On Tue, 4 Sep 2018 at 14:03, Henne Vogelsang firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Maybe I'm a bit too sensitive. Everything you say afterward feels like the part of the sentence before the "but". I like you, but...
Maybe you are, but we're talking it out, and I think that's a good thing.
I would rather you have seen everything "afterward" as a sincere effort on my part to express the nuance and detail I feel on the topic. Like you say, this is a topic with lots of grey, so even when I express a strong feeling on the topic there SHOULD be some 'but' to counter-balance and contextualise my view.
"I have no problem with the diversity of thought among the Board being public knowledge, but I do have a problem when that transitions from sharing the fact the board contains more than one opinion, to Board members publicly undermining the decision made by the collective whole group."
So how do you imagine board members can make their diverse thoughts public knowledge without undermining the decision made by the collective? Of the recent example, what would you wish would have been done differently?
In an ideal world, in retrospect, I would have liked the minutes of the meeting to reflect the Board as a whole.
Something along the lines of "The Board decided agree to the sponsorship request, but there were opposing views."
"As a Board we could share both the majority and minority views on any decisions."
Sounds good. How do you imagine this would look like? Just the votes or a written "minority report" that summarizes the discussion? I guess this could turn into much work for you peepz. Previous boards had public meetings where you could listen in or see a log and see how a decision was reached, that would be one way to know what's going on.
We've done minutes before where we included a summary of the debate, sometimes minuting the debate even when no conclusion came out of it. (eg. https://en.opensuse.org/Archive:Board_meeting_2018-07-17)
I'd be much happier with seeing the minutes cover not only the decision and a summary of the logic that led the majority to such a decision, but also a summary of the logic that led to any minority wishing for a counter decision.
I think that would be a really good thing to see for those few cases where the Board is not unanimous in a decision.
In the absence of such minutes, I'd also be happy with Board members sharing details of any debate or dissent from within the Board, but again, in the same vein as we would include in the minutes.
Eg. When the topic of sponsorship of the football team came up, any Board member could and perhaps should have felt free to share the fact that the decision was not unanimous and could have even gone so far to describe the opposing views.
This is something I've done myself from time to time. There has been times I've announced Board decisions with the -project that I wholeheartedly disagree with, and there has also been separates times I've shared details of how not everyone in the Board agreed with a decision which I personally voted for.
We, the Board, have a collective responsibility to the Project, and we, the Board, should do a good job of detailing what we, the Board thought about any decision we made on behalf of the Project.
But it should be _we_, the Board, not Richard, Ana, Gertjan, Sarah, Christian, and Simon as individuals. We need to work together as a team.
This is what I mean by collective 'ownership ' of both the decision and dissent.
This is especially important because of the nature of the decisions we make often being ugly ones.
"I'm happy to take from this lesson the collective decision that the Board will make less decisions and I will support any effort in the Board to push back from requests for it to make decisions and instead encourage more public debate and public decision making."
Which are the recent decisions you think you should have pushed back? How many percent do you guess would get off your plate?
https://en.opensuse.org/Archive:Board_meeting_2018-06-05 - Membership; I think the changes to the Membership scheme should be more thoroughly discussed by the Project - Conference committee , news.opensuse.org license , projects and events sponsored by openSUSE are all good examples of the Board pushing back things the Board shouldn't be dealing with. - oSC might be another example of the Board sticking its nose in to a topic further than it should, though ultimately we made no decision there, so you could justify it under the Board's gudiance role.
I think this sponsorship one COULD have been something which, instead of being escalated to the Board from the marketing team could have instead, possibly, been discussed here. Such an idea would require consent of the parties involved, which I am currently unsure of, but in retrospect I think I would have preferred dealing with the awkwardness of investigating that, rather than this existential crisis ;)
And another thought, don't you think that defining the boards body of work so narrow on conflict resolution would take something away from the project? I mean yes if there are "existing governance structures" everything is fine and dandy but what if there aren't? Or are there no such decisions currently in your opinion?
Conflict resolution has most certainly been the primary topic of the majority of Board meetings since the last election, yes.
I think we (as a whole collective Project) fallen into a bit of a trap of leaning on the Board's ability to be decision makers of last resort a little too often
I'm hopeful that this now epic debate has two outcomes. I hope it encourages more cases of more contributors taking more initiative and use this -project mailing-list to propose, decide, and do more things in the interest to the Project.
And I'm hopeful that it encourages the Board to continue to push back from deciding on things which it really shouldn't.
While I described the examples above as "push back", you could equally argue is the Board acting in it's role of guidance, support, and facilitating decision making processes - they are decisions which the Board or others have raised for the Board to decide, but really they are topics which _the Project_ should decide.
I think it's healthy for the Project that the Board isn't on a power trip and isn't grabbing every opportunity it can to decide on anything on behalf of the Project.
And I think encouraging that to continue is a role the Board should really push at every opportunity. Not just because it gives the Board less work, but because we're a Project which rises or falls on the _actions_ of our contributors, not the _decisions_ of our Board