Thanks everyone for your replies. Replying message by message, starting with Franklin. On 26/06/2020 19:50, Franklin Weng wrote:
I have regularly attended the marketing meeting, no matter the heated ones like yesterday, or small ones with only three people including me.
That's great to hear. It seems like the reason boad members were not vocal in the meeting was then that their discussions had been exhausted internally or the board lists, so there was nothing left for debate in marketing-specific channels.
Before this marketing meeting, there has been some discussion / debate / even argue around some related topics in the Board. Of course we would like to make some concrete plan but unfortunately some volunteer board members who would like to push these things forward were criticized as poor options for doing so, so eventually we decide to ask for Italo's expert to write the draft of this marketing plan and publicly discuss it with the members.
That's useful context for understanding the process to date, thank you. Delegating to staff, given that context, was not a way of escaping those contentious issues however -- it just deferred them. The scope of the plan is so broad, touching so many core strategy questions, that no staff could act independently in deciding content. Drafting a 5 year marketing plan following indecisiveness from the board is a job for a diplomat, not a marketer. Guessing and compromising the needs of board members is a recipe for /strategy by exclusion/ -- "exclude anything contentious". "Exclude anything that will cause delay". As it stands the Marketing Plan seems more like a political project serving primarily internal needs of alignment of board members, with TDF staff serving the role of peacemaker. I can understand that such a project is extremely important in its own right. Hence I propose separating that part from the purely marketing related components. Becuase the thing is: marketing is also important, and a 5 year marketing plan will outlive this board, and hopefully these divisions. Fundamentally marketing is about value: creating and delivering value for LibreOffice users. This is core to TDF's mission. And its bloody hard. So trying to plan 5 years in a way which stands a hope of delivering more than the miniumum amount of value to the world from the incredible technical and community resources which TDF posesses will be hard enough even if we are all aligned (board, teams, volunteers), focused, and invested. In my view, right now, we are none of these things. If the process and document cannot be redirected in the short term, as may be the case for various reasons, then at least let's not continue pretending that the Plan, as it stands, is primarily about marketing, or for LibreOffice marketers. Let's call it what it is: an internal alignment document for the board, commissioned by the board, because they could not agree on it by themselves. When the board wants the focus to really be on marketing, then they can say what is in scope and what is outside of it - if what remains is very narrow, then so be it. At least the marketing decisions can be pursued with a clear and undistracted focus. As a member of the marketing team, for me this would be a more motiviating and frankly fairer proposition.
[...] That is one important reason why we make the board meeting more public [...] The only thing I insist when trying to make as many people as possible to show their opinions is that everyone should respect other people, and their different thoughts and comments.
[...] I'm happy to see that more community members showed their comments and thoughts.
Me too, though there was very little input from the marketing team on the marketing list, and achieving more requires more than just transparency, though that's an important foundation.
The Board's responsibility is to make it a workable and concrete plan so maybe not all the thoughts from the community will be taken; but at least I hope that the community members can see the changes of the board we're doing hard -- the board is trying to be more open, friendly, and get closer to our community friends.
Those are admirable and necessary goals, and I respect your pursuit of them. There is no conflict between achieving those goals, and also improving the process and output of the marketing plan under discussion, and future plans like it. And so I shall continue pushing for that, and not view the pursuit of other reforms in as an excuse for desisting. Governance is hard; I hope this is helping. Sam.
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