Minutes 2010-05-04/Andrew's email

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Hi all,

At the board meeting after the AGM we said that each of us would have a think about what we see our roles being in the next 12 months. I'd like to focus the meeting tonight on these roles, along with the chapter's overall aims. I imagine spending 10-15 minutes per person understanding what each individual board member wants to get out of the chapter and wants to do in the year and then finish with a 15 minute discussion on the chapter's overall aims.

I've spoken with a few people about my idea for the chair's role, which is to take a lead building better relationships in five key areas:

  1. between individual directors and the board
  2. between the board and chapter members/supporters
  3. between the chapter and the rest of the Wikimedia community
  4. between Wikimedia and the rest of the open source community
  5. between us and the public via the news media, GLAM sector etc.

For each of these relationships there are things that we get from them and we provide, and specific ways I think I can help. I want to start with the first two ones and then work down to the others in time.

Directors to the board:

We get:

  1. A "license" from the board to act in the name of the chapter
  2. Financial support for our expenses and our projects
  3. Care and consideration, not asking more from us than is reasonable and keeping our roles enjoyable and not onerous

We provide:

  1. Information, keeping the board informed of what we are doing
  2. Commitment, to do what we agree to do
  3. Responsiveness, listening to the steers we get on our projects

One thing I haven't listed is anything like "pulling our weight". I personally think we are all volunteers and should be comfortable with different people putting in different amounts of time. We should be careful not to pressurise people into being more active or to do more than they are comfortable with. It is, however, reasonable to expect people to do what they have agreed - or come back when it becomes apparent they won't be able to do it.

My role:

The key place for this is the board meeting, but this is also in 1-1 discussions outside. To achieve this I suggest board meetings should be:

  • no longer or more frequent than they need to be - so they're not onerous or boring
  • efficient
    • for each agenda item, a clear idea of what outcome we want (e.g. what we want decided)
    • only bringing things to the board when they are ready to be discussed - discuss them informally before if need be
    • At the end of each meeting, going over all the actions that have been agreed
  • Responsive
    • Listening to each board member when they update us on what they are doing
    • Trusting members, delegating more details to them
    • Treating them as individuals, understanding when they have other commitments and working round this

I personally will try to make sure I'm available to talk to people more outside meetings when that's needed.

Board and supporters

We get:

  1. Financial support - through subscriptions and donations
  2. Physical support - by getting involved in our initiatives
  3. Involvement - through voting, attending the AGM, and taking an interest in the running of the chapter

We provide:

  1. Information - through newsletter/blog/wmuk-l/twitter/facebook/wiki/minutes etc
  2. Funding - for projects people want to run
  3. A hub - where people can find things to get involved in

There are two key things here:

  1. The communications piece. I spoke to Mike about this over the weekend - suggest we need to have a think about the best way of taking this forward and maybe bring a proposal to the June meeting.
  2. Initiatives - I see myself doing a bit more "hand-holding" here rather than just setting up a process and assuming people will apply. Some specific examples - Zeyi is talking about organising a wikimeet in Leeds, Steve has plans in Bristol, Mike wants to do a WikiTakesLiverpool and Brian wants to do something with wikinews.

Chapter vs remainder of Wikimedia community

I need to put some thoughts together on this, but I think this is also a key relationship. It includes our relationship with editors, the Foundation and other chapters. I'd like to have a discussion on this at the July meeting.

Wikimedia vs open source

I'd like to come back, perhaps in June/July with a proposal on this - setting up an advisory board I think is key to unlocking this, and we need to build on the what we started at OKCon.

Us & the media

Two key things here:

  1. Media - I suggest we need a media strategy, including some media training for us, to move from a reactive stance to a pro-active stance. Suggest we come up with a proposal for discussion in June
  2. GLAM - the GLAM-WIKI conference is key here, and we'll no doubt discuss this further when we talk about Seddon's role.

Please let me know what you think, and I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts this evening.