NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

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Janet Rossini
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NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Janet Rossini » Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:42 am

I've decided to start a thread here because I have some things to say about recent events, some ideas to offer, and so on. I hope people will join in. If this is inappropriate, someone should delete the thread.

This item's topic: Transparency

In recent events, we have seen two powerful forces at work.

First, we have seen the power of the rumor mill, how very quickly it runs away with things. This is much like in RL, but with the usual higher speed of things happening in SL. There was much speculation, quickly followed by people blaming people for things they didn't do, unprincipled ranting, and such. Again, this is exactly what happens in an RL organization as well.

Second, we have seen the value of the higher-ups in the organization making themselves available and speaking frankly about what is going on. This can get a bit tense but usually leads quickly to calming, as people realize that the uppers are not demons (although of course here in SL they could be), and that they are trying hard to do a good job. Transparency means a lot.

I believe that the NCI management needs to move to become more and more transparent in their operation and deliberations. As decisions are in the making, rumors will get out. This is not bad: it is human and natural. (I mean no offense to non-humans in this remark.) What recent events tell us is that the Directors need to be making their thoughts as public as possible, and as clear as possible, so that "the truth is out there".

I imagine that this is what Quite Oh's role will be helping with, and I welcome it. I would urge her, and the Directors themselves, to stick with straight talk. If you don't know, say you don't know. If you haven't decided, say you haven't decided, and talk about the issues being deliberated. Stay away, far away, from public relations flack talk. Every smart person, and we all are, recognizes that kind of talk for what it is, namely the residue of bovine nutritional ingestion.

I don't like to speak crudely, but I will do so here: No Bullshit. We'll recognize it for what it is, and we will trust you less for it.

NCI, you have seen the cost of even brief gaps in transparency, and the value of a rapid return to it.

Observe and learn.
I don't work here: I volunteer here. I don't have duties: I have small gifts which I offer.

Janet Rossini
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Quite Oh
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Quite Oh » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:50 am

Janet Rossini wrote:I imagine that this is what Quite Oh's role will be helping with, and I welcome it. I would urge her, and the Directors themselves, to stick with straight talk. If you don't know, say you don't know. If you haven't decided, say you haven't decided, and talk about the issues being deliberated. Stay away, far away, from public relations flack talk. Every smart person, and we all are, recognizes that kind of talk for what it is, namely the residue of bovine nutritional ingestion.
24 hours of training under by belt taught me a lot, but I'll endevor to do my best as time goes on. I do ask that you give me a breaking in period to "find my voice". "Straight up, no bullshit" is good, but we're still a professional organisation. I want to be able to find the right balance of both.
Last edited by Quite Oh on Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lethe
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Lethe » Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:54 am

This thread is certainly not inappropriate. I think comments and feedback on the running of NCI deserve both open discussion and their own space, which is why I moved both these threads to a newly created subforum.

Speaking personally on the topic, I believe that the primary purpose of my job (web services officer) is to use all the online tools my twisted little brain can come up with to open new lines of communication between the Board and NCI members, between NCI members and the SL community, and even between individuals.

Forums, blogs, HTML, twitter, and other web services are tools, and tools have to be picked up and used if they're going to actually do anything. I encourage you all to use the tools I've provided to talk to me about what I'm doing, talk to the Board about what it's doing, and talk to other NCI members about what they're doing, and talk to everyone about what you're doing. I'll be trying to do the same, just view all my posts to see me ramble about whatever's going on in web-world and answer questions.

Edit: Also invite everyone you know in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD to join the forums please! More voices = better.

gramma fiddlesticks
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by gramma fiddlesticks » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:39 pm

Janet,

I couldn't agree more with all you've said. It's going to take a bit of time yet to sort through and get organized with all the many task that have to be done to keep this groups activities on target. The minutia that is here with it all is mind boggling!

However, you should all know that as the plans for the future are developed, they will not only be shared with the community, advice and comments from the community will be sought. we have not yet quite determined the best way that can be done though open general meetings with issues placed right out there, and then questions, answers and discussion seemed to work well for us all last weekend.

The most important piece in my own mind right now, is to maintain the sense of community here with us all. My hope is that no serious damage has been done to that. It is a critical piece with doing what we do. Welcoming and helping others.

Gramma
When all else fails you.... READ the Instructions!

Nardok
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Nardok » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:23 am

I'm not a director anymore, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt. However, I disagree. Openness from the Board of Directors is only going to be important to a very few active members of NCI and NCI LH. Trying to keep everyone posted on every decision that's been made (or hasn't been made, you also said that) would severely bog down the BoD, probably to the point that it would become ineffective. Also, for those that were present during the debacle in Ukanipo, it's plainly obvious why the Board does not need to be any more public than they already are. I understand people want to help out, especially when NCI *appears* to be in trouble. However, the management team handled things very well (with a couple exceptions). There was not really any need for the extra "help" being offered, and too much of it was just people trying to jockey a better position in NCI for themselves. What exactly is the point of having directors if everyone is going to have some say anyways? I'm also nervous with the structure that has the "Voice of the Leader" echoing down through the ranks. However, my experience with NCI has taught me that I don't need to be concerned. Despite the curiosity as to what is going on now that I'm no longer involved, it really doesn't matter. If something important (or, indeed, that effects me at ALL) is decided or being thought on, I will find out. Sure, it would be NICE to know ahead of time, but that's when I check my ego at the door. This should not to be taken as accusing anyone of having a large ego, perish that thought. I just mean that, frankly, not everyone needs to know every little thing. Trying to do so will just open the floodgates of "PR Flack Talk".

Also, rumor-mongering is a force of human nature. You cannot defeat this no matter how hard you try. Take RL as examples. All you need are loud people that either don't listen or don't read the notice beyond the "headlines". Carl, or anyone else for that matter, sends a notice that they are resigning and people will see that the subject is "I resign" and make up the rest on their own. Of the ones that actually READ the notice many misunderstood half of the info presented, and came up with the scenario that Carl was "ousted". (Though admittedly it looked that way even to me upon first glance. His choice of words...)

The information age was the last one. They are now calling the current one the "overinformation age", which is very fitting. I fully agree with "straight talk, no bullshit", when it's actually needed, but NCI Management should not just jump on the bandwagon because "it's how things are done these days".

Rhys Ackmann
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Rhys Ackmann » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:52 pm

I’m a bit disappointed and confused as far as the promised transparency. I was checking information on the Second Life Wiki this afternoon and see that all mention of NCI Caledon and the NCI involvement with Caledon Oxbridge has been removed…

While I don’t expect to be kept up to date on every board debate… I do expect an official announcement if we have indeed broken ties with Caledon and no longer have a NCI Caledon location (if not in the NCI group then at least on this site and the blog). I’m not seeing an announcement of this kind…. Can anyone clarify?

Gideon
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Gideon » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:28 pm

Quite made an announcement, and put it on this site. Its under the 'Annoucements' forum section.

Rhys Ackmann
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Rhys Ackmann » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:49 am

Sorry still not seeing it.
Would you be able to post a link?

Oh found it...

http://nci-sl.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=60

Well, I have to say no notecard notice in the Group I could find and a terse note in the forms.... not quite the level of open communication that I had hoped for... and a note to IM her if you need more information? It's almost like a challenge.

To quiote the TV show Wonderfalls
"What happens when you ignore something?"
"It goes away?"
"It comes back all pi@@ed off and mad...."

Just sayin'

Quite Oh
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Quite Oh » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:53 am

Rhys Ackmann wrote:Sorry still not seeing it.
Would you be able to post a link?

Well, I have to say no notecard notice in the Group I could find and a terse note in the forms.... not quite the level of open communication that I had hoped for... and a note to IM her if you need more information? It's almost like a challenge.
We've been asking people to use the forums, and weren't finding the kind of traction we hoped to have. The posting of a link to find the central repository of NCI's info is deliberate. We want you and all our members to get into the habit of checking here. Expect me to keep doing that!

The announcement was indeed short. I was told that my style was very "corporate PR" and that people wanted the news straight up. It's a sheer statement of the facts, and honestly, despite the drama that we've had, there's really nothing more to say on the straightforward matter. One party wanted NCI to adopt a certain policy, we have another way of doing things, the two sides did not find a suitable resolution and both of us just wanted to get back to doing what we do. In the end, we reviewed the finances of the situation, and that was the deciding factor.

I'm aware that for some, this mundane explanation doesn't satisfy. But they are the simple facts of the matter. I've had people asking me for more detail--very personal and specific details that amount to gossip. I've also had the experience of dealing with some individuals who regardless of what you say will nay-say, gossip, and take to the soap box on matters that they are utterly clueless about, and that no amount of simple facts will enlighten or satisfy. We’ve seen the unnecessary drama that has occurred of late, and nobody needs it.

The board of directors is more than happy to be more communicative, to deepen the involvement with our circle of influence and to be more receptive to relevant and constructive feedback. We do choose to be more transparent. Let us be clear on what that means: clear statements of facts on all matters of import to our membership, our advertisers and business partners, in a properly timed and thoughtful manner. It also means clear requests for feedback on specific subjects at hand. We are also very open to general feedback from those who are involved with us and we progress, we’ll soon have better and more specific means of promoting it--these forums are one of the mechanisms. Regular meetings will be another. Transparency does NOT mean the disclosure of confidential information, the mundane bureautica and administrivia, or the creation of salacious dramas to entertain the masses and distract us from our mission. We've been at this for less than a month, and we're all working hard on the very fundamentals of the business of NCI. Right now, that is the best place to focus our time and energy. We do ask that you give us a reasonable amount of time to have something to report.

So thanks for using the forums! You’ve made the point that they work. Now get everyone else to sign up!

Rhys Ackmann
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Re: NCI Organization and Style - Transparency

Post by Rhys Ackmann » Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:24 pm

Quite Oh wrote: The announcement was indeed short. I was told that my style was very "corporate PR" and that people wanted the news straight up. It's a sheer statement of the facts, and honestly, despite the drama that we've had, there's really nothing more to say on the straightforward matter. One party wanted NCI to adopt a certain policy, we have another way of doing things, the two sides did not find a suitable resolution and both of us just wanted to get back to doing what we do. In the end, we reviewed the finances of the situation, and that was the deciding factor.

I'm aware that for some, this mundane explanation doesn't satisfy.


Thank you,

This explanation is clear, simple and too the point. Most importantly is takes into account the issues that lead to this decision without either attempting to polish them in vainer Corporate PR or sensationalizing them to the point of gossip. All of us who have logged onto Second Life and spent time in NCI in the past month know (or can piece together) many of these facts - to be transparent, you need to acknowledge, rather then ignore them.

If you'd like people to adopt this forum, I would encourage you to always talk about the elephant in the living room and to focus on what this Forum can do (rater then what it will not).

This was a nice start,

Rhys

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