[Osmf-talk] should OSMF AGM include time for discussion debate?

Serge Wroclawski serge at wroclawski.org
Tue Sep 13 12:15:27 UTC 2011


On Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 02:04:38PM +0200, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> Hi,
>
> On 09/13/11 11:37, Serge Wroclawski wrote:
>>> Even so, paid staff tends to shift the balance of power in an
>>> organisation.
>>
>> Do you have examples of organizations which started out all volunteer and then moved to having some paid positions, and
>> they shifted power?
>
> [...]
>
>> Based on your statement of "normally", I'm going to assume then you must have several examples. Please share them.
>
> Do you want completely made up stories or should I tell you something  
> about actual organisations that you wouldn't know anything about because  
> they're too small to even register? Would it make a difference?

We're not a tiny organization, and that's the point. That's the pivot; do we say "Let's stay tiny for the sake out of 
principal" or do we say "We have a hard job ahead of us balancing the forces, but this is a good, healthy active dialog."

But really my objection is to the "Look at the other organization" arguments which I think are mostly going on in people's 
heads.

I can tell you plenty of orgs with paid staff that do good, important work, and are similar in size to OSMF.

But if you're claiming that organizations change, and there's an "average", etc. Then I think you owe it to us to give real 
examples, because otherwise, it's just hyperbole.

> I agree. Doing these tasks at all should be avoided if possible. Some  
> will still have to be done; for these, I'd recommend to contract someone  
> (whom you pay for a task). That way, our annual statement will clearly  
> say how much money we have spent on what task, which I consider to be  
> very desirable, not least because of the transparency vis-a-vis the  
> members that brings.

This is a bit of a change in you too. I generally agree to be very careful in what we pay for. Bookkeeping, to me, seems 
like a no brainer. It's detail oriented, it's about precision and accountability. We could do it in house, and we have, but 
it's not a core function of OSM.

Then there are projects like SoTM. It's a huge pain, and we do outsource small parts of it (catering), but the core 
functions are community functions. It's HUGE work, and we don't thank conference organizers enough I think, but it gets 
done and I'd certainly be taken aback if we outsourced it.

And then there's stuff in the middle, ala "Hiring Grant". If there's really a discussion to be had there, let's have it.

- Serge




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