, should I let 
>it open forever, at the risk of people to give their opinion with big 
>delays, or should I say "you have xxx days to give your opinion".
It often depends on the question, its importance and its urgency.  One 
would think it would be easy to get responses when only six responsible 
people need to answer. :-)

The big danger still with those questions which others expect you to 
answer on behalf of the Board when the Board has never considered the 
matter.  Sometimes they need to be told exactly that.  The questioners 
need to be reminded that they need to find their own solutions.  Perhaps 
this needs to be supported by a Board policy about when it will or won't 
interfere with the activities of a project.  Personally, I think that 
such intervention should be kept to an absolute minimum.

>By the way, from which city are you in Canada ?
I am in Richmond, a suburb of Vancouver.


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