[OSM-talk] [Osmf-talk] Modus operandi of the board

Ian Dees ian.dees at gmail.com
Thu Oct 23 14:04:31 UTC 2014

On Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 9:06 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:

> End of hypothetical situation. It is obvious that something has gone
> wrong, but what, and how could it have been better? Can we expect board
> members to report to the membership about the (perceived?) lack of
> performance of their peers? Or does the membership have to ask questions
> to find out what happens or does not happen?
> ...
> > How can the
> > OSMF membership hold board members accountable for it?
> Watch what the board are doing, and ask questions. Read the answers you
> get, and ask the questions that arise from them. That's what I would
> suggest, and as a board member I'd actually value it if I saw that
> members were interested in my work. Even if I'd probably have to give
> many an embarrassing answer.

I've seen members and non-members alike ask questions like "What does the
OSMF do?" and the response is something about putting on a conference (but
really volunteers outside the board do that) and holding on to money.
Essentially, the answer is "Nothing, on purpose." When the community (not
just the membership) is told the board is designed not to do anything, then
we stop asking questions because one assumes you can't get "doing nothing"
wrong. It sounds like that's not the case, though.

The board-membership communications channel is definitely a two-way street,
though. In every other organization I've been a part of, we endeavored to
make sure the membership was aware of what we were doing. They had elected
us and expect results (or at least leadership to facilitate volunteers'
results), after all.

I would expect the board members that *want* to get things done to work as
hard as they can to expose the board-internal squabbles that prevent
action. I'm glad you started that conversation, Frederik.
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