[Members] Changes to XSF Board tenure?

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Thu Aug 23 22:56:57 UTC 2018

On 23 August 2018 at 19:19, Maxime Buquet <pep at bouah.net> wrote:

> On 2018/08/23, Jonas Wielicki wrote:
> > On Donnerstag, 23. August 2018 13:18:31 CEST Guus der Kinderen wrote:
> > > Hello all,
> > >
> > > The XSF board has discussed the following, and seeks member input (that
> > > means *you*) on the following suggestion.
> > >
> > > Most XSF members will know that the XSF board currently consists of
> members
> > > that are appointed for one year. The entire board is replaced each
> year.
> > >
> > > Board likely benefits from more continuity, particularly by reducing
> the
> > > ramp down and ramp up period in which the board gets replaced, which
> can
> > > take up a considerable amount of time.
> > >
> > > To improve the effectiveness of Board, I suggest we consider changing
> our
> > > process, to prevent the entire board from being replaced at the same
> time.
> > > The XSF could, for instance, appoint board members for two years
> instead of
> > > one, and replace half of the board members every year.
> > >
> > > What do you think? Is such a change worth considering?
> >
> > I do not have a strong personal opinion on this one. I think the
> rationale is
> > sound and I trust the Board members in their assessment of the utility
> of such
> > a rule. So +1, if Board wants this.
> I would +1 as well, it make sense to me.

I've toyed with formally suggesting this before, but three things have
generally put me off.

1) How do we pick which Board seats are to have the shorter term? Do we
have those with the most votes have a two-year term?

2) What happens if the two or three Board members we vote into a two year
term turn out to be rubbish? Can the members replace them at the next
election, or are we stuck with a Board we don't like?

3) Could we achieve the continuity another way?

As a concrete suggestion for the latter, we could have a formally appointed
executive Work Team who Got Things Done™ with fairly wide latitude,
including a budget and so on, under the direction of the Board. Membership
of that Work Team could be at the whim of the Board, the budget is
obviously at the Board's discretion, and the Board would define the
strategic direction.

Under such a regime, the Board, in fact, *only* does strategic direction,
budget setting, and not much else. (Members of the Board can of course be
selected onto the Executive Work Team if they want to do some day-to-day

This requires no change at all to our ByLaws - however, it does mean that
Members' control over executive decisions is a further step removed.

That said, I think it would improve our Board - because it can concentrate
on the strategic level - and our execution, by giving it that continuity.

And if it doesn't work - and it might not - it's easy to undo, and try
something else.

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