Hmmm, that would assume that OSM board members are actually capable of feeling shame for their many failures to keep the community informed and fulfill their fiduciary duty to the organization. So far there is no evidence of that at all.
Let's see, we are in the first week of February 2013 - what have the members of OSM's board failed to do so far?
- Publish the minutes of the last three board meetings on the OSM website (November, 2012, December, 2012, and January, 2013)
- Ensure that their treasurer timely filed all required tax returns (CHAR500 and IRS990 NY Charities Bureau and IRS1120 filed with the IRS)
- Questioned the Treasurer why there hasn't been a posting of the above on the OSM website and why the NY Charities Bureau hasn't been able to post their required returns on their website if they were filed on time.
- Questioned the Treasurer and the president of OSM why there hasn't been a completed financial report for the years 2010, 2011, and so far 2012 that has been attested to as correct by both the President and the Treasurer and made available to both the community and the NY Charities Bureau as required by both OSM Bylaws and NY Law.
Ooops sorry again, it wasn't you asking OSM Board, it was all the rest of us asking you! Still wondering when you as a board are going to honor your promises. Just like Winnie The Pooh said , it looks like you stopped to think and then just forgot to start again. So I have taken the Pooh saying to mean either (a) a reminder that one should always remain critical of one's own decisions; or (b) a slander against old people, who in the middle of thinking about something, forget..about what..they..were..oh, look: there's a cob-web on my computer monitor. I really must dust in here some day... Sorry what were you asking about?
I join you in that hope!
Sometime yesterday or today, the minutes for the January 24, 2012 OSM board meeting were posted. I noted several areas of concern with these minutes. In the past, it was clearly noted who had transcribed the minutes. While not required, it is a good idea particularly if some legality issue should arise that the minutes failed to document. Authorities could seek out the minute taker for clarification. Certainly a minor issue but one the Secretary of the board should consider for the future.
The bigger area of concern is one I have mentioned before. How do the board members of OSM ensure that decisions made are decisions of the board and not decisions of individuals on the board? Well, it is really quite simple and all boards practice it. It is even embedded within OSM's bylaws (emphasis mine):
What the heck is Groupthink?
Coined by now-deceased psychologist and researcher Irving Janis, Ph.D., “groupthink,” was first written in a 1972 examination of foreign policy disasters and fiascos. He studied high-level policy-making groups that had a high-degree of cohesiveness and need for affiliation (think “inner-circle”) as opposed to groups (such as the U.S. Congress) that consist of opposing factions.
Symptoms of groupthink can include:
- Direct pressures on dissenters -
- members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views
- Does voicing a contrarian opinion isolate someone as a non-team player? Do healthy debates divide or foster better relationships? Are individuals able to respectfully disagree or must consensus rule the day?
- Collective rationalization -
- members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions
- Are discussions frequently held which debate the assumptions underlying conclusions? When is the last time a risk assessment of unlikely outcomes was discussed? When was the last "what if" meeting you participated in held?
- Self-censorship -
- doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed
- When was the last non-unanimous vote on your Board? Have you withheld a question in discussion which might be viewed as opposing the CEO's/Chair's expressed view?
- Illusion of unanimity-
- the majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous
- Does your internal process require documented votes by individuals? In the past year how many votes either opposed or abstained due to disagreement with majority?
On October 30, 2011, Paul Orwig summarized the next steps for the proposed reorganization of the Joomla! Leadership:
- Let's discuss and decide if we still want to move forward with the changes that we agreed upon in San Jose as proposed in the blog, or
- do we want to adopt one of the alternate proposals that came out of the JPeople discussion, or
- do we want to not make any changes.
- Do we go forward and ignore the feedback from the community?
- Do we adopt one or more of the community's suggestions from J!People?
- Do we leave things as they stand now?
On October 18, 2011, Paul Orwig who had originally started a discussion group on September 29, 2011 about Proposed leadership structure changes & request for community feedback posted in the Google Joomla Leadership public group that he was thinking of closing discussion on the proposal even though he committed originally to leave discussion open until October 27, 2011. Immediately, more discussion ensued. At the time he was proposing to shut down discussion there were 157 posts. As of today, Friday, October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm CDT, there are 186 posts. Interestingly enough those 186 posts were placed by only 23 individuals. And, of those 23 individuals, only 16 are not members of the OSM Board, the Community Leadership Team, or the Production Leadership Team. Besides the obvious observation that very few of the community have weighed in with their opinions, very few of the various leadership team members have weighed in with theirs either.
If you haven't read this blog by Paul Orwig written on September 29, 2011, you should. But what you should do next is read the input at JPeople and perhaps you will realize that it appears that a very few - mostly Joomla leadership is proposing major changes in how the Joomla project will be organized in the future. You will also note thet very, very few of the Joomla Community are participating in the discussion possibly again because there continues to be veiled and not so veiled implications that certain people have said enough. Doesn't encourage participation.
Currently the role of OSM is to support the developers who code Joomla. If the few who think defining a business structure and bringing the developers under the authority of the OSM Board of Directors (no matter what they might rename OSM to) will encourage the developers to code, they really haven't been living in the Open Source world. Right now there are limits to what the board can do. The developers in the Community Oversight Team can remove board members or add them at will. Kind of makes sure that OSM remains responsive to developers don't you think? Under discussion is a much simpler structure with OSM at the top operating without any oversight.