Re: Reducing the board size


Anne Østergaard a écrit :
The problem in my view is the decision making process on the board.

I agree 100% with Anne here. We do not have a problem finding motivated
people in this community to do things. Our problem is deciding *what* to
do. And a smaller number of people will help with that.

Only doing "Action point's" are suggesting that only the board members
are expected to do the work themselves. This does not give other
Foundation members much chance to give a helping hand if they want to
and have the expertise.

My vision of the board is not far from this. I don't see these
sub-committees or groups of people being formal working groups, with
deadlines & hearing periods, but being ad hoc groups of people
interested in issues at hand.

The board, then, should not be the place that people get things done,
but the place where people know *what* is being done, and who is
interested in which issues. The board should be a conduit for
information, and a place where the buck stops for decisions that need

I find it important that persons stick to the areas of there special

I disagree that the foundation should try to limit what its members are
interested in, and can contribute to.

Seen from outside is was clear that the board has no clear direction to
show us members the way- and we do ask for clear guidelines and good
examples and practises to follow.

Isn't this an argument in favour of reducing the number of board
members? Clarity of vision comes from fewer voices, not more. And 7
members would still be representative of the community. I also believe
that reducing the size of the board is a good way to get more variety
into the board. Most current board members are elected by popularity,
because there is no real discussion at election time, and no real
competition for places.

Our representatives should also be representative, I'm sure you agree,
and not get elected *just* because they have experience in other
organisations quite dissimilar from the GNOME Foundation.

Daniel Veillard said:
  My experience is rather that all board members are busy members of the
community, so getting people do do things is hard. If you get 7 persons
instead of 11 you reduce also the amount of available time from board
members. People running for the board will need more time upfront to
fullfill their board member requirements.

I agree that getting board members to do things is hard sometimes. And
reducing to 7 members (or, as JP proposed, 9, although I like 7 better)
encourages a model where board members do less, and teh community does
more. It also means that there is more of a "buck stops here" feeling to
the board than there currently is, since issues drag, or get dropped,
and it's not really anyone's fault - things just fall through the cracks.

There have been a couple of *really* good examples this year - the
hiring of someone to do a contract on docs (which stalled for 3 months
on the writing of a job contract, until the person got another job) is one.

I also agree that future board candidates need to evanuate the time they
can spend on board matters. I don't think that the total time is so
important - over 50% of the time most board members spend on board stuff
is the phone meetings, I think. But *reactivity* has to improve. When
people outside the board are depending on time-sensitive responses, they
need to get them.


David Neary
bolsh gimp org

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