Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board Governance Committee/Board skills grid 2014

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Dear board, this grid is really strange. There are several important aspects like the gender or the cultural diversity, but I don't see any additional value of these aspects in terms of "governance". They are important, but not for a "good governance". Instead the capacity to have a good interpretation of the visions and of the values of the movement is more important. In addition I see a key aspect really missed like that to be able to understand the needs of the stakeholders (internal and external stakeholders). It means the needs of the community, the needs of the donors, the needs of the staff, the needs of the Wikipedia's users and so on. --Ilario (talk) 21:33, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

My interpretation of this is in two ways. One, that 'gender diversity' or 'cultural diversity' cannot be seen in isolation. Meaning that of course someone cannot become a trustee solely because she is a woman or lives outside Europe or the US. That would be tokenism. But suppose we had two candidates who had equal potential as WMF trustees along other criteria as well; then we may choose someone who also ticks these boxes - gender and cultural diversity. Two, the other way of seeing it is that these two elements of diversity can also help in understanding the needs of our stakeholders more broadly, by bringing in the needs of communities, users, donors from diverse geographies which might otherwise be missed. By broadening the overall frame within which we consider all these. Bishdatta (talk) 06:52, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, now I can understand that the diversity in general (culture, gender, education, etc) is an added value mainly to have a "different point of view", and this is really important and I agree. Anyway it doesn't suppose that putting this diversity in the board, it may bring a good governance. I agree that it may be considered a "tangible" value for the needs of the stakeholders, but it's not sufficient in my opinion. --Ilario (talk) 08:01, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi Ilario, the list of skills does not cover the complete bunch of skills which should be represented in the Board, it's not a definitive collection. It is built up from the 2012 grid with a few changes. That's helpful because it allows to draw some conclusions from comparison. The form asked for skills which are not yet included but also important, and there were some skills mentioned as missing. (i.e. "conflict management", "strategy experience"). You are missing something more sufficient, could you try to define it, so that the Board could consider it for the next round? Alice Wiegand (talk) 20:29, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe next time we could do separate tables for 'skills' and 'attributes'? That may help clear confusion. Some of the elements are skills, others are attributes (eg all the diversity ones). In that sense, I get Ilario's point that the diversity attributes are value adds, not core skills in themselves (although, of course, a Board can decide that it has enough skills and needs some attributes to become more rounded). Bishdatta (talk) 05:01, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I changed the description of columns to characteristics/skill, that's the wording we used in the survey. But separation of skills and attributes sounds really helpful for the next round. Alice Wiegand (talk) 21:03, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
And I'm finding this conversation very useful, because there may be an underlying assumption that a Board should be composed only of skills, not characteristics/attributes. But in reality, Boards need both. Bishdatta (talk) 04:32, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Sorry to add a new point here but another important value for a good governance as skill is to understand "how is the reaction to the changes and how is the ability to manage the changes". --Ilario (talk) 08:01, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi Ilario can you say more? I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean ability to manage change in general, or a specific kind of change (like changes on the internet/our operating environment; changes in the movement; etc.) Thanks, -- phoebe | talk 17:16, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi phoebe, it's difficult to explain. Within the "governance" it's called as is: "change management". The article in English Wikipedia is poor, but this section in Italian Wikipedia is well done. Summarizing it, the change management is a system of tools and of processes to guide the organization in its transformation and transitions in order to be updated with the changes caused by the external systems and by the society. The change management may have a big impact in the strategies, in the KPIs and in general in the organization. --Ilario (talk) 00:17, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

Missing skills[edit]

For those who missed previous discussions: WMF Board Governance Committee/Agenda 2012-2013/Appointed seats/What makes a good Trustee? + [1]. This grid, while potentially useful, doesn't seem to address the kind of questions on the board's needs that I have in mind. --Nemo 21:24, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

I would like to read of those thoughts, would you mind to share them? Alice Wiegand (talk) 22:15, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I meant those I expressed in the links above. Should be enough, I hope. --Nemo 21:21, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Missed the links on my mobile, got it now. Will come back later. Alice Wiegand (talk) 09:33, 19 August 2014 (UTC)