MINUTES OF THE RETREAT MEETING
October 3, 2014, 9 AM – 6 PM Eastern
BOARD DIRECTORS PRESENT: Andrea Horbinski, Anna Genoese, Cat Meier, Eylul Dogruel, sanders
OTW STAFF PRESENT: Legal: Rebecca, Betsy; Strat Plan: Hana Lee, Elliot Oberholtzer, Gryph, Jessica Steiner, M. J. MacRae, Niko Thompson; VolCom: Michelle, Curtis, Tianrui
GUESTS: Jules (Communications facilitator)
1. Discussion of procedure of retreat and roles during retreat
- Strategic Planning to take point
- Volcom to help and add
- Legal to support
- "Transparency" = detailed notes
2. Discussion of "rules" for discussions
- What do we expect of each other as human beings?
- What does Jules bring to the table as an attendee?
- Burnout expert
- Taking care of us while we take care of fandom
3. Nonviolent Communication Exercises
- These questions reveal values:
- What gives you energy?
- What drains your energy?
- Write down one thing people in the org say that bugs you. Then we use empathy to find the "need" behind the statement.
- Write down a need we have the org is not meeting to discuss at the end of the retreat
4. Discussed NVC mediation training
- "Everyone who showed up for the live chat showed the best of themselves"
- Question: How do we get that to happen everywhere/every time?
5. Dispute Resolution Procedure
- Walked through Dispute Resolution Procedure with all participants contributing edits
– break for lunch –
6. Brainstorming exercise
- Where do you want to see the org in 3 years?
- functional / better than functional
- $100,000 per drive
- $300,000 per year budget
- paid executive director
- working with allied orgs (more public work)
- What should Board purview be?
- focus on strategic planning
- overall governance
- networking with outside allies
- not doing day-to-day management/conflict resolution
- one full term without intra-Board conflict
- more reasonable time commitment
- split executive committee / board roles
- Discussion of what people/ the org need from Board
- "appropriate" interaction
- acceptance that the "Board hat" does not come off
- what is the Board doing?
- acknowledgment of mistakes
- trust that Board will support the staff
- trust that Board will do their job(s)
- clear definition of Board purview
- Board shouldn’t be responsible for onboarding staff
- Board shouldn’t be involved in mediation
- Board should be working on outreach
NOTE FROM STRAT PLAN: Some of the inconsistency of the feedback has to do with whether the committee is functional (happy), not functional committees want more Board intervention
- Board feedback:
- Don't want to / can't give emotional support
- Supporting committee jobs is different from emotional supporting
- Being public face = fulfilling
- Board doesn’t want to become the public face at the cost of other committees/chairs/staffs not being out in the public
- there are good reasons to delegate this (at least in part) to qualified staffers
- Difficulty with taking over liaising role during board transitions
- There is no formalized liaising policy/how to
- No documentation / process
7. Discussion of Board needs
- Executive assistant(s)
- possible paid position/contractor
- can we find/trust volunteers to do this
- separate out officer positions from Board positions
- improve liaising system:
- email whole Board instead of one/two people
- define what issues should come to Board instead of Communication Facilitation Team/Dispute Resolution Team
- Board taking point by skillset instead of committee
- Develop "Board skills" in staffers
- "Board track"
- Elections Committee already working on training process
8. Discussion of elections
- Elections are supposed to bring on people with great executive skills
- This does not always happen
- The "Board" is actually an elected executive committee
- Do we need elections?
- Decouple fundraising from membership
- Change from "Board" to Executive Board and Advisory Board
NOTE ABOUT THESE MINUTES: There were no votes taken. These discussions were discussions only.
Minutes approved by the Board on 5 October 2014.