[Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
68 messages Options
1234
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Oliver Keyes-5
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I can't speak for Lila, nor should I try.  But I know that for people
> new to our world, it's really quite confusing.  You hear a lot of voices
> and if you've been around for long enough, you get to know which ones
> are important and which ones are going to complain no matter what, with
> little substance.  If you listen to those who are going to complain no
> matter what, you can end up fearful and burned by communication.  If you
> don't listen to those who are only going to complain when it matters,
> you'll miss important things.  Knowing the difference is... well...
> ambiguous even in the best of times.
>
> So to go back to your question - what can be gained from my visit to San
> Francisco... it's only for a few days, but it will be followed by more
> visits in the coming months.  And part of what I want to do is get a
> better understanding of the specific concerns that serious people have,
> so that I can be more helpful to whoever ends up being the interim ED,
> and whoever ends up being our next permanent ED.


Jimmy,

A word of advice on language (from me, of all people. Yes, I know;
stopped clocks and all that).

A substantial number of staff at the Foundation have spent the last
few months in utter, miserable hell. Not in an abstract way, not
watching it from the sidelines (I've spent kind of a lot of time
wishing I was a volunteer in the last 6 months :/) but on a 9 to 5
basis, going into a space that has been deeply unpleasant, for the
sake of the mission. Part of this unpleasantness - a small part of the
problem, but a uniquely insidious and damaging part - was a refusal to
give more than lip-service to the concerns of some employees. Indeed,
some employees were actively warned, or prohibited from speaking, due
to how they chose to raise concerns;[0][1] And in the end, increasing
transparency revealed that the concerns of "disruptive" employees or
"chronic complainers" were eminently justified.

When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only the
concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
situation.

I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming that
it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to use,
within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015. I
of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
were totally legitimate - dismissed.

(As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
critical time, increases transparency.)

[0] https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29&diff=prev&oldid=15301332
[1] No, I was not one of them)
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Pine W
If I may make an even bolder proposal: these chats with Brion and Jimmy can
be, with the consent of everyone involved in each particular meeting,
video-recorded. Asking for the videos to be posted in public might be a
step that's too uncomfortable for some people (although I think that the
transparency would be refreshing and in the long run I would like WMF to
exercise this degree of transparency), but I at least hope that the videos
could be widely accessible inside of WMF.  I think that the videos would be
instructive for the interim executive director, Human Resources, and other
Board members to see, and might be helpful in discussing lessons learned
and opportunities for organizational development.

Pine

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > I can't speak for Lila, nor should I try.  But I know that for people
> > new to our world, it's really quite confusing.  You hear a lot of voices
> > and if you've been around for long enough, you get to know which ones
> > are important and which ones are going to complain no matter what, with
> > little substance.  If you listen to those who are going to complain no
> > matter what, you can end up fearful and burned by communication.  If you
> > don't listen to those who are only going to complain when it matters,
> > you'll miss important things.  Knowing the difference is... well...
> > ambiguous even in the best of times.
> >
> > So to go back to your question - what can be gained from my visit to San
> > Francisco... it's only for a few days, but it will be followed by more
> > visits in the coming months.  And part of what I want to do is get a
> > better understanding of the specific concerns that serious people have,
> > so that I can be more helpful to whoever ends up being the interim ED,
> > and whoever ends up being our next permanent ED.
>
>
> Jimmy,
>
> A word of advice on language (from me, of all people. Yes, I know;
> stopped clocks and all that).
>
> A substantial number of staff at the Foundation have spent the last
> few months in utter, miserable hell. Not in an abstract way, not
> watching it from the sidelines (I've spent kind of a lot of time
> wishing I was a volunteer in the last 6 months :/) but on a 9 to 5
> basis, going into a space that has been deeply unpleasant, for the
> sake of the mission. Part of this unpleasantness - a small part of the
> problem, but a uniquely insidious and damaging part - was a refusal to
> give more than lip-service to the concerns of some employees. Indeed,
> some employees were actively warned, or prohibited from speaking, due
> to how they chose to raise concerns;[0][1] And in the end, increasing
> transparency revealed that the concerns of "disruptive" employees or
> "chronic complainers" were eminently justified.
>
> When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
> no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
> time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
> talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only the
> concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
> worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
> like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
> situation.
>
> I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
> communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming that
> it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to use,
> within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015. I
> of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
> with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
> and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
> ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
> people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
> very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
> Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
> were totally legitimate - dismissed.
>
> (As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
> group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
> we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
> critical time, increases transparency.)
>
> [0]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29&diff=prev&oldid=15301332
> [1] No, I was not one of them)
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Pete Forsyth-2
I agree with what Pine said -- it's worthwhile to consider keeping a record
of these conversations, at minimum for staff reference, even if making them
all public is not desirable.

Further to that point, I have found in many instances, involving a skilled
professional facilitator or mediator, who has no stake in the outcome, can
be an incredibly helpful in getting the maximum benefit from difficult
discussions. I hope that the WMF has considered hiring such a person for
Jimmy's visit, and to address any number of other aspects of the present
challenges.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:58 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If I may make an even bolder proposal: these chats with Brion and Jimmy can
> be, with the consent of everyone involved in each particular meeting,
> video-recorded. Asking for the videos to be posted in public might be a
> step that's too uncomfortable for some people (although I think that the
> transparency would be refreshing and in the long run I would like WMF to
> exercise this degree of transparency), but I at least hope that the videos
> could be widely accessible inside of WMF.  I think that the videos would be
> instructive for the interim executive director, Human Resources, and other
> Board members to see, and might be helpful in discussing lessons learned
> and opportunities for organizational development.
>
> Pine
>
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > > I can't speak for Lila, nor should I try.  But I know that for people
> > > new to our world, it's really quite confusing.  You hear a lot of
> voices
> > > and if you've been around for long enough, you get to know which ones
> > > are important and which ones are going to complain no matter what, with
> > > little substance.  If you listen to those who are going to complain no
> > > matter what, you can end up fearful and burned by communication.  If
> you
> > > don't listen to those who are only going to complain when it matters,
> > > you'll miss important things.  Knowing the difference is... well...
> > > ambiguous even in the best of times.
> > >
> > > So to go back to your question - what can be gained from my visit to
> San
> > > Francisco... it's only for a few days, but it will be followed by more
> > > visits in the coming months.  And part of what I want to do is get a
> > > better understanding of the specific concerns that serious people have,
> > > so that I can be more helpful to whoever ends up being the interim ED,
> > > and whoever ends up being our next permanent ED.
> >
> >
> > Jimmy,
> >
> > A word of advice on language (from me, of all people. Yes, I know;
> > stopped clocks and all that).
> >
> > A substantial number of staff at the Foundation have spent the last
> > few months in utter, miserable hell. Not in an abstract way, not
> > watching it from the sidelines (I've spent kind of a lot of time
> > wishing I was a volunteer in the last 6 months :/) but on a 9 to 5
> > basis, going into a space that has been deeply unpleasant, for the
> > sake of the mission. Part of this unpleasantness - a small part of the
> > problem, but a uniquely insidious and damaging part - was a refusal to
> > give more than lip-service to the concerns of some employees. Indeed,
> > some employees were actively warned, or prohibited from speaking, due
> > to how they chose to raise concerns;[0][1] And in the end, increasing
> > transparency revealed that the concerns of "disruptive" employees or
> > "chronic complainers" were eminently justified.
> >
> > When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
> > no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
> > time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
> > talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only the
> > concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
> > worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
> > like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
> > situation.
> >
> > I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
> > communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming that
> > it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to use,
> > within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015. I
> > of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
> > with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
> > and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
> > ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
> > people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
> > very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
> > Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
> > were totally legitimate - dismissed.
> >
> > (As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
> > group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
> > we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
> > critical time, increases transparency.)
> >
> > [0]
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29&diff=prev&oldid=15301332
> > [1] No, I was not one of them)
> > [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Brion Vibber-4
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-5
On Feb 26, 2016 3:30 PM, "Oliver Keyes" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
> no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
> time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
> talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only the
> concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
> worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
> like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
> situation.
>
> I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
> communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming that
> it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to use,
> within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015. I
> of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
> with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
> and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
> ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
> people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
> very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
> Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
> were totally legitimate - dismissed.

Seconded all this from Oliver.

To Jimmy: we've been doing Wikipedia and Wikimedia a long time, you and I.
:) And in that time we've both learned good and bad habits.

One of those bad habits is known as "setting the bozo bit" in old school
geek culture: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?SetTheBozoBit

Tuning out the concerns of people because they often disagree makes our own
lives easier on the short term, but at best it's a risk that you'll lose
useful feedback, and at worst you can alienate people who could have become
allies on some other topic... Or helped you avoid a sticky situation they
saw coming that you didn't.

It's something I've tried very hard to get away from when I interact with
other developers and users. And sometimes it's really hard. But a lot of
the people I unset the bit from are now doing amazing things... Some of
them now work for you as WMF developers and managers, and I'm glad I didn't
mistreat them early on.

When it comes to your employees, setting the bozo bit is a *really* bad
antipattern. Doubly so when they're coming out of a bad situation and have
a lot to tell you.

This is the time to listen honestly even (especially?) to those whose
narratives mismatch your own.

I'm pretty sure that's not something you'll disagree with, but it's one of
those things that we easily find ourselves doing wrong, and have to watch
out for.

Your staff is still raw and suspicious all around; the word "trauma" gets
used with total sincerity. We'd really appreciate care in how you describe
what's happening; it'll go a long way to making the next few days and the
further discussions you're planning to make really useful.

-- brion

>
> (As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
> group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
> we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
> critical time, increases transparency.)
>
> [0]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29&diff=prev&oldid=15301332
> [1] No, I was not one of them)
> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
<mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Brion Vibber-4
In reply to this post by Pete Forsyth-2
Just a quick note:

* some of the big staff conversations are indeed being very carefully
note-taken or recorded internally. We are being very careful to plan and
communicate how open they will be ahead of time and keep them both honest
and not scary. I would not expect them to be made public (the ones made so
far will definitely not because we already told people they were private to
staff, and people have to be able to trust us on this stuff.)

* There is also a big need for private conversations, which means many/most
of these talks won't be recorded and definitely would not be made public in
detail. Many won't feel comfortable in a recorded conversation. Many still
won't feel comfortable in a large group that's not recorded. Many still
won't feel comfortable in a small group conversation. And others still
won't feel comfortable opening up in a 1:1 private conversation with
someone in a power position at their employer.

* it's also important to remember that people are individuals and have
different experiences. Not everyone interprets or experiences the same
events or in the same way. Some staff members are not comfortable
expressing their experiences and feelings because they feel different from
those speaking more loudly, or found the recent internal and public
discussions more directly traumatic to themselves than what they
experienced during the previous administration -- in which case a more
private environment helps avoid the concern about feeling out of lock step
or being treated as an ignorant outsider for not having shared the same
issue.

I think it's very important to have all of those levels of conversations,
and distill and spread around the core issues, fears, hopes in a way that's
safe, fair, and useful. And honestly I'd prioritize safe and fair over
useful in some respects.

Totally agree that facilitated conversations can be useful. There's at
least some informal stuff going on but I hope we have some more
purpose-designed facilitated discussions too.

And I think some of us *would* love to have public talks about making
things better -- such as those of us posting here. But that's going to be
very distinct from what I think we're looking at this week.

-- brion
On Feb 26, 2016 4:13 PM, "Pete Forsyth" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I agree with what Pine said -- it's worthwhile to consider keeping a record
> of these conversations, at minimum for staff reference, even if making them
> all public is not desirable.
>
> Further to that point, I have found in many instances, involving a skilled
> professional facilitator or mediator, who has no stake in the outcome, can
> be an incredibly helpful in getting the maximum benefit from difficult
> discussions. I hope that the WMF has considered hiring such a person for
> Jimmy's visit, and to address any number of other aspects of the present
> challenges.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:58 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > If I may make an even bolder proposal: these chats with Brion and Jimmy
> can
> > be, with the consent of everyone involved in each particular meeting,
> > video-recorded. Asking for the videos to be posted in public might be a
> > step that's too uncomfortable for some people (although I think that the
> > transparency would be refreshing and in the long run I would like WMF to
> > exercise this degree of transparency), but I at least hope that the
> videos
> > could be widely accessible inside of WMF.  I think that the videos would
> be
> > instructive for the interim executive director, Human Resources, and
> other
> > Board members to see, and might be helpful in discussing lessons learned
> > and opportunities for organizational development.
> >
> > Pine
> >
> > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > I can't speak for Lila, nor should I try.  But I know that for people
> > > > new to our world, it's really quite confusing.  You hear a lot of
> > voices
> > > > and if you've been around for long enough, you get to know which ones
> > > > are important and which ones are going to complain no matter what,
> with
> > > > little substance.  If you listen to those who are going to complain
> no
> > > > matter what, you can end up fearful and burned by communication.  If
> > you
> > > > don't listen to those who are only going to complain when it matters,
> > > > you'll miss important things.  Knowing the difference is... well...
> > > > ambiguous even in the best of times.
> > > >
> > > > So to go back to your question - what can be gained from my visit to
> > San
> > > > Francisco... it's only for a few days, but it will be followed by
> more
> > > > visits in the coming months.  And part of what I want to do is get a
> > > > better understanding of the specific concerns that serious people
> have,
> > > > so that I can be more helpful to whoever ends up being the interim
> ED,
> > > > and whoever ends up being our next permanent ED.
> > >
> > >
> > > Jimmy,
> > >
> > > A word of advice on language (from me, of all people. Yes, I know;
> > > stopped clocks and all that).
> > >
> > > A substantial number of staff at the Foundation have spent the last
> > > few months in utter, miserable hell. Not in an abstract way, not
> > > watching it from the sidelines (I've spent kind of a lot of time
> > > wishing I was a volunteer in the last 6 months :/) but on a 9 to 5
> > > basis, going into a space that has been deeply unpleasant, for the
> > > sake of the mission. Part of this unpleasantness - a small part of the
> > > problem, but a uniquely insidious and damaging part - was a refusal to
> > > give more than lip-service to the concerns of some employees. Indeed,
> > > some employees were actively warned, or prohibited from speaking, due
> > > to how they chose to raise concerns;[0][1] And in the end, increasing
> > > transparency revealed that the concerns of "disruptive" employees or
> > > "chronic complainers" were eminently justified.
> > >
> > > When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
> > > no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
> > > time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
> > > talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only the
> > > concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
> > > worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
> > > like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
> > > situation.
> > >
> > > I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
> > > communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming that
> > > it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to use,
> > > within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015. I
> > > of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
> > > with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
> > > and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
> > > ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
> > > people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
> > > very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
> > > Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
> > > were totally legitimate - dismissed.
> > >
> > > (As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
> > > group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
> > > we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
> > > critical time, increases transparency.)
> > >
> > > [0]
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29&diff=prev&oldid=15301332
> > > [1] No, I was not one of them)
> > > [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Dan Garry
On 26 February 2016 at 17:15, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> * There is also a big need for private conversations, which means many/most
> of these talks won't be recorded and definitely would not be made public in
> detail. Many won't feel comfortable in a recorded conversation. Many still
> won't feel comfortable in a large group that's not recorded. Many still
> won't feel comfortable in a small group conversation. And others still
> won't feel comfortable opening up in a 1:1 private conversation with
> someone in a power position at their employer.
>

Well said. It's crucial to foster an environment in which anyone and
everyone can raise their concerns in a space that they are comfortable
with, in order to make sure people's voices are heard.

Dan

--
Dan Garry
Lead Product Manager, Discovery
Wikimedia Foundation
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Pine W
I admit to being surprised by the depth of the division between the ED and
staff that we are hearing about. Thanks to the Signpost and internal leaks
we in the community knew about the low marks in the staff survey, but I
guess I didn't appreciate that the situation involved more than widespread
professional disagreement and had reached such emotional depth for at least
some staff.

I would like to ask Brion, who seems to be acting as the de facto VP of HR,
if he could ask people if they are willing to have their *anonymized*
comments and notes be published. I think that these would be helpful to
inform the discussions about the future.

I fully understand that people may feel comfortable venting and connecting
about this situation in private. I am trying to respect that private space
while also encouraging a flow of information that I hope will be beneficial
for WMF in the rebuilding phase.

Brion, thank you very much for taking on this role as staff facilitator.

If a professional facilitator would help as well, I'd say to go for it.

Pine
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Oliver Keyes-5
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 8:57 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I admit to being surprised by the depth of the division between the ED and
> staff that we are hearing about. Thanks to the Signpost and internal leaks
> we in the community knew about the low marks in the staff survey, but I
> guess I didn't appreciate that the situation involved more than widespread
> professional disagreement and had reached such emotional depth for at least
> some staff.
>
> I would like to ask Brion, who seems to be acting as the de facto VP of HR,
> if he could ask people if they are willing to have their *anonymized*
> comments and notes be published. I think that these would be helpful to
> inform the discussions about the future.

No, he's not. Don't get me wrong, Brion's help is TREMENDOUSLY
valuable and appreciated. But please recognise that you only see
things from the outside. Your understanding of what is going on,
absent internal discussions, is likely to be somewhat distorted. Brion
is one of the more preeminent volunteers for emotional support but he
is not acting without HR also acting.

>
> I fully understand that people may feel comfortable venting and connecting
> about this situation in private. I am trying to respect that private space
> while also encouraging a flow of information that I hope will be beneficial
> for WMF in the rebuilding phase.

The WMF's rebuilding is ultimately WMF-centric.

There are elements with movement-wide components; reform of the board
of trustees, which is also supported by a lot of staff, is a good
example. But much of it is internal, private, and only fully
understood with an NDA. It's why so many people have been able to
gut-punch employees over the last few months: because there are a lot
of things where, even anonymised, we cannot say anything.

Given that I would prefer not to risk compromising the healing with
publicly-shared transcripts, even anonymised ones. This is not to say
that public feedback and review and transparency isn't welcome and
needed: it is. Merely that this should not come from the commentary of
individual meetings.

>
> Brion, thank you very much for taking on this role as staff facilitator.
>
> If a professional facilitator would help as well, I'd say to go for it.

We already have one, and have for months.

>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

George William Herbert

It would be a good thing if the Board and current or expected interim ED loosened up confidentiality on the employees.

It helps internal morale and external confidence in reforms.


George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 26, 2016, at 7:30 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 8:57 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I admit to being surprised by the depth of the division between the ED and
>> staff that we are hearing about. Thanks to the Signpost and internal leaks
>> we in the community knew about the low marks in the staff survey, but I
>> guess I didn't appreciate that the situation involved more than widespread
>> professional disagreement and had reached such emotional depth for at least
>> some staff.
>>
>> I would like to ask Brion, who seems to be acting as the de facto VP of HR,
>> if he could ask people if they are willing to have their *anonymized*
>> comments and notes be published. I think that these would be helpful to
>> inform the discussions about the future.
>
> No, he's not. Don't get me wrong, Brion's help is TREMENDOUSLY
> valuable and appreciated. But please recognise that you only see
> things from the outside. Your understanding of what is going on,
> absent internal discussions, is likely to be somewhat distorted. Brion
> is one of the more preeminent volunteers for emotional support but he
> is not acting without HR also acting.
>
>>
>> I fully understand that people may feel comfortable venting and connecting
>> about this situation in private. I am trying to respect that private space
>> while also encouraging a flow of information that I hope will be beneficial
>> for WMF in the rebuilding phase.
>
> The WMF's rebuilding is ultimately WMF-centric.
>
> There are elements with movement-wide components; reform of the board
> of trustees, which is also supported by a lot of staff, is a good
> example. But much of it is internal, private, and only fully
> understood with an NDA. It's why so many people have been able to
> gut-punch employees over the last few months: because there are a lot
> of things where, even anonymised, we cannot say anything.
>
> Given that I would prefer not to risk compromising the healing with
> publicly-shared transcripts, even anonymised ones. This is not to say
> that public feedback and review and transparency isn't welcome and
> needed: it is. Merely that this should not come from the commentary of
> individual meetings.
>
>>
>> Brion, thank you very much for taking on this role as staff facilitator.
>>
>> If a professional facilitator would help as well, I'd say to go for it.
>
> We already have one, and have for months.
>
>>
>> Pine
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Oliver Keyes-5
I would also like that. To be perfectly honest the NDAs are vague
enough (deliberately) that it makes things very hard for anyone
outside of counsel to really determine what might be a problem.

From my perspective: so, as well as a prohibition on sharing anything
we learn exclusively through our work without authorisation, my
contract also features a clause that prohibits me from saying anything
that might defame the Foundation, its trustees, or its officers. Quite
how this is defined has never been made clear to employees, which
makes transparency in an era of obscurity, or transparency in an era
where there are a lot of sensitive, nuanced things to talk about,
difficult.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:36 PM, George Herbert
<[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> It would be a good thing if the Board and current or expected interim ED loosened up confidentiality on the employees.
>
> It helps internal morale and external confidence in reforms.
>
>
> George William Herbert
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Feb 26, 2016, at 7:30 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 8:57 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> I admit to being surprised by the depth of the division between the ED and
>>> staff that we are hearing about. Thanks to the Signpost and internal leaks
>>> we in the community knew about the low marks in the staff survey, but I
>>> guess I didn't appreciate that the situation involved more than widespread
>>> professional disagreement and had reached such emotional depth for at least
>>> some staff.
>>>
>>> I would like to ask Brion, who seems to be acting as the de facto VP of HR,
>>> if he could ask people if they are willing to have their *anonymized*
>>> comments and notes be published. I think that these would be helpful to
>>> inform the discussions about the future.
>>
>> No, he's not. Don't get me wrong, Brion's help is TREMENDOUSLY
>> valuable and appreciated. But please recognise that you only see
>> things from the outside. Your understanding of what is going on,
>> absent internal discussions, is likely to be somewhat distorted. Brion
>> is one of the more preeminent volunteers for emotional support but he
>> is not acting without HR also acting.
>>
>>>
>>> I fully understand that people may feel comfortable venting and connecting
>>> about this situation in private. I am trying to respect that private space
>>> while also encouraging a flow of information that I hope will be beneficial
>>> for WMF in the rebuilding phase.
>>
>> The WMF's rebuilding is ultimately WMF-centric.
>>
>> There are elements with movement-wide components; reform of the board
>> of trustees, which is also supported by a lot of staff, is a good
>> example. But much of it is internal, private, and only fully
>> understood with an NDA. It's why so many people have been able to
>> gut-punch employees over the last few months: because there are a lot
>> of things where, even anonymised, we cannot say anything.
>>
>> Given that I would prefer not to risk compromising the healing with
>> publicly-shared transcripts, even anonymised ones. This is not to say
>> that public feedback and review and transparency isn't welcome and
>> needed: it is. Merely that this should not come from the commentary of
>> individual meetings.
>>
>>>
>>> Brion, thank you very much for taking on this role as staff facilitator.
>>>
>>> If a professional facilitator would help as well, I'd say to go for it.
>>
>> We already have one, and have for months.
>>
>>>
>>> Pine
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Pine W
Something that I would like to understand is why so much WMF information is
cloaked under NDAs. It seems to me that this is philosophically at odds
with the values of the community, makes for poor governance, and provides
cover for opportunities for mischief. I hope that recent events will prompt
WMF to rethink its habits and assumptions in the realms of transparency,
openness, and values alignment.

Pine
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Anthony Cole
Can we see your NDA please, Oliver?

Anthony Cole


On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 3:17 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Something that I would like to understand is why so much WMF information is
> cloaked under NDAs. It seems to me that this is philosophically at odds
> with the values of the community, makes for poor governance, and provides
> cover for opportunities for mischief. I hope that recent events will prompt
> WMF to rethink its habits and assumptions in the realms of transparency,
> openness, and values alignment.
>
> Pine
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

James Alexander-4
In reply to this post by Pine W
On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 11:17 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Something that I would like to understand is why so much WMF information is
> cloaked under NDAs. It seems to me that this is philosophically at odds
> with the values of the community, makes for poor governance, and provides
> cover for opportunities for mischief. I hope that recent events will prompt
> WMF to rethink its habits and assumptions in the realms of transparency,
> openness, and values alignment.
>
> Pine
>

While on a base level I agree with you I feel its important to add some
caveats to that. I think a good portion of this is actually everyone
needing a better understanding about what 'is' expected to be private (and
preferably why) from Management on down. I think a lot of what people are
calling "under the NDA" may not be :).

I also think it's important to consider the categories of private
data/information too, however, because i fear we (both the staff and the
community) use "under NDA" as a very broad and note always accurate
description. The way I see it there is:


   1. Private WMF Data or information that is most definetly covered by the
   NDA: examples include most donor data, attorney-client privileged
   information, information that is legally protected, information we protect
   via official public policy etc.
   2. Information and notes that really don't need to be private: This is
   the stuff we're talking about releasing.
   3. Inter personal/team discussions and similar.

[sorry, this turned out tldr, apologies. TLDR: Careful demanding sharing of
internal team discussions]

3. I actually think is really important because it is not what we think of
when we think of private information (and, honestly, probably isn't under
the NDA usually) but can be very important to be kept privately even if the
end result of the discussion should be made public etc.. This is especially
true to allow open conversations between staff members. Not only do they
need to feel comfortable bringing up crazy idea A (which some are now and
could probably be done more with culture change, possible on both the
community and WMF sides) but they need to feel comfortable saying that
crazy idea A is crazy and bad for reasons X,Y and Z.

Lodewijk made my main point well in the thread about Lawrence Lessig:
People get very uncomfortable talking about others in public. If Staff
member B is breaking apart Staff member A's proposal there is a good chance
at least one of them is going to be feeling very uncomfortable about it.
That discomfort often gets much bigger the more people who see what's
happening either because they feel more shame (to pick just one of the
emotions you can feel in that type of situation) or because they feel like
they're doing more shaming then they want to do. That expanded discomfort
can make them significantly less likely to do any number of things we don't
want: get more defensive/less willing to change, be less wiling to propose
those bold ideas that could be really great (or not), be less willing to
speak out against the bad ideas etc.

The other reason is another one that I imagine we're all familiar with on
wiki: The more people who pile on in one direction (even if it's only 2-3
frequently) (and in my experience the more public that discussion) the less
likely people are going to be to oppose what the direction those initial
commentators/voters/blah went. Suddenly people feel like they need to
defend their opinion much more then they would otherwise or that they could
be faced with angry opposition. These concerns are certainly possible on
internal teams and mailing lists (the WMF Staff list is somewhat famous for
people being afraid to pile on after a lot of people went the other way and
I know some, including me, are trying to change that)  but they become more
and more of a concern the wider that audience becomes and publishing those
discussions is a VERY wide audience.

I think that publishing the Discovery Team meeting with lila recently was a
right and proper move but I also think it was likely an exception to the
rule. Seeing people disagree so strongly and publicly with one of their
regular colleagues could very well scare away those colleagues and we don't
want that.





James Alexander
Manager
Trust & Safety
Wikimedia Foundation
(415) 839-6885 x6716 @jamesofur
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Anthony Cole
It's not just NDAs that constrain you, staff. The WMF code of conduct
<https://m.wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Code_of_conduct_policy> (that
applies to staff and trustees) reads,

"People acting on the Foundation’s behalf must respect and maintain the
confidentiality of sensitive information they have gained due to their
association with the Foundation. This may include personal information
about community members or members of the general public, and/or
information about the internal workings of the Foundation or its partners
or suppliers."

"Information about the internal workings of the Foundation" is extremely
broad and vague, and could be used to punish or intimidate staff who talk
openly about anything. Perhaps you could add "some" ("some information
about the internal workings of the Foundation") and leave it to the
individual NDAs to specify what "some" means. Or perhaps you could just be
specific in the code of conduct.

Anthony Cole


On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:51 PM, James Alexander <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 11:17 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Something that I would like to understand is why so much WMF information
> is
> > cloaked under NDAs. It seems to me that this is philosophically at odds
> > with the values of the community, makes for poor governance, and provides
> > cover for opportunities for mischief. I hope that recent events will
> prompt
> > WMF to rethink its habits and assumptions in the realms of transparency,
> > openness, and values alignment.
> >
> > Pine
> >
>
> While on a base level I agree with you I feel its important to add some
> caveats to that. I think a good portion of this is actually everyone
> needing a better understanding about what 'is' expected to be private (and
> preferably why) from Management on down. I think a lot of what people are
> calling "under the NDA" may not be :).
>
> I also think it's important to consider the categories of private
> data/information too, however, because i fear we (both the staff and the
> community) use "under NDA" as a very broad and note always accurate
> description. The way I see it there is:
>
>
>    1. Private WMF Data or information that is most definetly covered by the
>    NDA: examples include most donor data, attorney-client privileged
>    information, information that is legally protected, information we
> protect
>    via official public policy etc.
>    2. Information and notes that really don't need to be private: This is
>    the stuff we're talking about releasing.
>    3. Inter personal/team discussions and similar.
>
> [sorry, this turned out tldr, apologies. TLDR: Careful demanding sharing of
> internal team discussions]
>
> 3. I actually think is really important because it is not what we think of
> when we think of private information (and, honestly, probably isn't under
> the NDA usually) but can be very important to be kept privately even if the
> end result of the discussion should be made public etc.. This is especially
> true to allow open conversations between staff members. Not only do they
> need to feel comfortable bringing up crazy idea A (which some are now and
> could probably be done more with culture change, possible on both the
> community and WMF sides) but they need to feel comfortable saying that
> crazy idea A is crazy and bad for reasons X,Y and Z.
>
> Lodewijk made my main point well in the thread about Lawrence Lessig:
> People get very uncomfortable talking about others in public. If Staff
> member B is breaking apart Staff member A's proposal there is a good chance
> at least one of them is going to be feeling very uncomfortable about it.
> That discomfort often gets much bigger the more people who see what's
> happening either because they feel more shame (to pick just one of the
> emotions you can feel in that type of situation) or because they feel like
> they're doing more shaming then they want to do. That expanded discomfort
> can make them significantly less likely to do any number of things we don't
> want: get more defensive/less willing to change, be less wiling to propose
> those bold ideas that could be really great (or not), be less willing to
> speak out against the bad ideas etc.
>
> The other reason is another one that I imagine we're all familiar with on
> wiki: The more people who pile on in one direction (even if it's only 2-3
> frequently) (and in my experience the more public that discussion) the less
> likely people are going to be to oppose what the direction those initial
> commentators/voters/blah went. Suddenly people feel like they need to
> defend their opinion much more then they would otherwise or that they could
> be faced with angry opposition. These concerns are certainly possible on
> internal teams and mailing lists (the WMF Staff list is somewhat famous for
> people being afraid to pile on after a lot of people went the other way and
> I know some, including me, are trying to change that)  but they become more
> and more of a concern the wider that audience becomes and publishing those
> discussions is a VERY wide audience.
>
> I think that publishing the Discovery Team meeting with lila recently was a
> right and proper move but I also think it was likely an exception to the
> rule. Seeing people disagree so strongly and publicly with one of their
> regular colleagues could very well scare away those colleagues and we don't
> want that.
>
>
>
>
>
> James Alexander
> Manager
> Trust & Safety
> Wikimedia Foundation
> (415) 839-6885 x6716 @jamesofur
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Oliver Keyes-5
Anthony has hit the nail on the head here with "could be used to
punish or intimidate staff"; the reason I, at least, am uncomfortable
talking about the internal details here (beyond the obvious PR
elements for the Foundation) is that there's a lot of ongoing fear
about repercussions. A couple of years ago this wouldn't have been the
case.

(This also indirectly answers the "can we see your NDA?" question. I
don't know. And hell, I'm this scared having *already quit*.)

More guidance, and public guidance at that, would be deeply
appreciated. Within the Discovery Analytics team we've gone out of our
way to write up pretty all-encompassing guidelines specifically for
data (which I look forward to being able to publish pretty soon - we
just got clearance to do so). It would be nice to have more firm
guidance on what we should do with transparency around other kinds of
information. It would, of course, be even nicer if we could rebuild
trust, since that's the source of a lot of the fear.

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:40 AM, Anthony Cole <[hidden email]> wrote:

> It's not just NDAs that constrain you, staff. The WMF code of conduct
> <https://m.wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Code_of_conduct_policy> (that
> applies to staff and trustees) reads,
>
> "People acting on the Foundation’s behalf must respect and maintain the
> confidentiality of sensitive information they have gained due to their
> association with the Foundation. This may include personal information
> about community members or members of the general public, and/or
> information about the internal workings of the Foundation or its partners
> or suppliers."
>
> "Information about the internal workings of the Foundation" is extremely
> broad and vague, and could be used to punish or intimidate staff who talk
> openly about anything. Perhaps you could add "some" ("some information
> about the internal workings of the Foundation") and leave it to the
> individual NDAs to specify what "some" means. Or perhaps you could just be
> specific in the code of conduct.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:51 PM, James Alexander <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 11:17 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> > Something that I would like to understand is why so much WMF information
>> is
>> > cloaked under NDAs. It seems to me that this is philosophically at odds
>> > with the values of the community, makes for poor governance, and provides
>> > cover for opportunities for mischief. I hope that recent events will
>> prompt
>> > WMF to rethink its habits and assumptions in the realms of transparency,
>> > openness, and values alignment.
>> >
>> > Pine
>> >
>>
>> While on a base level I agree with you I feel its important to add some
>> caveats to that. I think a good portion of this is actually everyone
>> needing a better understanding about what 'is' expected to be private (and
>> preferably why) from Management on down. I think a lot of what people are
>> calling "under the NDA" may not be :).
>>
>> I also think it's important to consider the categories of private
>> data/information too, however, because i fear we (both the staff and the
>> community) use "under NDA" as a very broad and note always accurate
>> description. The way I see it there is:
>>
>>
>>    1. Private WMF Data or information that is most definetly covered by the
>>    NDA: examples include most donor data, attorney-client privileged
>>    information, information that is legally protected, information we
>> protect
>>    via official public policy etc.
>>    2. Information and notes that really don't need to be private: This is
>>    the stuff we're talking about releasing.
>>    3. Inter personal/team discussions and similar.
>>
>> [sorry, this turned out tldr, apologies. TLDR: Careful demanding sharing of
>> internal team discussions]
>>
>> 3. I actually think is really important because it is not what we think of
>> when we think of private information (and, honestly, probably isn't under
>> the NDA usually) but can be very important to be kept privately even if the
>> end result of the discussion should be made public etc.. This is especially
>> true to allow open conversations between staff members. Not only do they
>> need to feel comfortable bringing up crazy idea A (which some are now and
>> could probably be done more with culture change, possible on both the
>> community and WMF sides) but they need to feel comfortable saying that
>> crazy idea A is crazy and bad for reasons X,Y and Z.
>>
>> Lodewijk made my main point well in the thread about Lawrence Lessig:
>> People get very uncomfortable talking about others in public. If Staff
>> member B is breaking apart Staff member A's proposal there is a good chance
>> at least one of them is going to be feeling very uncomfortable about it.
>> That discomfort often gets much bigger the more people who see what's
>> happening either because they feel more shame (to pick just one of the
>> emotions you can feel in that type of situation) or because they feel like
>> they're doing more shaming then they want to do. That expanded discomfort
>> can make them significantly less likely to do any number of things we don't
>> want: get more defensive/less willing to change, be less wiling to propose
>> those bold ideas that could be really great (or not), be less willing to
>> speak out against the bad ideas etc.
>>
>> The other reason is another one that I imagine we're all familiar with on
>> wiki: The more people who pile on in one direction (even if it's only 2-3
>> frequently) (and in my experience the more public that discussion) the less
>> likely people are going to be to oppose what the direction those initial
>> commentators/voters/blah went. Suddenly people feel like they need to
>> defend their opinion much more then they would otherwise or that they could
>> be faced with angry opposition. These concerns are certainly possible on
>> internal teams and mailing lists (the WMF Staff list is somewhat famous for
>> people being afraid to pile on after a lot of people went the other way and
>> I know some, including me, are trying to change that)  but they become more
>> and more of a concern the wider that audience becomes and publishing those
>> discussions is a VERY wide audience.
>>
>> I think that publishing the Discovery Team meeting with lila recently was a
>> right and proper move but I also think it was likely an exception to the
>> rule. Seeing people disagree so strongly and publicly with one of their
>> regular colleagues could very well scare away those colleagues and we don't
>> want that.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> James Alexander
>> Manager
>> Trust & Safety
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>> (415) 839-6885 x6716 @jamesofur
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

metasj
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
Dear Brion, your comments in this thread were wonderfully clear. Thank you.
On Feb 26, 2016 8:15 PM, "Brion Vibber" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Just a quick note:
>
> * some of the big staff conversations are indeed being very carefully
> note-taken or recorded internally. We are being very careful to plan and
> communicate how open they will be ahead of time and keep them both honest
> and not scary. I would not expect them to be made public (the ones made so
> far will definitely not because we already told people they were private to
> staff, and people have to be able to trust us on this stuff.)
>
> * There is also a big need for private conversations, which means many/most
> of these talks won't be recorded and definitely would not be made public in
> detail. Many won't feel comfortable in a recorded conversation. Many still
> won't feel comfortable in a large group that's not recorded. Many still
> won't feel comfortable in a small group conversation. And others still
> won't feel comfortable opening up in a 1:1 private conversation with
> someone in a power position at their employer.
>
> * it's also important to remember that people are individuals and have
> different experiences. Not everyone interprets or experiences the same
> events or in the same way. Some staff members are not comfortable
> expressing their experiences and feelings because they feel different from
> those speaking more loudly, or found the recent internal and public
> discussions more directly traumatic to themselves than what they
> experienced during the previous administration -- in which case a more
> private environment helps avoid the concern about feeling out of lock step
> or being treated as an ignorant outsider for not having shared the same
> issue.
>
> I think it's very important to have all of those levels of conversations,
> and distill and spread around the core issues, fears, hopes in a way that's
> safe, fair, and useful. And honestly I'd prioritize safe and fair over
> useful in some respects.
>
> Totally agree that facilitated conversations can be useful. There's at
> least some informal stuff going on but I hope we have some more
> purpose-designed facilitated discussions too.
>
> And I think some of us *would* love to have public talks about making
> things better -- such as those of us posting here. But that's going to be
> very distinct from what I think we're looking at this week.
>
> -- brion
> On Feb 26, 2016 4:13 PM, "Pete Forsyth" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I agree with what Pine said -- it's worthwhile to consider keeping a
> record
> > of these conversations, at minimum for staff reference, even if making
> them
> > all public is not desirable.
> >
> > Further to that point, I have found in many instances, involving a
> skilled
> > professional facilitator or mediator, who has no stake in the outcome,
> can
> > be an incredibly helpful in getting the maximum benefit from difficult
> > discussions. I hope that the WMF has considered hiring such a person for
> > Jimmy's visit, and to address any number of other aspects of the present
> > challenges.
> >
> > -Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:58 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > If I may make an even bolder proposal: these chats with Brion and Jimmy
> > can
> > > be, with the consent of everyone involved in each particular meeting,
> > > video-recorded. Asking for the videos to be posted in public might be a
> > > step that's too uncomfortable for some people (although I think that
> the
> > > transparency would be refreshing and in the long run I would like WMF
> to
> > > exercise this degree of transparency), but I at least hope that the
> > videos
> > > could be widely accessible inside of WMF.  I think that the videos
> would
> > be
> > > instructive for the interim executive director, Human Resources, and
> > other
> > > Board members to see, and might be helpful in discussing lessons
> learned
> > > and opportunities for organizational development.
> > >
> > > Pine
> > >
> > > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]>
> > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > I can't speak for Lila, nor should I try.  But I know that for
> people
> > > > > new to our world, it's really quite confusing.  You hear a lot of
> > > voices
> > > > > and if you've been around for long enough, you get to know which
> ones
> > > > > are important and which ones are going to complain no matter what,
> > with
> > > > > little substance.  If you listen to those who are going to complain
> > no
> > > > > matter what, you can end up fearful and burned by communication.
> If
> > > you
> > > > > don't listen to those who are only going to complain when it
> matters,
> > > > > you'll miss important things.  Knowing the difference is... well...
> > > > > ambiguous even in the best of times.
> > > > >
> > > > > So to go back to your question - what can be gained from my visit
> to
> > > San
> > > > > Francisco... it's only for a few days, but it will be followed by
> > more
> > > > > visits in the coming months.  And part of what I want to do is get
> a
> > > > > better understanding of the specific concerns that serious people
> > have,
> > > > > so that I can be more helpful to whoever ends up being the interim
> > ED,
> > > > > and whoever ends up being our next permanent ED.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Jimmy,
> > > >
> > > > A word of advice on language (from me, of all people. Yes, I know;
> > > > stopped clocks and all that).
> > > >
> > > > A substantial number of staff at the Foundation have spent the last
> > > > few months in utter, miserable hell. Not in an abstract way, not
> > > > watching it from the sidelines (I've spent kind of a lot of time
> > > > wishing I was a volunteer in the last 6 months :/) but on a 9 to 5
> > > > basis, going into a space that has been deeply unpleasant, for the
> > > > sake of the mission. Part of this unpleasantness - a small part of
> the
> > > > problem, but a uniquely insidious and damaging part - was a refusal
> to
> > > > give more than lip-service to the concerns of some employees. Indeed,
> > > > some employees were actively warned, or prohibited from speaking, due
> > > > to how they chose to raise concerns;[0][1] And in the end, increasing
> > > > transparency revealed that the concerns of "disruptive" employees or
> > > > "chronic complainers" were eminently justified.
> > > >
> > > > When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
> > > > no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
> > > > time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
> > > > talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only
> the
> > > > concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
> > > > worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
> > > > like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
> > > > situation.
> > > >
> > > > I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
> > > > communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming
> that
> > > > it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to
> use,
> > > > within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015.
> I
> > > > of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
> > > > with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
> > > > and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
> > > > ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
> > > > people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
> > > > very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
> > > > Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
> > > > were totally legitimate - dismissed.
> > > >
> > > > (As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
> > > > group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
> > > > we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
> > > > critical time, increases transparency.)
> > > >
> > > > [0]
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29&diff=prev&oldid=15301332
> > > > [1] No, I was not one of them)
> > > > [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Andreas Kolbe-2
In reply to this post by Oliver Keyes-5
Well, Jimmy Wales has said here in this discussion that he is "continuing
to push for more disclosure and more openness."

Maybe he'll be so kind as to tell you now that you can publish that NDA
here on this list without fear of repercussions. I think we all agree that
kind of fear should have no place in the WMF.

Andreas

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 1:22 PM, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Anthony has hit the nail on the head here with "could be used to
> punish or intimidate staff"; the reason I, at least, am uncomfortable
> talking about the internal details here (beyond the obvious PR
> elements for the Foundation) is that there's a lot of ongoing fear
> about repercussions. A couple of years ago this wouldn't have been the
> case.
>
> (This also indirectly answers the "can we see your NDA?" question. I
> don't know. And hell, I'm this scared having *already quit*.)
>
> More guidance, and public guidance at that, would be deeply
> appreciated. Within the Discovery Analytics team we've gone out of our
> way to write up pretty all-encompassing guidelines specifically for
> data (which I look forward to being able to publish pretty soon - we
> just got clearance to do so). It would be nice to have more firm
> guidance on what we should do with transparency around other kinds of
> information. It would, of course, be even nicer if we could rebuild
> trust, since that's the source of a lot of the fear.
>
> On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:40 AM, Anthony Cole <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > It's not just NDAs that constrain you, staff. The WMF code of conduct
> > <https://m.wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Code_of_conduct_policy> (that
> > applies to staff and trustees) reads,
> >
> > "People acting on the Foundation’s behalf must respect and maintain the
> > confidentiality of sensitive information they have gained due to their
> > association with the Foundation. This may include personal information
> > about community members or members of the general public, and/or
> > information about the internal workings of the Foundation or its partners
> > or suppliers."
> >
> > "Information about the internal workings of the Foundation" is extremely
> > broad and vague, and could be used to punish or intimidate staff who talk
> > openly about anything. Perhaps you could add "some" ("some information
> > about the internal workings of the Foundation") and leave it to the
> > individual NDAs to specify what "some" means. Or perhaps you could just
> be
> > specific in the code of conduct.
> >
> > Anthony Cole
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 6:51 PM, James Alexander <
> [hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 11:17 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Something that I would like to understand is why so much WMF
> information
> >> is
> >> > cloaked under NDAs. It seems to me that this is philosophically at
> odds
> >> > with the values of the community, makes for poor governance, and
> provides
> >> > cover for opportunities for mischief. I hope that recent events will
> >> prompt
> >> > WMF to rethink its habits and assumptions in the realms of
> transparency,
> >> > openness, and values alignment.
> >> >
> >> > Pine
> >> >
> >>
> >> While on a base level I agree with you I feel its important to add some
> >> caveats to that. I think a good portion of this is actually everyone
> >> needing a better understanding about what 'is' expected to be private
> (and
> >> preferably why) from Management on down. I think a lot of what people
> are
> >> calling "under the NDA" may not be :).
> >>
> >> I also think it's important to consider the categories of private
> >> data/information too, however, because i fear we (both the staff and the
> >> community) use "under NDA" as a very broad and note always accurate
> >> description. The way I see it there is:
> >>
> >>
> >>    1. Private WMF Data or information that is most definetly covered by
> the
> >>    NDA: examples include most donor data, attorney-client privileged
> >>    information, information that is legally protected, information we
> >> protect
> >>    via official public policy etc.
> >>    2. Information and notes that really don't need to be private: This
> is
> >>    the stuff we're talking about releasing.
> >>    3. Inter personal/team discussions and similar.
> >>
> >> [sorry, this turned out tldr, apologies. TLDR: Careful demanding
> sharing of
> >> internal team discussions]
> >>
> >> 3. I actually think is really important because it is not what we think
> of
> >> when we think of private information (and, honestly, probably isn't
> under
> >> the NDA usually) but can be very important to be kept privately even if
> the
> >> end result of the discussion should be made public etc.. This is
> especially
> >> true to allow open conversations between staff members. Not only do they
> >> need to feel comfortable bringing up crazy idea A (which some are now
> and
> >> could probably be done more with culture change, possible on both the
> >> community and WMF sides) but they need to feel comfortable saying that
> >> crazy idea A is crazy and bad for reasons X,Y and Z.
> >>
> >> Lodewijk made my main point well in the thread about Lawrence Lessig:
> >> People get very uncomfortable talking about others in public. If Staff
> >> member B is breaking apart Staff member A's proposal there is a good
> chance
> >> at least one of them is going to be feeling very uncomfortable about it.
> >> That discomfort often gets much bigger the more people who see what's
> >> happening either because they feel more shame (to pick just one of the
> >> emotions you can feel in that type of situation) or because they feel
> like
> >> they're doing more shaming then they want to do. That expanded
> discomfort
> >> can make them significantly less likely to do any number of things we
> don't
> >> want: get more defensive/less willing to change, be less wiling to
> propose
> >> those bold ideas that could be really great (or not), be less willing to
> >> speak out against the bad ideas etc.
> >>
> >> The other reason is another one that I imagine we're all familiar with
> on
> >> wiki: The more people who pile on in one direction (even if it's only
> 2-3
> >> frequently) (and in my experience the more public that discussion) the
> less
> >> likely people are going to be to oppose what the direction those initial
> >> commentators/voters/blah went. Suddenly people feel like they need to
> >> defend their opinion much more then they would otherwise or that they
> could
> >> be faced with angry opposition. These concerns are certainly possible on
> >> internal teams and mailing lists (the WMF Staff list is somewhat famous
> for
> >> people being afraid to pile on after a lot of people went the other way
> and
> >> I know some, including me, are trying to change that)  but they become
> more
> >> and more of a concern the wider that audience becomes and publishing
> those
> >> discussions is a VERY wide audience.
> >>
> >> I think that publishing the Discovery Team meeting with lila recently
> was a
> >> right and proper move but I also think it was likely an exception to the
> >> rule. Seeing people disagree so strongly and publicly with one of their
> >> regular colleagues could very well scare away those colleagues and we
> don't
> >> want that.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> James Alexander
> >> Manager
> >> Trust & Safety
> >> Wikimedia Foundation
> >> (415) 839-6885 x6716 @jamesofur
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Jimmy Wales-4
In reply to this post by Fæ
On 2/26/16 9:17 PM, Fæ wrote:
> I hope you will be able to address nagging concerns about your
> personal support for keeping the search project a secret last year,

Sure - I never supported keeping the proposed and approved work on
Discovery and Search secret last year at all.  I don't know of anyone
who did.  The failure to sufficiently disclose happened, but it was not
a point that was discussed at the board level to my knowledge.  I don't
know of any board members, past or present, who think or thought that
such things should be kept from the community.

It is my longstanding and continued position that the Foundation should
be as open as legally possible with only a very limited degree of
non-disclosure, mostly around legal matters and around employee matters.
 There are a few other examples, too, like price negotiations with
vendors, and so on like that.  With regard to our long term strategy, I
continue to strongly support that everything should not only be
disclosed to the community, but that it makes no sense for it to be in
conflict with the community, and that very often it should be led by the
community in consultation with the Foundation.

> and your conflict of loyalties during that process, shortly after your
> visit.

I did not have any conflict of loyalties during that process.  Spending
a reasonable portion of our IT budget on an ambitious project to improve
search and discovery, and to conduct research and community consultation
on that, is a great idea for Wikipedia and for the broader Wikimedia
movement and I strongly support it.


_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Jimmy Wales-4
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
On 2/27/16 12:15 AM, Brion Vibber wrote:
> When it comes to your employees, setting the bozo bit is a *really* bad
> antipattern. Doubly so when they're coming out of a bad situation and have
> a lot to tell you.

I completely agree with this - let me remind the context of my remark.

For employees dealing with the community, particularly new employees,
there can be a lot of WMF-bashing and employee bashing that really
hurts.  People who have been around for a long time tend to come to an
understanding about people's ways of communicating and personality
styles.  This means that it's possible to understand that person A (a
person who habitually makes accusations and doesn't assume good faith)
screaming about something means something very different from person A
(a person who generally doesn't make drama and who tries to see the best
in things and people).

We had some disastrous rollouts of bad software in recent years.  This
has led, in my view, to a kind of vicious cycle - a loss of trust in the
Foundation means that people view new developments with a hostility that
is often excessive.  Employees who get beaten up over such things tend
to find it very unpleasant, particularly in those cases (we've all seen
examples) where the attacks get personal.  ("This software is buggy" not
easy to hear, but is an ok and honest remark.  "These developers are
idiots and the WMF is yet again trying to attack and destroy the
community" is very likely to give rise to a fear and also a disinterest
in engaging.  That's not good.

> I'm pretty sure that's not something you'll disagree with, but it's one of
> those things that we easily find ourselves doing wrong, and have to watch
> out for.

You are right on both points!

--Jimbo

_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] I am going to San Francisco

Anna Stillwell
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
 +1 to what Oliver and Vibber said.

The situation is still delicate, Jimmy.

Staff are being extremely kind to one another. I was blown away by the
respect and care that staff showed toward *the entire situation yesterday *when
we met as a group*.* We were mature, measured, civil, reasonable and
supporting and trusting of one another. Last but not least, we were forward
thinking.

Still, we've all been through something quite significant and we need a lot
of care and feeding. This isn't to say that we can't have contentious
discourse (I, for one, love to battle it out on ideas), but I think we
would all really appreciate it if you step lightly. It's been really
intense and I am no delicate flower.

Further, although there are a variety of temperaments and responses to what
happened, there is very little disagreement that the right decision was
finally made. Actually, I have yet to find any disagreement--only deep
relief. I have not spoken to everyone, but I have connected with and
listened to a lot of people. So the idea that there are (or were) just a
small group of consistent complainers, is not what I have seen and I have
been on the ground the entire time. In fact, I saw the opposite. I saw
people go out of their way, extend AGF beyond any reasonable application,
and then arrive at a similar, if not identical, conclusion.

There appears to have been a story that has succeeded (and been actively
perpetuated) in some circles for some time. It's a story that paints staff
as change averse luddites. It may have been told in a slightly more
friendly manner in public, but that is the thesis if you dig into it. It
was top notch spin, but it's not true.

The really powerful and disarming story about what's actually going on
inside? We are a thriving group of capable and principled people coming
together to do right by a mission and community that we are genuinely
devoted to. And that is the only part of what's recently happened that
feels really, really good.

I believe that staff have proven themselves to be legitimate stakeholders
in this movement. We are worthy of your respect. We are worthy of the
movement's respect.

Warmly,
/a

On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 4:15 PM, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Feb 26, 2016 3:30 PM, "Oliver Keyes" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > When I hear language about "ignoring those who are going to complain
> > no matter what" and, in an email premised on visiting and spending
> > time with staff, a distinction between the pool of people you'll be
> > talking to and the "serious people", with an implication that only the
> > concerns of the "serious people" will be taken, well, seriously, that
> > worries me. It feels a lot like what we're coming out of. It feels
> > like it will be a hindrance to progressing beyond this awful
> > situation.
> >
> > I appreciate this is almost certainly not what you were trying to
> > communicate - indeed , I fully expect you'll come back confirming that
> > it wasn't. But it's best to be aware of the language you chose to use,
> > within the context of what staff have been going through since 2015. I
> > of all people know that how you choose to contextualise a situation
> > with your words has profound implications for how people approach you
> > and the treatment you receive. It's best to avoid unintentional
> > ambiguities or implications. When you use language that implies some
> > people or their concerns are worth ignoring, it's going to resonate
> > very strongly with the dividing tactics recently found at the
> > Foundation: where some people found their worries and issues - which
> > were totally legitimate - dismissed.
>
> Seconded all this from Oliver.
>
> To Jimmy: we've been doing Wikipedia and Wikimedia a long time, you and I.
> :) And in that time we've both learned good and bad habits.
>
> One of those bad habits is known as "setting the bozo bit" in old school
> geek culture: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?SetTheBozoBit
>
> Tuning out the concerns of people because they often disagree makes our own
> lives easier on the short term, but at best it's a risk that you'll lose
> useful feedback, and at worst you can alienate people who could have become
> allies on some other topic... Or helped you avoid a sticky situation they
> saw coming that you didn't.
>
> It's something I've tried very hard to get away from when I interact with
> other developers and users. And sometimes it's really hard. But a lot of
> the people I unset the bit from are now doing amazing things... Some of
> them now work for you as WMF developers and managers, and I'm glad I didn't
> mistreat them early on.
>
> When it comes to your employees, setting the bozo bit is a *really* bad
> antipattern. Doubly so when they're coming out of a bad situation and have
> a lot to tell you.
>
> This is the time to listen honestly even (especially?) to those whose
> narratives mismatch your own.
>
> I'm pretty sure that's not something you'll disagree with, but it's one of
> those things that we easily find ourselves doing wrong, and have to watch
> out for.
>
> Your staff is still raw and suspicious all around; the word "trauma" gets
> used with total sincerity. We'd really appreciate care in how you describe
> what's happening; it'll go a long way to making the next few days and the
> further discussions you're planning to make really useful.
>
> -- brion
>
> >
> > (As an aside from all of that, I entirely support Asaf's point about
> > group meetings, with note-taking. I think it's good to have a record
> > we can check what Everyone Knows against. Avoids FUD,[2] and at this
> > critical time, increases transparency.)
> >
> > [0]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:LilaTretikov_%28WMF%29&diff=prev&oldid=15301332
> > [1] No, I was not one of them)
> > [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
Anna Stillwell
Major Gifts Officer
Wikimedia Foundation
415.806.1536
*www.wikimediafoundation.org <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>*
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
1234