[Wikimedia-l] Community consultation + Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director selection process

Steve Zhang cro0016 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 29 12:21:12 UTC 2014

Part of me still thinks we'd be better off and it would be easier to try
clone Sue rather than trying to find a suitable replacement for her...
On 29/01/2014 7:03 PM, "Ting Chen" <wing.philopp at gmx.de> wrote:

> Hello dear all, hello Transition Team, hello dear board,
> I am still willing to take the challenge.
> Looking into the description of the search criteria:
> <cite>Key to the success of the Executive Director will be a commitment to
> understand and advance Wikimedia's core values.</cite>
> - In many occasions in the past years I have demonstrated that the core
> values of our movement are part of my life. They are the values that I use
> to guide my behavior and my decisions, not only inside of the movement, but
> also in my professional work and in my personal life.
> <cite>The Executive Director will need to have the technology management
> and product development skills to effectively lead a high traffic website,
> and experience designing and implementing planning processes with a high
> built-in assumption of fast and iterative change.</cite>
> - In the past 16 years I worked in a company which like no other IT
> companies had decisively contributed into the establishment of standards
> and processes of the industry. I started in that company as a programmer on
> the OS (Assembler and C++) level and moved with the time into the position
> of technical lead of projects that are set into highly complicated
> political contexts. Being a subject matter expert, I am the anchor with
> facts and expertise between the different political interests and streams,
> build trust with my open and direct communication style to all groups and
> parties and move things forward by understand the background of the
> different interests and so build bridges and provide solutions that address
> those backgrounds directly. These are the skills and personal marks that
> brought me there where I am now: Into the core of those troubled projects.
> <cite>He or she will need to have exceptional communication skills, and to
> possess both a drive to achieve transformative results and a deep respect
> for collaborative processes. The ED's ability to effect change in
> partnership with Wikimedia's community will be decisive not just to their
> success, but to Wikimedia's lasting impact in the 21st century.</cite>
> - As I have stated in my resign letter from the board, I believe this is
> indeed the most intriguing, most urgent and most difficult part of the work
> that lay directly before us in the next decade. And for this we need, more
> than anyone else inside of the movement, an ED who is really trusted by the
> community (to which I count the readers, the editors, the affiliated
> organizations, their board and staff, the staff of the Foundation, and the
> board). Gain trust is hard work, build trust needs time. It took me long
> time, two or three years, to build that mutual trust with many of the
> people within our movement. And trust is the thing that thwart the belief
> that the process has the luxury of time. Because with the lasting of
> indecisive time the trust sinks and the anxiouty raises.
> As it is remarked at one point, there is no obvious career path that leads
> to this position. After seeing the result of last year's search I am
> strengthend in my belief, that I am the best fit for this position.
> Greetings
> Ting
> Am 1/21/2014 12:09 PM, schrieb Jan-Bart de Vreede:
>> Hey Frederico
>> I will write an update for the meta page in the coming week or so but
>> just to give you a general sense of where we are at: we are trying to reach
>> potential candidates in a different way, and so far that looks like a good
>> strategy. This means more direct contact between the Foundation and
>> candidates and more pro-actively reaching out to people who initially
>> showed no interest.
>> There is no scientific way to make the trade-off between
>> characteristics/skills of candidates. We might very well choose to ignore
>> an important characteristic if all the others fall into place. And it is of
>> course easier to make a trade-off on less significant characteristics and
>> skills. The decision to look for more candidates rather than make a choice
>> in December was not an easy one, but we were not willing to go for a
>> candidate who was missing too many of our desired characteristics/skills.
>> This is something that the transition team does, and its not something that
>> translates well to a table on meta.
>> I am not sure what you are referring to as "avoid another fiasco", but as
>> far as I am concerned we are simply in a stage of finding new candidates
>> and trying to surface the candidate that is up to the challenge and
>> opportunity that we as a unique movement have to offer. This was always an
>> option, and we would have liked to have found someone in the first round,
>> but it wasn't to be.
>> Jan-Bart de Vreede
>> On 18 Jan 2014, at 11:08, Federico Leva (Nemo) <nemowiki at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>  I don't know what to think about a final community consultation on a
>>> specific name. Personally I suspect that I wouldn't be able to say anything
>>> about it, as with <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Executive_Director_
>>> Transition_Team/Update_9_December>.
>>>         Speaking of which, I wonder how the problems there were
>>> addressed: apparently they just expanded the search and reduced the number
>>> of people participating, but I see no answers to the question: <<Have we
>>> been looking for a unicorn -- somebody who doesn't exist in the real world?
>>> [...] too insular? [...] unfairly comparing [...]?>>.
>>>         If an answer was found, I'd like to know it. To me that only
>>> looked like a rhetorical question, because of course I have no idea what
>>> exact criteria/questions/interview practices are being applied or if unfair
>>> comparisons were made. To avoid another fiasco, it would probably be useful
>>> to publish on Meta an anonymised table of candidates, pointing out
>>> strengths and weaknesses in a single line for each. Then one could say <<oh,
>>> look, "criterion" 175 made 12 otherwise awesome candidates "fail", do we
>>> really need it?>>.
>>> Nemo
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