[HOT] HOT Board and Chair Elections

Joseph Reeves iknowjoseph at gmail.com
Fri Mar 6 14:37:38 UTC 2015

Hi Heather, all,

Thanks for your email and the entry on your diary page [0]. There's a lot
of great stuff here and I want to raise a specific issue that's been on my
mind for a while now:

The list of Board candidates is not as diverse as the list of Voting
Members. Heather, you've mentioned that in your email above with "Are you a
woman?" and the list of desired skills on the diary entry shows the same.
Basically, yes, we need more women to be putting themselves forward as
candidates. We should also be drawing Board members from a wider pool of
the Voting Members.

I guess this leads to a question I have: Do we as an organisation have a
vision for how our Board looks as a whole or do we concentrate on
individual personalities, plans and pledges?

I have seen in other organisations, for example not too far removed from
HOT, where diversity on the Board is a great discussion point. In HOT this
is much less so. Is this because, as I've argued before, the Board
nomination / voting process is too short and occasionally rushed?

Should the next Board be looking to define the nature and structure of the
Board that follows it? Should Board members be actively seeking out people
with the qualities you've listed (and many more beside) to take the
organisation further?

This is an example the strategic vs operational distinction that I
mentioned in my Board statement. The role of the Board being, in my mind,
to work on strategy and not the day to day running of the group.

Most importantly at this point, however, is the opportunity to put some of
the above concerns right. We've got 3 and a bit days left to get
nominations in. If you're reading this and thinking you have opinions on
HOT and it's governance that you want to share, please do.  If you're
considering running for the Board but don't have someone to nominate you,
or don't feel comfortable asking, please write up your position and add
your name to the table at the top of the wiki page [1].

We have 3-ish days to go and are currently one person short of a full Board
for next term, this doesn't seem to be a good situation. We want to have a
choice of people to vote for and we want to have enough time to properly
weigh up the arguments and discuss points with candidates and the HOT

Thanks, Joseph

[0] http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Heather%20Leson/diary

On 6 March 2015 at 13:29, Heather Leson <heatherleson at gmail.com> wrote:

> Blake and colleagues, thank you most kindly for this nomination.  I'm
> delighted to see more candidates put their names forward. I nominated Mark.
> While a new member, I appreciate his positive, professional focus. Plus, he
> is keen to help us grow in Asia.
> As new faces put their names forward, I wanted to say a few more words
> about HOT and our future.
> 1. Governance
> We really need to think firmly about Board continuity and organizational
> development/sustainability. It is very hard to do annual elections, but if
> the membership feels this is the best method, I will support it.  Perhaps
> we could move to different terms. Some examples from our friends in the
> wider Open Source world:
> http://wiki.opensource.org/bin/Projects/FLOSS+Foundations+Board+Selection
> On working groups, I noted this previously in my statement but wanted to
> expand on this. I feel that the working groups need to be stronger and
> engage in more decision making. This is really part of our evolution. My
> colleague at Drupal tells me that about year 3/4 of that global
> organization, this transition occurred to build the organization better. I
> love this and think that all of us should review how other organizations
> work and learn from them. Previously I mentioned Jono Bacon's book on the
> Art of Community (Ubuntu). He frames some of the theory on this. I've also
> see this done very poorly, so we need to really trust the Governance group
> to help us. I promise to extend my wider network to inform this research.
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/Board_Elections_2015
> 2. What being a Board member has taught me?
> Well, Being on HOT's board has been an incredible personal journey. In the
> past years, I have scoured BoardSource.org, read negotiation, leadership,
> community and strategy books. I've contacted other Board members from other
> organizations to learn how to better serve HOT. The questions and topics we
> discuss are top on my mind often. It is my learning and teaching zone.
> With that, HOT has made me a better manager, leader and person. I use the
> lessons and skills I've learned from my experience as a HOT board member
> every day. If you are looking to grow as an employee or person, being on
> the Board of HOT is a rigorous and demanding sandbox. Each of you have
> taught me to rethink context, language and perspectives. While we all
> naturally do this, HOT has evolved and as we do in a positive, productive
> way, the HOT Board can do this as well. This is a gift for all the Board
> duties. I would highly recommend that you (at some point in your career) be
> on a Board for an NGO. It will give you the big picture, the weight of
> responsibility (contracts, staff, members, community, organization and,
> whew, humanitarians). I often worry about our partner's perspective. Are we
> doing enough, are they happy with us and how can we better stabilize to
> keep opening the door with HOT and digital humanitarians. This has made me
> very driven on our future. It has streamlined my ability to prioritize and
> really dream big. All of this, again, makes me a better human and very
> proud of all the efforts - the simple and the very hard.
> Lessons I learned from the working groups have informed conversations with
> other open source organizations. I cite what I learned from HOT or how HOT
> co-created a strategy document or grant, or how HOT built a resolution
> process and has navigated to be more peaceful and hopefully productive.
> These organizational community leaders listen to this and then go back to
> their communities to talk about HOT's best practices. This is all our work.
> 3. Gender
> Are you a women? Please run for the Board. Ask me any questions and I can
> help. Claire was on the Board with me this past year. It made a difference
> in dynamic. One thing that we have not broached enough is the what I like
> to call the "mapper dude" dynamic. For my male colleagues, you are awesome.
> I have the utmost respect for you. Honest. I am slightly uncomfortable
> bringing up the topic of gender, which is a sign in itself. If we are
> growing globally, we need to also have more women inspired to be members
> and community leaders. I can't put my finger on why more women are not
> involved, but we need to think about it.  This will come in time as is
> evident from the changing nature of some of the workshops of late. But,
> there is a gap.
> Just like HOT needs a balanced Board of diverse skills and locations, we
> also need women. See some of the research.
> http://www.forbes.com/sites/chicceo/2014/03/11/the-case-for-women-on-boards-sxsw-2014/
> Fellow Candidates - I'll review all your notes and send more conversation
> points later tonight.
> Thank you,
> heather
> Heather Leson
> heatherleson at gmail.com
> Twitter: HeatherLeson
> Blog: textontechs.com
> On Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 7:38 PM, Joseph Reeves <iknowjoseph at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> >Also, I think it would work to use the one table for people seeking
>> nomination for either the Board or Chair, just make sure it’s obvious which
>> one your seeking nomination for
>> Done,
>> Cheers, Joseph
>> On 5 March 2015 at 16:18, Russell Deffner <russell.deffner at hotosm.org>
>> wrote:
>>> Thank you Joseph – I like the table and moved it up to the top of the
>>> page
>>> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/Board_Elections_2015#Nominations_for_Humanitarian_OpenStreetMap_Team_Chair>.
>>> Mark, maybe you can delete, re-direct or link your page to there so we
>>> don’t end up with manifestos in both locations?  Also, I think it would
>>> work to use the one table for people seeking nomination for either the
>>> Board or Chair, just make sure it’s obvious which one your seeking
>>> nomination for.
>>> =Russ
>>> *From:* Joseph Reeves [mailto:iknowjoseph at gmail.com]
>>> *Sent:* Thursday, March 05, 2015 4:14 AM
>>> *To:* Kate Chapman
>>> *Cc:* hot
>>> *Subject:* Re: [HOT] HOT Board and Chair Elections
>>> hi Kate, all,
>>> I've added a new table to that wiki page so that people with an interest
>>> in the Board elections, and a statement posted somewhere, can put
>>> themselves forward as candidates looking for nomination. So far that's Dale
>>> and myself.
>>> It's really good to see Mark and Dale put forward their ideas about HOT
>>> and the Board - I'd urge as many people as possible to do the same, and to
>>> do it as quickly as possible. Let's get discussing what we want the Board
>>> to be doing and where we want the organisation to be going.
>>> As a side note, I think that this practice of putting up your ideas and
>>> looking for nominators is also how we should be running the new member
>>> intake. If you're not a voting member, but would like to be, please tell us
>>> why long before the next intake is scheduled to finish.
>>> Cheers, Joseph
>> _______________________________________________
>> HOT mailing list
>> HOT at openstreetmap.org
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot
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