Subject: Re: Board meeting?
From: Rodent of Unusual Size <Ken.Coar@Golux.Com>
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 18:35:59 -0400

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David Barrett wrote:
> 
> According to the fine print on the website, a board meeting may or may
> not have taken place four days ago.  Did it?

There was a board meeting on 12 October 2005.

> Was any progress made
> along any front?  Or are the results on a "need to know" basis?

I'll leave that for the secretary or president to address.

> PS: If the board is interested in giving the appearance of receptiveness
> and responsiveness, here's a good area for improvement.  Specifically
> I'd recommend:
> 
> - Posting a tentative agenda for each meeting on week before, with an
> honest invitation to request additional topics

Posting such an agenda would be done on the Web site.  Where would
you expect the invitations to be posted, though?  Same place?
A bunch of mailing lists?  Which ones?  There's no mailing list
[yet] for discussing 'OSI business'..  And I foresee problems with
the invite system; witness the little contretemps we had on this list
not too long ago because someone felt it should have been on one of
the new projects.

> - Posting a final agenda on the day of the meeting

I doubt that would happen.  For one thing, it would possibly be
incomplete due to items to be discussed in executive session;
for another, tracking this and getting it up at the right time
is a bit of administrivia that I think would be honoured more in
the breach than in the observance.  The board are volunteers too,
y'know. :-)  If this is deemed appropriate, reasonable, and
possible, getting a rough agenda up any time in advance would
be a major accomplishment.

> possibly inviting
> 1-2 community representatives to participate based on the current
> interests of the various community mailing lists

Noted (at least by me).

> - Posting minutes within 24 hours of the meeting summarizing what
> decisions were made, and what new actions are going to be taken

Posting minutes won't happen; they need to be reviewed and approved
first, which means not until the next board meeting at least.  However,
there's no reason the board can't post a summary in the shorter term.

> Right now I feel like I'm begging for scraps of information at the
> board's table.  Is that the relationship you seek to establish?

You're talking about a major change in the way the board operates,
which means it's going to take time.  We're already heading toward
a lot of these changes.  The question of constituency comes up again.
There have been a few (!) 'Yeah, well, you don't represent *me*!'
remarks wandering around, which just begs the question further.
One of the goals of the membership project is to determine exactly
what the constituency is (or should be) and how to establish lines
of communication.

Are you on the membership-discuss mailing list?

I'm very much in favour of openness and transparency, but there are
limits.  Limits of a legal nature (the 'executive session' stuff),
and limits of an individual character nature (people don't like having
their elbows joggled).  If the community (whatever that is) feels
enfranchised to influence OSI board activities, I predict it's
something to be approached carefully.  It is entirely possible that
people could feel *so* enfranchised that the board acting on anything
less than consensus would ignite flame wars.  So things will get
better, but they'll never be perfect.

So yes, opening things up, arranging for some sort of formal process
for the community to partner with the board, polishing things
toward transparency -- these are all goals.  They've been recognised
now.  Work toward them is happening.  But it's not going to happen
all at once, and there will probably be false steps along the way.
If you feel that you're entitled to more bidirectional information
flow with the board, I think that means you feel you're a constituent
of OSI.  So please join the discussion on the membershop list to
help that area evolve.
- --
#ken	P-)}

Ken Coar, Sanagendamgagwedweinini  http://Ken.Coar.Org/
Author, developer, opinionist      http://Apache-Server.Com/

"Millennium hand and shrimp!"
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