[Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

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[Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

jytdog
Hi

This is my first posting here.  Sorry if I do anything wrong.

I wanted to note here the following post from James Heilman:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082816.html

And I guess this one too
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082763.html

I fully understand what folks have said about the unworkability of
videotaping meetings, and I also understand and appreciate what Risker
wrote about minutes being legal documents that need to reviewed and
approved by all.

At the same time, some enduring record seems essential.  Recordings that
are not made public, but that can be used to verify when things like the
above happen?  So not open, but recorded?

What is really hard about those two posts, is the irresolvable differences
in statements that were made about those events.  Really hard.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

John Mark Vandenberg
On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 9:58 AM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi
>
> This is my first posting here.  Sorry if I do anything wrong.
>
> I wanted to note here the following post from James Heilman:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082816.html
>
> And I guess this one too
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082763.html
>
> I fully understand what folks have said about the unworkability of
> videotaping meetings, and I also understand and appreciate what Risker
> wrote about minutes being legal documents that need to reviewed and
> approved by all.
>
> At the same time, some enduring record seems essential.  Recordings that
> are not made public, but that can be used to verify when things like the
> above happen?  So not open, but recorded?
>
> What is really hard about those two posts, is the irresolvable differences
> in statements that were made about those events.  Really hard.

I agree.

Start recording now, for private use of the board and associated staff
to save them time and so at least the internal disputes are about what
was meant rather than what was actually said.

And push the "open" part part of this topic until further down the
road, when there is a little more bandwidth to evaluate it properly.

--
John Vandenberg

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Pete Forsyth-2
+1

Whether to record meetings is a separate question from whether to release
the recordings publicly.

We have seen a lot of disagreement among Trustees recently. That's a
massive and *entirely avoidable* distraction for the movement. Please,
start recording the meetings -- if only for the benefit of Trustees and
their (understandably fallible) memories.

And please revisit the question of whether or not to release some of those
video recordings publicly -- but not urgently. That part can wait until
after some more pressing things have been sorted out.

I have yet to hear a good argument why recording meetings (irrespective of
whether the recordings are made public) would be a bad thing.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

On Sat, Mar 5, 2016 at 7:15 PM, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 9:58 AM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Hi
> >
> > This is my first posting here.  Sorry if I do anything wrong.
> >
> > I wanted to note here the following post from James Heilman:
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082816.html
> >
> > And I guess this one too
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082763.html
> >
> > I fully understand what folks have said about the unworkability of
> > videotaping meetings, and I also understand and appreciate what Risker
> > wrote about minutes being legal documents that need to reviewed and
> > approved by all.
> >
> > At the same time, some enduring record seems essential.  Recordings that
> > are not made public, but that can be used to verify when things like the
> > above happen?  So not open, but recorded?
> >
> > What is really hard about those two posts, is the irresolvable
> differences
> > in statements that were made about those events.  Really hard.
>
> I agree.
>
> Start recording now, for private use of the board and associated staff
> to save them time and so at least the internal disputes are about what
> was meant rather than what was actually said.
>
> And push the "open" part part of this topic until further down the
> road, when there is a little more bandwidth to evaluate it properly.
>
> --
> John Vandenberg
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Anthony Cole
Recordings of board meetings will be of value to future historians.

Anthony Cole


On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> +1
>
> Whether to record meetings is a separate question from whether to release
> the recordings publicly.
>
> We have seen a lot of disagreement among Trustees recently. That's a
> massive and *entirely avoidable* distraction for the movement. Please,
> start recording the meetings -- if only for the benefit of Trustees and
> their (understandably fallible) memories.
>
> And please revisit the question of whether or not to release some of those
> video recordings publicly -- but not urgently. That part can wait until
> after some more pressing things have been sorted out.
>
> I have yet to hear a good argument why recording meetings (irrespective of
> whether the recordings are made public) would be a bad thing.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Sat, Mar 5, 2016 at 7:15 PM, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 9:58 AM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > Hi
> > >
> > > This is my first posting here.  Sorry if I do anything wrong.
> > >
> > > I wanted to note here the following post from James Heilman:
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082816.html
> > >
> > > And I guess this one too
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082763.html
> > >
> > > I fully understand what folks have said about the unworkability of
> > > videotaping meetings, and I also understand and appreciate what Risker
> > > wrote about minutes being legal documents that need to reviewed and
> > > approved by all.
> > >
> > > At the same time, some enduring record seems essential.  Recordings
> that
> > > are not made public, but that can be used to verify when things like
> the
> > > above happen?  So not open, but recorded?
> > >
> > > What is really hard about those two posts, is the irresolvable
> > differences
> > > in statements that were made about those events.  Really hard.
> >
> > I agree.
> >
> > Start recording now, for private use of the board and associated staff
> > to save them time and so at least the internal disputes are about what
> > was meant rather than what was actually said.
> >
> > And push the "open" part part of this topic until further down the
> > road, when there is a little more bandwidth to evaluate it properly.
> >
> > --
> > John Vandenberg
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

jytdog
Thanks for the kind replies.

The thing I really want to surface here, is the harder thing.

It seems to me that what has gone on around James Heilman's dismissal, has
some things to do with basic board processes being poor, and poorly
executed, for sure, but also.. and this is the hardest part of all - we
have the behavior of individuals, within that flawed context.  Flawed
behavior, that was possible in the context of poor processes poorly carried
out.  But flawed behavior.  I had a boss who liked to say "You can't
legislate morality."  when we were talking about strategic decisions and
policies. A lot comes down to the choices that individuals make about what
to do or say.

The really hard thing is that we have on the one hand the board stating
very clearly that it was unanimous back in November with regard to Lila,
and James writing, "it was not unanimous".  We have the board saying that
James' dismissal had nothing - nothing - to do with transparency, and James
saying that this was absolutely relevant to the conflicts that led to his
dismissal.

I don't know about others, but I find these contradictions to be almost
unbearable.  It is really obvious to me that if the past is going to be
laid to rest so that we can move forward with all these people still in the
community - so that we can move forward as a community - these
contradictions need to be resolved.  Which means that individuals have some
hard choices, as do we as a community.

How do we work out what actually happened, and how do we resolve the
contradictions?

We talk a lot about our values.  Is there room for forgiveness, so if it
turns out that people have made public misrepresentations, there is room
for them to come out and say "Yes that thing I said wasn't true, forgive
me?"  Or do we hold this kind of behavior unforgiveable and people who have
misrepresented things need to go?  Part of me hopes that there is some
truth in what everybody has said, a la Rashomon.   But with such frank
contradictions, it is hard to get there.

How do we work this out?  That is the question I would love us to tackle.

On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 12:01 AM, Anthony Cole <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Recordings of board meetings will be of value to future historians.
>
> Anthony Cole
>
>
> On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 11:33 AM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > +1
> >
> > Whether to record meetings is a separate question from whether to release
> > the recordings publicly.
> >
> > We have seen a lot of disagreement among Trustees recently. That's a
> > massive and *entirely avoidable* distraction for the movement. Please,
> > start recording the meetings -- if only for the benefit of Trustees and
> > their (understandably fallible) memories.
> >
> > And please revisit the question of whether or not to release some of
> those
> > video recordings publicly -- but not urgently. That part can wait until
> > after some more pressing things have been sorted out.
> >
> > I have yet to hear a good argument why recording meetings (irrespective
> of
> > whether the recordings are made public) would be a bad thing.
> >
> > -Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > On Sat, Mar 5, 2016 at 7:15 PM, John Mark Vandenberg <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 9:58 AM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > Hi
> > > >
> > > > This is my first posting here.  Sorry if I do anything wrong.
> > > >
> > > > I wanted to note here the following post from James Heilman:
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082816.html
> > > >
> > > > And I guess this one too
> > > >
> > >
> >
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082763.html
> > > >
> > > > I fully understand what folks have said about the unworkability of
> > > > videotaping meetings, and I also understand and appreciate what
> Risker
> > > > wrote about minutes being legal documents that need to reviewed and
> > > > approved by all.
> > > >
> > > > At the same time, some enduring record seems essential.  Recordings
> > that
> > > > are not made public, but that can be used to verify when things like
> > the
> > > > above happen?  So not open, but recorded?
> > > >
> > > > What is really hard about those two posts, is the irresolvable
> > > differences
> > > > in statements that were made about those events.  Really hard.
> > >
> > > I agree.
> > >
> > > Start recording now, for private use of the board and associated staff
> > > to save them time and so at least the internal disputes are about what
> > > was meant rather than what was actually said.
> > >
> > > And push the "open" part part of this topic until further down the
> > > road, when there is a little more bandwidth to evaluate it properly.
> > >
> > > --
> > > John Vandenberg
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > 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>
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

SarahSV
On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 10:11 PM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:

> How do we work out what actually happened, and how do we resolve the
> contradictions?
>

​Several people have asked Jimmy to release his 30 December 2015 email to
James, in which he apparently explains in part why James was removed.

Jimmy said on 28 February that he would know within a few days' whether it
was okay to publish it. [1]  James has said that nothing needs to be kept
secret for his sake. [2]

It would be good to have an update regarding that email.

Sarah

[1]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082685.html
[2]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082815.html
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Oliver Keyes-5
+1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
"full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that Lila's
continuation was the best thing.

I note that Patricio, despite being Chairman of the board, and a
trustee selected from within the movement, has not participated in
this list's discussion of the crisis, or the list at all, since
January. This is very disappointing.

On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 12:36 AM, SarahSV <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, Mar 6, 2016 at 10:11 PM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> How do we work out what actually happened, and how do we resolve the
>> contradictions?
>>
>
> Several people have asked Jimmy to release his 30 December 2015 email to
> James, in which he apparently explains in part why James was removed.
>
> Jimmy said on 28 February that he would know within a few days' whether it
> was okay to publish it. [1]  James has said that nothing needs to be kept
> secret for his sake. [2]
>
> It would be good to have an update regarding that email.
>
> Sarah
>
> [1]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082685.html
> [2]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082815.html
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Craig Franklin
To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is going
to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern Lila, and
especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative towards a
particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be the
case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as possible from
the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into the
public domain about how they regarded her performance.

Cheers,
Craig

On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:

> +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
> "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
> IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that Lila's
> continuation was the best thing.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Risker
I agree with Craig on the most reasonable interpretation of the limited
commentary from the Board in recent weeks.  Indeed, it would be quite
normal, even expected, to include a mutual non-disparagement clause in any
separation agreement, which by its very nature is confidential.

Risker/Anne



On 7 March 2016 at 01:50, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is going
> to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern Lila, and
> especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative towards a
> particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be the
> case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as possible from
> the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into the
> public domain about how they regarded her performance.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
> > "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
> > IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that Lila's
> > continuation was the best thing.
> >
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Stephen Philbrick
In reply to this post by jytdog
I would also like to more about the decision to remove James — I am not yet
able to reconcile the public statements I’ve seen from James and Jimmy.
However, I am less concerned about the apparent disconnect between the
board statement of unanimous support and James claim that there was not
unanimous support.

I don’t think this is hard to understand. While I do not know the exact
sequence, it has been stated that a straw poll was taken in which some
board members express support for Lila and some did not. A straw poll is a
straw poll for a reason — it is often used to determine whether a subject
needs to be explored further. It is almost always the case that straw votes
are intended to be internal and not publicized. I’m not suggesting it is
improper to mention the results of a straw poll but it would be incorrect
to characterize it as a formal board conclusion. After the straw poll,
further discussion ensued and presumably some issues were identified and
some actions identified, none of which rose to the level that required
explicit mention in the minutes. Those board members who had expressed
concern about Lila presumably were satisfied that there concerns had been
heard, and were fine with the decision that she should continue. Thus, it
is not incorrect to say that there was unanimous support that Lila should
continue as ED.



I don’t think there’s much doubt that the expression of unanimous support
mask the fact that some board members had some reservations, but this type
of thing occurs at most board meetings. While there are issues that need
clarification I don’t think this is one of them.


Phil (Sphilbrick)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

jytdog
In reply to this post by Craig Franklin
Craig, thanks for your reply on this. This is actually not about HR
matters.  It is about what board members chose to do and say.

It would have made little difference in the RW if they had said "the board
supports Lila" (and if there was a majority vote for that, the board did
support Lila) vs "the board unanimously supports Lila".  They chose to
state the latter.  That has nothing to do with Lila per se, and everything
to do with the choices individuals made in representing what the board
actually did.

This is what I meant.  Poor processes poorly executed definitely allowed
this to happen;  if board votes were accurately recorded in minutes and
swiftly published, what happened would not be even possible or would be so
foolish that no one would do it.  But these were still choices that
individuals made in the context that existed.

These choices and those of other board members  - as individuals  -  have
created an unbearable set of contradictions that need to resolved.  This is
what we should focus on.  I hope you can see that the HR angle is a a
distraction from that, as this has nothing to do with WMF staff per se.

Yes we should also urge the board to develop more rigorous procedures and
to follow them more closely to make it harder for individuals to make bad
choices, but there is still resolving what did happen, so that we can go
forward.

On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is going
> to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern Lila, and
> especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative towards a
> particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be the
> case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as possible from
> the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into the
> public domain about how they regarded her performance.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
> > "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
> > IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that Lila's
> > continuation was the best thing.
> >
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Stephen Philbrick
If the board is choosing not to participate for a particular reason, or
Jimmy is choosing not to release e-mails for a particular reason, then they
should say so. Nothing keeps them from offering that information
themselves. It isn't necessary for other people to speculate on whether the
deafening silence from the board is justified by a non-disparagement
agreement or some other concern about personnel confidentiality.

If that's the case, and it seems unlikely those responsibilities would
prevent the release of any information at all, they could simply offer "We
understand people would like us to comment about issues X, Y and Z but we
can't for reasons A, B and C." Regardless, the board can speak on its own
behalf or not and spectators guessing on the motivations behind their
choices add no new information and certainly can't excuse the gap into
outer space that used to be filled by a person named Patricio.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Pierre-Selim
In reply to this post by jytdog
Seriously ?

If the board decide to keep the CEO/ED, the board cannot go and undermine
the authority of the CEO by communicating doubts.

The mistake was not to say unanimous support but the "keep the ED" straw
poll result. It really surprised me because the more you wait the more it
costs (talents leave, delayed arrival of a new CEO, ...), and honnestly
there is no recovery possible at 90% of disapproval from your staff
(C-levels included).
Le 7 mars 2016 7:16 PM, "jytdog" <[hidden email]> a écrit :

> Craig, thanks for your reply on this. This is actually not about HR
> matters.  It is about what board members chose to do and say.
>
> It would have made little difference in the RW if they had said "the board
> supports Lila" (and if there was a majority vote for that, the board did
> support Lila) vs "the board unanimously supports Lila".  They chose to
> state the latter.  That has nothing to do with Lila per se, and everything
> to do with the choices individuals made in representing what the board
> actually did.
>
> This is what I meant.  Poor processes poorly executed definitely allowed
> this to happen;  if board votes were accurately recorded in minutes and
> swiftly published, what happened would not be even possible or would be so
> foolish that no one would do it.  But these were still choices that
> individuals made in the context that existed.
>
> These choices and those of other board members  - as individuals  -  have
> created an unbearable set of contradictions that need to resolved.  This is
> what we should focus on.  I hope you can see that the HR angle is a a
> distraction from that, as this has nothing to do with WMF staff per se.
>
> Yes we should also urge the board to develop more rigorous procedures and
> to follow them more closely to make it harder for individuals to make bad
> choices, but there is still resolving what did happen, so that we can go
> forward.
>
> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is
> going
> > to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern Lila,
> and
> > especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative
> towards a
> > particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be the
> > case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as possible
> from
> > the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into the
> > public domain about how they regarded her performance.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Craig
> >
> > On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
> > > "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
> > > IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that Lila's
> > > continuation was the best thing.
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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,
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

jytdog
Pierre that is exactly what I struggle with.  You are saying that throwing
integrity out the window in the name of politics is OK.  I am saying it is
absolutely not OK.  The individuals representing the board should have been
honest and simply said "The board supports the ED" and left it at that, and
if asked, yes, been honest that support was not unanimous.  Misrepresenting
things a) accomplished nothing, as we can see now, and b) opened huge rifts
that remain gaping today.

I do hear you, that the decision to retain the ED in November was itself
trust-destroying for you, because you view that as such bad judgement. I
hear that.

To me, making public misrepresentations is another thing altogether.  It
calls into question whether folks are even telling the truth, and that just
destroys the very basis for authentic conversation.  It is a deeper wound.
This to me, bars the way to move forward.

How do we trust what the board says going forward?  How can the board be
effective, when people cannot trust what its members say about its
decisions?

On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 5:57 PM, Pierre-Selim <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Seriously ?
>
> If the board decide to keep the CEO/ED, the board cannot go and undermine
> the authority of the CEO by communicating doubts.
>
> The mistake was not to say unanimous support but the "keep the ED" straw
> poll result. It really surprised me because the more you wait the more it
> costs (talents leave, delayed arrival of a new CEO, ...), and honnestly
> there is no recovery possible at 90% of disapproval from your staff
> (C-levels included).
> Le 7 mars 2016 7:16 PM, "jytdog" <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
> > Craig, thanks for your reply on this. This is actually not about HR
> > matters.  It is about what board members chose to do and say.
> >
> > It would have made little difference in the RW if they had said "the
> board
> > supports Lila" (and if there was a majority vote for that, the board did
> > support Lila) vs "the board unanimously supports Lila".  They chose to
> > state the latter.  That has nothing to do with Lila per se, and
> everything
> > to do with the choices individuals made in representing what the board
> > actually did.
> >
> > This is what I meant.  Poor processes poorly executed definitely allowed
> > this to happen;  if board votes were accurately recorded in minutes and
> > swiftly published, what happened would not be even possible or would be
> so
> > foolish that no one would do it.  But these were still choices that
> > individuals made in the context that existed.
> >
> > These choices and those of other board members  - as individuals  -  have
> > created an unbearable set of contradictions that need to resolved.  This
> is
> > what we should focus on.  I hope you can see that the HR angle is a a
> > distraction from that, as this has nothing to do with WMF staff per se.
> >
> > Yes we should also urge the board to develop more rigorous procedures and
> > to follow them more closely to make it harder for individuals to make bad
> > choices, but there is still resolving what did happen, so that we can go
> > forward.
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Craig Franklin <
> [hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is
> > going
> > > to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern Lila,
> > and
> > > especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative
> > towards a
> > > particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be the
> > > case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as possible
> > from
> > > the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into the
> > > public domain about how they regarded her performance.
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > > Craig
> > >
> > > On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > > +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
> > > > "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
> > > > IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that
> Lila's
> > > > continuation was the best thing.
> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > 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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Craig Franklin
In reply to this post by jytdog
Hi Jytdog,

My response was actually more to Oliver than you, but I still would draw a
distinction between "unanimous support" and "majority support".  It might
seem innocuous enough but as Pierre-Selim points out, "majority support" is
actually not a great reflection on an employee, as it presumably means that
some important people want to be rid of them.  Of course, without the
inconsistent messaging from the BoT drawing attention to this point, it
probably would not have become an issue.

I do concur with the general thrust of the rest of your message; that poor
recordkeeping and confusion in the way that the trustees have reacted to
this situation (and the Geshuri situation, and the Heilman situation, and
the search engine situation generally) has made things a lot worse than
they needed to be.

Cheers,
Craig



On 8 March 2016 at 04:16, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Craig, thanks for your reply on this. This is actually not about HR
> matters.  It is about what board members chose to do and say.
>
> It would have made little difference in the RW if they had said "the board
> supports Lila" (and if there was a majority vote for that, the board did
> support Lila) vs "the board unanimously supports Lila".  They chose to
> state the latter.  That has nothing to do with Lila per se, and everything
> to do with the choices individuals made in representing what the board
> actually did.
>
> This is what I meant.  Poor processes poorly executed definitely allowed
> this to happen;  if board votes were accurately recorded in minutes and
> swiftly published, what happened would not be even possible or would be so
> foolish that no one would do it.  But these were still choices that
> individuals made in the context that existed.
>
> These choices and those of other board members  - as individuals  -  have
> created an unbearable set of contradictions that need to resolved.  This is
> what we should focus on.  I hope you can see that the HR angle is a a
> distraction from that, as this has nothing to do with WMF staff per se.
>
> Yes we should also urge the board to develop more rigorous procedures and
> to follow them more closely to make it harder for individuals to make bad
> choices, but there is still resolving what did happen, so that we can go
> forward.
>
> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is
> going
> > to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern Lila,
> and
> > especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative
> towards a
> > particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be the
> > case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as possible
> from
> > the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into the
> > public domain about how they regarded her performance.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Craig
> >
> > On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether the
> > > "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
> > > IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that Lila's
> > > continuation was the best thing.
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Risker
In reply to this post by jytdog
Hold on, Jytdog, I think you're reading more into Pierre's statement than
is really there.

Pierre has not said the decision to retain the ED "was itself
trust-destroying for [him]".  He said it was a mistake, and he said it was
a mistake because the board was wrong to think that the ED could recover
from a 90% staff disapproval level.

He also pointed out that "[i]f the board decide to keep the CEO/ED, the
board cannot go and undermine the authority of the CEO by communicating
doubts".  Thus he is not particularly concerned about the board saying the
support was unanimous. Pierre's concern is that the board thought it was a
good idea to keep an ED with a 90% staff disapproval rating.

Risker/Anne

On 7 March 2016 at 18:24, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Pierre that is exactly what I struggle with.  You are saying that throwing
> integrity out the window in the name of politics is OK.  I am saying it is
> absolutely not OK.  The individuals representing the board should have been
> honest and simply said "The board supports the ED" and left it at that, and
> if asked, yes, been honest that support was not unanimous.  Misrepresenting
> things a) accomplished nothing, as we can see now, and b) opened huge rifts
> that remain gaping today.
>
> I do hear you, that the decision to retain the ED in November was itself
> trust-destroying for you, because you view that as such bad judgement. I
> hear that.
>
> To me, making public misrepresentations is another thing altogether.  It
> calls into question whether folks are even telling the truth, and that just
> destroys the very basis for authentic conversation.  It is a deeper wound.
> This to me, bars the way to move forward.
>
> How do we trust what the board says going forward?  How can the board be
> effective, when people cannot trust what its members say about its
> decisions?
>
> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 5:57 PM, Pierre-Selim <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Seriously ?
> >
> > If the board decide to keep the CEO/ED, the board cannot go and undermine
> > the authority of the CEO by communicating doubts.
> >
> > The mistake was not to say unanimous support but the "keep the ED" straw
> > poll result. It really surprised me because the more you wait the more it
> > costs (talents leave, delayed arrival of a new CEO, ...), and honnestly
> > there is no recovery possible at 90% of disapproval from your staff
> > (C-levels included).
> > Le 7 mars 2016 7:16 PM, "jytdog" <[hidden email]> a écrit :
> >
> > > Craig, thanks for your reply on this. This is actually not about HR
> > > matters.  It is about what board members chose to do and say.
> > >
> > > It would have made little difference in the RW if they had said "the
> > board
> > > supports Lila" (and if there was a majority vote for that, the board
> did
> > > support Lila) vs "the board unanimously supports Lila".  They chose to
> > > state the latter.  That has nothing to do with Lila per se, and
> > everything
> > > to do with the choices individuals made in representing what the board
> > > actually did.
> > >
> > > This is what I meant.  Poor processes poorly executed definitely
> allowed
> > > this to happen;  if board votes were accurately recorded in minutes and
> > > swiftly published, what happened would not be even possible or would be
> > so
> > > foolish that no one would do it.  But these were still choices that
> > > individuals made in the context that existed.
> > >
> > > These choices and those of other board members  - as individuals  -
> have
> > > created an unbearable set of contradictions that need to resolved.
> This
> > is
> > > what we should focus on.  I hope you can see that the HR angle is a a
> > > distraction from that, as this has nothing to do with WMF staff per se.
> > >
> > > Yes we should also urge the board to develop more rigorous procedures
> and
> > > to follow them more closely to make it harder for individuals to make
> bad
> > > choices, but there is still resolving what did happen, so that we can
> go
> > > forward.
> > >
> > > On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Craig Franklin <
> > [hidden email]>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else is
> > > going
> > > > to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern
> Lila,
> > > and
> > > > especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative
> > > towards a
> > > > particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be
> the
> > > > case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as possible
> > > from
> > > > the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into
> the
> > > > public domain about how they regarded her performance.
> > > >
> > > > Cheers,
> > > > Craig
> > > >
> > > > On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether
> the
> > > > > "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full confidence:
> > > > > IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that
> > Lila's
> > > > > continuation was the best thing.
> > > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > 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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

jytdog
Thanks Risker.  Maybe there is a mixing of levels here.

I am urging that we address things have become broken on a deep level,
namely the gap between what the board says and what James has said and the
destruction of trust caused by that gap.

If all Pierre was doing was saying that he disagreed with the November
decision, that has really nothing to do with what I am trying to discuss.
My sense was that he was responding on the level I was discussing and
saying that the decision itself was trust-destroying.  Perhaps I was wrong.
  That could well be.

On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 6:35 PM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hold on, Jytdog, I think you're reading more into Pierre's statement than
> is really there.
>
> Pierre has not said the decision to retain the ED "was itself
> trust-destroying for [him]".  He said it was a mistake, and he said it was
> a mistake because the board was wrong to think that the ED could recover
> from a 90% staff disapproval level.
>
> He also pointed out that "[i]f the board decide to keep the CEO/ED, the
> board cannot go and undermine the authority of the CEO by communicating
> doubts".  Thus he is not particularly concerned about the board saying the
> support was unanimous. Pierre's concern is that the board thought it was a
> good idea to keep an ED with a 90% staff disapproval rating.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
> On 7 March 2016 at 18:24, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Pierre that is exactly what I struggle with.  You are saying that
> throwing
> > integrity out the window in the name of politics is OK.  I am saying it
> is
> > absolutely not OK.  The individuals representing the board should have
> been
> > honest and simply said "The board supports the ED" and left it at that,
> and
> > if asked, yes, been honest that support was not unanimous.
> Misrepresenting
> > things a) accomplished nothing, as we can see now, and b) opened huge
> rifts
> > that remain gaping today.
> >
> > I do hear you, that the decision to retain the ED in November was itself
> > trust-destroying for you, because you view that as such bad judgement. I
> > hear that.
> >
> > To me, making public misrepresentations is another thing altogether.  It
> > calls into question whether folks are even telling the truth, and that
> just
> > destroys the very basis for authentic conversation.  It is a deeper
> wound.
> > This to me, bars the way to move forward.
> >
> > How do we trust what the board says going forward?  How can the board be
> > effective, when people cannot trust what its members say about its
> > decisions?
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 5:57 PM, Pierre-Selim <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Seriously ?
> > >
> > > If the board decide to keep the CEO/ED, the board cannot go and
> undermine
> > > the authority of the CEO by communicating doubts.
> > >
> > > The mistake was not to say unanimous support but the "keep the ED"
> straw
> > > poll result. It really surprised me because the more you wait the more
> it
> > > costs (talents leave, delayed arrival of a new CEO, ...), and honnestly
> > > there is no recovery possible at 90% of disapproval from your staff
> > > (C-levels included).
> > > Le 7 mars 2016 7:16 PM, "jytdog" <[hidden email]> a écrit :
> > >
> > > > Craig, thanks for your reply on this. This is actually not about HR
> > > > matters.  It is about what board members chose to do and say.
> > > >
> > > > It would have made little difference in the RW if they had said "the
> > > board
> > > > supports Lila" (and if there was a majority vote for that, the board
> > did
> > > > support Lila) vs "the board unanimously supports Lila".  They chose
> to
> > > > state the latter.  That has nothing to do with Lila per se, and
> > > everything
> > > > to do with the choices individuals made in representing what the
> board
> > > > actually did.
> > > >
> > > > This is what I meant.  Poor processes poorly executed definitely
> > allowed
> > > > this to happen;  if board votes were accurately recorded in minutes
> and
> > > > swiftly published, what happened would not be even possible or would
> be
> > > so
> > > > foolish that no one would do it.  But these were still choices that
> > > > individuals made in the context that existed.
> > > >
> > > > These choices and those of other board members  - as individuals  -
> > have
> > > > created an unbearable set of contradictions that need to resolved.
> > This
> > > is
> > > > what we should focus on.  I hope you can see that the HR angle is a a
> > > > distraction from that, as this has nothing to do with WMF staff per
> se.
> > > >
> > > > Yes we should also urge the board to develop more rigorous procedures
> > and
> > > > to follow them more closely to make it harder for individuals to make
> > bad
> > > > choices, but there is still resolving what did happen, so that we can
> > go
> > > > forward.
> > > >
> > > > On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 1:50 AM, Craig Franklin <
> > > [hidden email]>
> > > > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > To be honest, I consider it unlikely that Patricio or anyone else
> is
> > > > going
> > > > > to discuss HR matters at length in public, even when they concern
> > Lila,
> > > > and
> > > > > especially when they could potentially be interpreted as negative
> > > > towards a
> > > > > particular identifiable individual.  For legal reasons, it might be
> > the
> > > > > case that the BoT will let Lila have as dignified an exit as
> possible
> > > > from
> > > > > the organisation, without putting a whole bunch of information into
> > the
> > > > > public domain about how they regarded her performance.
> > > > >
> > > > > Cheers,
> > > > > Craig
> > > > >
> > > > > On 7 March 2016 at 16:39, Oliver Keyes <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > +1. I would also very much appreciate Patricio explaining whether
> > the
> > > > > > "full confidence of the board" actually meant the full
> confidence:
> > > > > > IOW, that a vote was taken and everyone unanimously agreed that
> > > Lila's
> > > > > > continuation was the best thing.
> > > > > >
> > > > > _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Andreas Kolbe-2
In reply to this post by jytdog
On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 11:24 PM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Pierre that is exactly what I struggle with.  You are saying that throwing
> integrity out the window in the name of politics is OK.  I am saying it is
> absolutely not OK.  The individuals representing the board should have been
> honest and simply said "The board supports the ED" and left it at that, and
> if asked, yes, been honest that support was not unanimous.  Misrepresenting
> things a) accomplished nothing, as we can see now, and b) opened huge rifts
> that remain gaping today.
>
> I do hear you, that the decision to retain the ED in November was itself
> trust-destroying for you, because you view that as such bad judgement. I
> hear that.
>
> To me, making public misrepresentations is another thing altogether.  It
> calls into question whether folks are even telling the truth, and that just
> destroys the very basis for authentic conversation.  It is a deeper wound.
> This to me, bars the way to move forward.
>
> How do we trust what the board says going forward?  How can the board be
> effective, when people cannot trust what its members say about its
> decisions?
>


Quite. I hope board members have been reflecting on

1. who on the board suggested and pushed for this "unanimous" wording,
2. who on the board felt uncomfortable with it, and
3. whether the latter group was browbeaten into accepting it – and, if so,
what that says about group dynamics on the board.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Oliver Keyes-5
+1. There was an easy way to split the baby here; "the board has
confidence". Done. Simple. What the language actually used did, as
well as (now) betray trust and confidence, was induce the sense that
for all people said they were listening to staff, nobody was.

On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 12:39 PM, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mon, Mar 7, 2016 at 11:24 PM, jytdog <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Pierre that is exactly what I struggle with.  You are saying that throwing
>> integrity out the window in the name of politics is OK.  I am saying it is
>> absolutely not OK.  The individuals representing the board should have been
>> honest and simply said "The board supports the ED" and left it at that, and
>> if asked, yes, been honest that support was not unanimous.  Misrepresenting
>> things a) accomplished nothing, as we can see now, and b) opened huge rifts
>> that remain gaping today.
>>
>> I do hear you, that the decision to retain the ED in November was itself
>> trust-destroying for you, because you view that as such bad judgement. I
>> hear that.
>>
>> To me, making public misrepresentations is another thing altogether.  It
>> calls into question whether folks are even telling the truth, and that just
>> destroys the very basis for authentic conversation.  It is a deeper wound.
>> This to me, bars the way to move forward.
>>
>> How do we trust what the board says going forward?  How can the board be
>> effective, when people cannot trust what its members say about its
>> decisions?
>>
>
>
> Quite. I hope board members have been reflecting on
>
> 1. who on the board suggested and pushed for this "unanimous" wording,
> 2. who on the board felt uncomfortable with it, and
> 3. whether the latter group was browbeaten into accepting it – and, if so,
> what that says about group dynamics on the board.
> _______________________________________________
> 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>

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