Values/2016 discussion/Transcripts/P

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1 == preliminaries ==
2 * Question about the implementation, when that will be done, and what it will look like
3 * Question about context-dependent values: values with regard to the movement? The rest of the world?
4 * Comments about guiding principles vs. values. The participants thought that they would be discussing how to behave towards each other, etc. i.e. guiding principles rather than values.
5 == your three values ==
6 === 1 ===
7 Inclusivity: Making sure that all voices in a conversation/team are heard and respected and that all potential stakeholders are included in the conversation in the first place. Prioritizing diversity in all its forms (gender, race, emerging vs developed communities, backgrounds of experience; etc.). This is both at WMF and in our communities.
8 Thinking about values about how we act and interact within the foundation, and also outside.
9 In our work, we’re always focusing on how to be inclusive, with grants. At the forefront of my mind and guides my work and behavior
10 Transparency: Wouldn’t normally be one of the first things that come to mind, but the events that have occurred in the last year have showed me what an important value this is to embody at every level of the org and with our communities. Basis of trust building, and a lack of transparency can lead to a lack of trust in its simplest form. Agree completely with 3’s comments.
11 Open-mindedness: This has to do with using AGF. It embodies a bunch of different values. Coming to our teams and interactions with a curiosity and a positivity and a sense of joy. If you’re open to listening what other people have to say, and new ideas, you’re engaging in a better way (?). I’ve seen in my team interactions how open mindedness can shift the conversation completely, and let more creativity and a more positive energy flow.
12 === 2 ===
13 Fundamental building blocks of our culture. Things like transparency covered in guiding principles, so went out of the box.
14 (1) Centeredness: Being able to be fully present. Being aware of what you are experiencing and how it is affecting you. Aspects of this include:
15 * Respecting yourself while understanding and accepting your strengths and weaknesses
16 * Respecting the boundaries of others, i.e. their relationships and commitments in and outside of work
17 The individual is the fundamental building block of everything. Respecting ourselves, being aware of what we’re going through. Over the past tumultuous year, when my environment has felt off-centered, that’s when I’ve decided to opt out.
18 (2) Servanthood/Sponsorship: Investing on behalf of others and finding joy in their success; engaging to help others achieve their goals.
19 Part of a larger whole (team, department, movement). Responsibility towards that larger whole. I recognize my littleness in the scope of everything. A lot of my work is in investing in the work of others. My contribution is contributing to a larger thing.
20 (3) Collaboration/Co-creation: Trusting that collaboration can yield better results
21 Collaboration is the fundamental way we engage and work with each other, whether it’s a one-to-one or one-to-many kind of a relationship.
22 (4) Empowerment: Allowing and encouraging freedom to stretch, decide
23 I include this to balance the collaboration value, because collaboration doesn’t need to mean conformity. Collaboration is how we work with each other, but just because we’re always collaborating doesn’t mean we can’t empower individuals to make decisions, do what they need/want to do and grow.
24 === 3 ===
25 Commitment and enthusiasm
26 I think commitment and enthusiasm go together. Sometimes what we are doing is hard. Working remotely is not always easy. There are bigger paychecks to be had elsewhere. Dealing with the community can be difficult; some individuals can be hard to deal with, but also sometimes there just isn’t bandwidth to do everything and you have to tell someone they can’t expect something they want, even if it’s very important to them. So, we need to be committed to our bigger vision, to do these things “not because they are easy, but because they are hard”. Commitment without enthusiasm is a kind of masochism, so we need to do what we can to maintain our energy and drive so that the commitment doesn’t become a grinding slog.
27 I like working here, but there are still things that are challenging. Trying to balance things with so many competing interests. It’s also why transparency is important: we can’t do everything so information helps understand priorities.
28 It’s important to find ways collectively and individually to find ways to keep that passion.
29 1: I see a connection between enthusiasm and 2’s centeredness. In order to stay enthusiastic you need to think about yourself. If you put yourself below the needs of the team you can lose your enthusiasm.
30 Transparency
31 Transparency is important on many levels—so people know what we are doing with their contributions: whether it’s money, time, or passion. We want people to know how we came to our decisions, and that we considered things carefully.
32 == why are those good things? ==
33 1: thinking about inclusivity. Different scales: team, WMF, community. At the level of movement and communities, there’s no other way to achieve our mission without inclusivity and diversity. I see often strategies or priorities moving forward within the foundation that don’t necessarily connect to these values (?)
34 F: you chose transparency and may not have chosen that at other times, but you felt strongly about this because of what happened recently. So what does transparency mean to you, or to all of us?
35 2: Two reasons why I didn’t choose transparency: because it’s already a guiding principle, and also because it’s a first step towards … What I’ve felt recently is that even if all the information is out there, if I don’t trust the people making the decisions, transparency isn’t enough. Transparency is a necessary condition to trust, but is not a sufficient one
36 On what basis do I trust you (as a person, not just the process)
37 It can be a reaction to all the stuff we went through. It is only a first step. Even with all the information, if I don’t trust the people who released, I don’t go anywhere with it.
38 2: This is why you need many values: they’re stepping stones.
39 3: It relates to 2’s value of servanthood and collaboration. You share information with people, and they react to it, and you value their feedback. People feel that they’re being heard.
40 3: Thinking about servanthood / sponsorship. Part of it is representing others. Important for my team. Relates to transparency and communication. Vocal members of the community, always commenting, but they don’t represent everyone. I try to keep in mind the people who don’t understand how things work. Trying to represent people who don’t really have a voice because they don’t realize that they can. There are people we can’t necessarily include. We still have to try and represent them in what we do.
41 F: Do you mean: There are limits to inclusivity as well, and you can’t include everyone
42 3: No, I mean that there are people that we can’t include directly, but we still have to represent them in our work and decisions.
43 2: It feels like servanthood/sponsorship is the underlying layer of inclusivity. You’re not building this for yourself, but for a larger group of people, and their needs need to be represented.
44 F: Another underlying value in inclusivity is centeredness, and understanding where the boundaries are, and respecting them.
45 What about collaboration and co-creation? Why is this important?
46 2: I saw this one and servanthood as related to our guiding principle of sharing power. If we value inviting other people in this conversation as a fundamental way. We start … I can think of many times where the foundation said they needed to make a decision very quickly, so they said they’d request input and make a decision. This isn’t how collaboration / co-creation works. Balance efficiency / tighter timelines with real engagement and co-creation (?)
47 3: Sometimes we just can’t get anybody to talk to us. So you have to do the best you can for the people you can’t get a hold of.
48 2: It’s an interesting conundrum. I’ve almost had the opposite experience; everyone has an opinion and they’ll be happy to tell you even when you sometimes don’t. Our department is set up in a way that we almost can’t do anything without talking to somebody. Our processes and decision making is set up with a lot of input, needs, it’s almost baked in how collaboration is.
49 3: Things have gotten better since I’ve joined; we have a CL and they can ask questions on VPs, and get more feedback. Our request for feedback is a drop in the bucket of everything that’s going on there.
50 F: Commitment: why is it important? Why is it a value for us?
51 1: it’s so fundamental it’s difficult to articulate. If we’re not committed, why are we here? Especially when you’re working at a non profit. The commitment to the good of what we’re doing is I hope why most people are here.
52 2: Commitment is almost “why do you stay?”. With all that’s happened, why did you stay? For me, in those dark times, it wasn’t because of the mission or the vision. It was much more personal, the people I was supporting and the work I was doing. These connections and relationships.
53 F: What does commitment mean?
54 3: It’s such a fundamental concept that it’s hard to define. A willingness to stick through the bad parts?
55 F: I hear a lot of commitment in relation to the bad times. Do we have commitment in the good times?
56 3: During the good times you’re building your enthusiasm which is then helping your commitment during the bad times.
57 1: your commitment isn’t tested until you’re in a position to ask “do I stay or do I go”.
58 F: It’s a high level of engagement with the work that you do.
59 3: It’s more than the work. There are a lot of different levels: work, the people you work with, the foundation, the movement… Over the last year, a lot of people lost commitment to the foundation, but you still have commitment to the work or the people.
60 F: Is it related to transparency: it’s only when it’s not there that we see we need it. It arises when things go wrong.
61 2: You can have commitment regardless of your positive or negative feelings towards something. It’s a bit hard because we did just go through this whole thing, so we’re reacting to it.
62 F: Commitment is what allows us to drive towards success of projects. Because we care about it on a different level. You’re committed all the time. Commitment is what allows us to have quality work because you go the extra mile.
63 3: There are more levels to commitment than just “why are you staying”.
64 2: Open-mindedness: is this as deep as the rabbit hole goes?
65 1: Connected to a lot of other values: curiosity, empathy, respect.
66 2: It made me think of “step outside yourself, ask why, don’t come so rigidly with your solution/way/recipe, because that doesn’t work when you work in a group”.
67 1: Part of it is listening well, but that’s more like a skill. I think that in terms of follow up, the centeredness one really speaks to me. None of the other values can be embodied or … without the centeredness one. Outside world vs. self. If we can take that as a value, a lot of the things that we do may shift at the foundation, about the kind of things we’re taking on, or workflows, etc.
68 2: “Centeredness” is a little bit in reaction to “don’t do more with less, but do well with less”. You keep giving until you don’t have anything left to give. Work shouldn’t drive someone unhealthy. It’s a gap in our conversation. Self-care was really illuminated as a gap in our culture and values over this past year.
69 1: It would force us to be more strategic about what we work on. Be more efficient and strategic because you need to keep some of yourself for non-work stuff.
70 1: Question about what will happen after the Values discussions.
71 == insights and surprises ==
72 F: Thoughts about the conversation we had today?
73 2: There is a tight tie between guiding principles and values. It feels like our foundational documents are becoming more cohesive. And also, it’s surprising how much of our values is tied to what happened this year. At what point do you reassess? If value are a way to prompt change in our evolutionary process, when do we look at them again?
74 1: 2, you’ve been with the foundation for several years, and the fact that you didn’t know about the guiding principles shows that we need more clarity about our decision making process, and how we embed them into our culture, our conversations. So we need to think about that when it comes to implementation. How do we use those guiding principles and values in movement strategy, etc.
75 Comments on the meeting
76 class="wikitable"
77 Liked Best
78 Next time
79 -
80 Lots of time for discussion, to get clarity on others’ thoughts and suggestions +1+ 1
81 More clarity and shared understanding/agreement around what is a value and what is a guiding principle. Share the questions each answers.
82 -
83 Small groups really improved the quality of conversation. +1
84 More clarity about values towards what: WMF, the movement, the world in general?
85 -
86 Not having a preconceived idea on “what a value is or isn’t” brought out some interesting ideas
87 Still really left wondering how we integrate the guiding principles and values into our work and culture. I know this is to come… will be patient.
88 -
89
90
91 }
92 Comments from Chat during the meeting:
93 this breakdown of guiding principles vs values confuses me
94
95 The problem is that many people have many different meanings for what a value is, and we had to find a common meaning for all the people in the discussions. And the result of that reflection was to think of values as the core intrinsic beliefs that drive us towards our vision. There's more information at https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Values/2016_discussion/Framing (for later)
96
97 commitment
98 enthusiasm
99 transparency
100 I think commitment and enthusiasm go together. Sometimes what we are doing is hard. Working remotely is not always easy. There are bigger paychecks to be had elsewhere. Dealing with the community can be difficult; some individuals can be hard to deal with, but also sometimes there just isn’t bandwidth to do everything and you have to tell someone they can’t expect something they want, even if it’s very important to them. So, we need to be committed to our bigger vision, to do these things “not because they are easy, but because they are hard”. Commitment without enthusiasm is a kind of masochism, so we need to do what we can to maintain our energy and drive so that the commitment doesn’t become a grinding slog.
101 Transparency is important on many levels—so people know what we are doing with their contributions: whether it’s money, time, or passion. We want people to know how we came to our decisions, and that we considered things carefully.