[Osmf-talk] Tone

Paweł Paprota ppawel at fastmail.fm
Sun Oct 26 17:32:52 UTC 2014

+1 to this. Plus I would go further and not stress the part about soft
skills so much. From my experience over reliance on the so-called soft
skills (especially in IT positions) is often a cover-up for other
agendas or plain old incompetence.

Therefore if possible I strongly suggest to have some kind of
performance benchmark for people aspiring to "lead" the project from the
OSMF side. And no, I don't mean a performance benchmark in the
traditional corporate sense ("where do you see yourself/the project in 5
years" and similar).

It would just be a simple, itemized list of stuff that given person has
actually done. Stuff like helping to organize a conference, doing the
accouting, working group involvement etc.

Have this kind of reporting 2-3 times a year by every member of the
board and pretty quickly many things would become crystal clear.

PS. Think about the time saved on osm(f)-talk discussions!


On Sun, Oct 26, 2014, at 15:55, Johan & Marguerite wrote:
> 2014-10-26 14:40 GMT+01:00 <steve at asklater.com>:
>> Why don't we make the discussions here about ideas and models for how
>> the OSMF could work instead of personalities and trying to blame
>> people for our failings? It's sad reading “manifestos” that are
>> really just negative historical accounts instead of narratives of how
>> to make things better.
>> Trying to blow someone’s candle out doesn't make yours any brighter.
> As an ordinary osmf member, I wonder what the fuck is happening here.
> Henk is "attacked on my integrity". Frederik is "frustrated". Simon
> resigns because Steve is a candidate. And Steve is being attacked
> immediately after standing for elections. Then I read that the board
> in the past two years has not been able to make a decision on
> face-to-face meetings, is having problems dividing tasks who's
> responsible for membership database, is having problems sharing
> information on the memberships, has difficulties in the way meeting
> minutes are drawn up and is not in control of finances/financial
> risks. Where it looks like person A constantly wanting to steer to the
> left and B to the right, because A wants to go left.
> I know some of the board members, and I know they are smart. But it
> seems being smart is not good enough to get the board out of its
> problems. The above things are a symptom for an underlying problem. I
> completely miss soft skills in this discussion. Have for example Henk
> and Frederik already tried to say five positive points about each
> other, and to each other, in the past two years? Has anyone in the
> board facilitated cooperation, respect, culture and teamwork? The IQ
> is there, but where is the EQ?
>> In that vein, I think a key to making the board work is to meet in
>> person with a facilitator. We used to do this (but never used a
>> facilitator). It's clear that the strong personalities without trust
>> has led to fragility of the board. Meeting in person used to be a
>> highlight of the board. A chance to get to know each other and
>> understand how each other communicates, and what's important to them.
>> Let’s restate the mission and understand why we're here. There have
>> been long threads on stagnation. Let's understand why people feel
>> that way and turn it around. Let's make the best map possible.
>> Let’s make SOTM central to the OSMF again. It's the key place
>> community members meet from across the world to share ideas and talk
>> about what mapping they've done. It's a chance for OSM to push new
>> boundaries and engage new communities.
>> Let’s find a way to use paid staff to give the board bandwidth and
>> plug holes. To facilitate volunteers not to replace them. Let's use
>> the knowledge and experience of people who've done that before (there
>> are some on the board) to avoid past mistakes.
>> Steve
> When a board fails to be competent enough on details like division of
> tasks, setting up face-to-face meetings, transparancy and finances
> then I presume the coming 12 months till the next election will be
> needed to make the board healthy and competent, in order to make the
> leap to dealing with the real problems. Solving these real problems
> can do without respectless battling each other on arguments. World War
> 1 ended up in trenches. The current board ended up in trenches. There
> is a real risk that the new board will end up in trenches again. For
> the coming year, I'm against goals (that I also find crucial for the
> future of OSM) like restating a mission, getting paid staff in
> etcetera.
> In the past I've done things like Belbin and Insights Discovery. Just
> take a look at pages like
> https://bemycareercoach.com/soft-skills/list-soft-skills.html and
> http://www.inside-inspiration.com.au/insights-discovery/insights-colour-energies.html#.VE0D5E10yUk
> These are tools helping a team functioning better.
> So, a question to all candidates for the coming election: what will
> you do to make the board run as a team?
> Cheers, Johan aka It's so funny The Netherlans
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