[Members] Changes to XSF Board tenure?

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Fri Aug 24 08:40:17 UTC 2018

On 24 August 2018 at 08:49, Kevin Smith <kevin.smith at isode.com> wrote:

> On 23 Aug 2018, at 12:18, Guus der Kinderen <guus.der.kinderen at gmail.com>
> 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?
> This sounds like a good idea.
> I also suspect it wouldn’t work for us.
> How often have we been in a situation where half the members of the
> previous Board been happy to continue for another year and stood, but the
> Membership has voted to not have them do so? And in the case that that
> happened (which I’m not sure has), the Membership actively voted to replace
> them so …
> I think our biggest issue with continuity in the Board has been that
> people tend to burn out and drop out. Perhaps we could do something instead
> with a liaison to Board, or choosing a chair in 12 month stints that
> overlap half of a term, or something? (Not a million miles away from Dave’s
> suggestion, but lighter weight, because I don’t think we’ve got the
> momentum and energy for anything heavy).
I don't think I've ever re-applied for Board after a term for precisely the
reasons you note. But this is in part because the mix of strategic and
executive workload is hard. I wonder if an executive team would alleviate
that by allowing people to drop in and out as fit their burn-out level.

But honestly, I'm happier with as light a weight as we can - a liaison or
two sounds like a good thing to explore. If we want to try a Work Team on
that experience, we can move to that as and when.

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