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OSM President Missing From Reorganization Discussions!

26 Nov 2011
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I find it a little more then curious that the President of OSM has not taken part in any of the discussions surrounding the proposed restructuring of the Joomla! Leadership with the Board of OSM being over all Joomla! teams. In fact, as I pointed out in the blog Where's Waldo (err.. Ryan Ozimek)?, Mr. Ozimek has only really been visible in his world-wide travels. The President of the Board has certain responsibilities including:

  • Execute the will of the board
  • Provide leadership to the board
  • Develop a vision for the board
  • Be the communicator or spokesperson for the board
  • Manage the effective use of meetings (regular and committee meetings)

He certainly hasn't been acting as the spokesperson of the board. That job seems to have gone to Paul Orwig. I fail to see where Mr. Ozimek is providing leadership to the board, at least based upon the board minutes. The board has allowed a number of actions to occur without a formal motion, discussion, and vote. Mr. Ozimek should have ensured that the board took an active rather then a passive role in those actions. As another relatively minor example of the passivity of the board, examine the minutes from the August 29, 2011 board meeting that was subsequently adjourned and resumed on September 6, 2011. According to the Bylaws, the President of the Board is the de-facto chair of the board meetings. In his absence the board must choose a chair. No such action occurred when the board resumed its meeting on September 6, 2011 when Ryan Ozimek was not present.

At all meetings of the Board, the President, or in her or his absence, a chair chosen by the Board will preside.

So, as pointed out in the blog Is OSM Guilty of Groupthink? , the board is simply not acting in the best interests of the Joomla! Community and is failing to follow its own bylaws.

Bylaws - that triggers another thought. The proposed reorganization included a transition team that would work on a number of issues:

  • Choose a name for the new board of directors. Investigate what legal issues need to be addressed regarding the leadership structure changes.
  • Define terms for board members, as well as the processes by which existing board members may be removed and new board members would be added.
  • Define the initial number of committees that will report to the new board of directors, what responsibilities each of those committees will have, and what the process will be for potentially adding, removing, or combining committees in the future.
  •  Define the process to add two additional board members from the community who would join the nine project leaders to form the first full board of directors, with the idea that the final full size of the board of directors would continue to be eleven people.

 I simply do not understand why the three groups CLT, PLT, and OSM would make this process so complicated. First off, only the board of OSM can make changes to the existing bylaws with the exception of Article IV - Community Oversight Committee. If the Community Oversight Committee is willing to discontinue their oversight role, then let them vote out Article IV. Bingo, now OSM can make any changes it wants. So what if they didn't add term limits. Guess what, even under the transition team proposal, there is nothing stopping OSM from not considering term limits. Remember only the board of this legally constituted New York Non-Profit Corporation can make changes to their bylaws. There has to be a motion, discussion, and vote. Once Article IV is eliminated, OSM can add anyone it wants to the board. Bingo, all that manipulation of 2 from this group and two from that group is no longer needed. Now the board can modify its bylaws to say all committees and groups of the Joomla! organization report to the board of directors. Bingo, no discussion with the other groups needed. Certainly eliminates the need to see if the community has any input. Doesn't seem like the input already provided was valued anyway. If it was, we would have seen a lot more listening and a lot less responding on the part of the leadership that did participate in the J!People discussion group.

So, back to the original discussion item. Where is Ryan Ozimek in all of this? By taking no position he is avoiding any fallout sticking to him. Is that the issue? Who knows? Only Ryan can step-up and take a position one way or another. It definitely would be refreshing to see. Of course, it would be refreshing if the rest of the leadership took positions as well.

Update:  On November 28, 2011, (two days after publication of this blog) Ryan Ozimek finally took a position on the reorganization of the Joomla! leadership teams in the Joomla-Leadership-Group Gmail. He said:

Considering the substantial feedback from the community, I think there is quite a bit to digest. I'd recommend that we regroup as a leadership team, have our three leaders on this topic from the summit (Paul, Chris, and Wendy) lead an effort to create a new draft of the leadership restructure recommendation, and then present this updated draft to the community.

Which was really the smartest move anyone on the Joomla! leadership team has made so far. But he also said:

...I don't believe we would do the community justice by making a decision towards #1 or #2 without further discussion among the leadership team. Additionally, I feel that based on my years within the leadership team, it is time to evolve to meet the needs of today's challenges and opportunities, so #3, #4, and #5 don't seem to fit well for me either.

Emphasis mine.And just to remind you what #3, #4, and #5 are:

3. Keep current PLT/CLT/OSM teams unchanged, but broaden CoC's oversight to cover all three current teams.
4. After major project-wide goals have been defined, go out and recruit industry experts/visionary leaders in the fields that match our major goals, and invite them to join project leadership.
5. Make no leadership structure changes, but instead define more specifics about roles, responsibilities, processes, and expectations for current leadership teams and working groups.

So, in essence, Ryan Ozimek has stated his position as moving forward with what they proposed and ignoring the already provided community feedback. His proposed #6 position was stated as:

6. Regroup as a Leadership Team, lead by our three leaders on this topic from the Summit, and create a new draft of the leadership restructure. Then, present this new draft to the community for another round of feedback. Then, incorporate feedback where the leadership team sees fit, and make a final go/no-go decision.

This essentially means that the already provided feedback would be wasted. If accepted by the Joomla! leadership, they will re-propose their plan probably with minor changes, ask for community feedback ignoring it as they should so desire and go forward with the reorganization. If Ryan Ozimek has his way, there will be no options available  in the #3, #4, and #5 categories. They would simply be taken off the table. Check the blog Joomla! Leadership - Bait and Switch. Might start to look even more familiar.

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David Huelsmann

Dave Huelsmann was Treasurer of Open Source Matters, Inc. from 2008 to July, 2010 and Joomla Forum Global Moderator from 2005 to November, 2010. Now retired, he was a senior healthcare executive who managed large and diverse clinical laboratory, radiology, electroencephalography, and centralized patient transport operations/departments in both not-for-profit and for-profit companies throughout the United States.

Dave was a Navy Corpsman who served in Vietnam while attached to Seabee battalionmcb71

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