Meeting notes on NCI change of managment

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Quite Oh
NCI Officer
Posts: 180
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:21 pm
Location: Canada

Meeting notes on NCI change of managment

Post by Quite Oh » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:59 am

This document is a point-form Q&A style that will reflect the substance of the meetings. I have boiled this down to its essence, clarified and expanded where necessary. The two unredacted NCI Helper and Land Officer meetings are attached with this post.

Please note, that the actual opening statement was created by Quite Oh, with the best information available; any inaccuracies in information are entirely Quite Oh's responsibility. Should any corrections be required, please contact me, and I shall make the updates as quickly as I can. This version SUPERCEDES the information given at the meetings.

Quite Oh

2009-08-30 - Meeting starts

Gramma Fiddlesticks: First, I want you all to know that we've been working very hard since late Friday night to sort things out. We have made much progress but still have a way to go. However, rest assured that NCI -DOES- continue. I know you all have a lot of questions, and we will have time for them very shortly. However, first I'd like to introduce you to the NCI management team. Some of you know her well. Some of you may not have met her before.

I have agreed to serve in a new position. I will be acting Board of Directors Chairman. I will serve in that position until a new chairman can be found.

Afon Shepherd is a Vice Chairman and will continue as Education Director.

Garn Conover, who will be at the later meeting is a Vice Chairman and will continue as Sr Land Officer at Kuula as well as hold responsibilities for the BanLink System.

Blu Laszlo continues as our Freebies Director and will also coordinate with Linden Lab for the same Freebies we have at the LL Help Islands

Beverly Montgomery will continue as Sr land Officer at Kuula and serve as Training and Orientation Officer for all helpers and newly appointed land Officers,

Lethe Naumova doesn't have a title yet (I'm working on that one!) however, she has agreed to work on all of our web services needs. She is right now getting a forum and a blog set up so that we all have a central place to go for information and for asking questions, or even just for chatting if we want. We hope you will all take advantage of that effort. She’s been involved in BoD a long time behind the scenes

Peace Smythe also still does not have a title with the new management team but I've got a lot of work for her to do!

Linda Coffee will continue to serve as Sr. Land Officer for NCI Beach.

Wellington Beam will continue to serve as Sr. Land officer at NCI South.

Tateru Nino after long years of dedication has decided to shift her priorities to her own projects. She has agreed to help with the transition, and will be missed, but we look forward to continuing to read her blogs!

FR43K Paine is continuing as our AdNode Director and has assumed the new role of Financial Officer.

A brand new position has been created for us. We now have our own Public Relations Officer; Quite Oh has agreed to assume responsibility for us.

We will be working on some new and exciting ways to let all of SL know we are here and what we do.

Quite Oh: Hi everyone thanks for coming.

Over the last few days there have been a number of changes, and frankly, a bit of drama. This meeting is simply to set the record straight, and to keep everyone informed and the status of NCI.

First, Carl Metropolitan, one of the strongest driving forces behind NCI's tremendous growth and success for so many years has decided to step down from the weight of NCI's duties and responsibilities.

He has since handed the reins over to the Board of Directors. It was a surprise to many who weren't intimately associated with NCI's administrative internals. The transition however was something that Carl had successfully built into the system that is NCI from the beginning.

Second, there was a bit of drama regarding individuals leaving the organisation, and rumours flew furiously, fuelled mostly by the lack of facts and deliberate distortions. So here is the story:

There is an agreement between NCI and a sister organisation, Oxbridge, to continue ensuring the level of quality of our work, which includes keeping our land free of griefers. Part of this decision is simply pragmatic. Another part is perception.

With the intent of keeping the agreement with the sister organisation, a policy was implemented that disallowed NCI officials from belonging to some groups to be known, alleged or disputed as "a griefer group", such as PN or Woodbury University AND remain an NCI official.

A choice was offered: Remain with NCI in an official capacity, or remain with the other group(s), free to continue enjoying NCI, but no longer in an official capacity.

Some people felt strongly that it not in holding with our general policy of inclusiveness, and feeling honour bound, decided they could not support it as it was expressed.

Carl who had been working ceaselessly for NCI over the last few years, decided that instead of losing valued team members that he would take this as good an opportunity to hand over the reins, and has agreed to assist in the transition.

This sped up the schedule a little bit, catching some of us off guard, but thanks to great planning, we already have good systems in place to ensure a smooth transition.

Since, the Board of Directors has convened unofficially. Gramma Fiddlesticks who brings 35 years of management experience to the table has been nominated as Interim-Director until such time that a new director is nominated and formalized.

To the best of my knowledge all those who have left in relationship to this issue, have chosen to return.

All positions are still complete, and there have been little or no change in duties or responsibilities. For the most part NCI is moving forward as it normally would. On the floor, for us, nothing changes.

So what's next?

Our mission remains the same: We help.

We help newbies. We help oldbies. We help each other. That's who we are and what we do.

Keep doing what you've always done, what you enjoy and what you are appreciated for.

Change always brings questions. And you surely have been and will be asked question. You've now been given the facts. It is better that people have a clear understanding of the truth, than to wade in rumour, innuendo, gossip, questions, lies or distortion. We'll be distributing this statement along with the Helper's Guidelines later tonight, after the second meeting.

We do ask that as Helpers and Land Officers that we remember that WE are the example. It is WE who show the spirit of NCI, and the calibre of its character. Let us not devolve into gossip and speculation. Let us instead remember to be tall, upstanding examples of the community that we've created, that we work in and live in. We are the ones who set the tone for what NCI and very often, what Second Life is for the newcomer.

Now, questions?

Questions and answers

Q: What about the policy itself?

A: It has been decided that NCI will continue its tradition of being inclusive and of dealing with individuals on a case-by-case basis. NCI is not the SL police department, nor do we have authority over the internet or real life. We have authority only on our land.

Membership in NCI's "official" ranks will be handled in the same way that we handle everything in what we do: case by case. Person by person. Groups are comprised of individuals. We will not carry a prejudice toward groups as a whole, we will deal person by person. This is how we help: person by person. One at a time evaluating their needs, and acting accordingly. This is how we hire: Person by person. One at a time, evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, character and behaviour. This is the way of NCI.

Q: Does this mean that a member of Patriotic Niggas can hold an NCI title?

A: Thank you for the extremist example, this serves to illustrate quite well. Remember, we are dealing with individuals, one on one. NCI hires from *within* the ranks. That means that you have to have been helping freely for some time before you are ever invited to become a helper by someone who has long experience in dealing with newbies and the many character types that come though our very public space. We watch, observe, listen, and learn. We assess their temperament, skills, communication style and overall attitudes and behaviour. If an individual is proposed as a potential helper by a current Land Officer, we consult, deliberate then finally make a decision en group.

One cannot apply to NCI for a position; people are invited, based on long experience and first hand observation of the individual. Griefing is counter to NCI culture. People who grief, simply don't make it to the ranks. An individual who has been observed, recorded or strongly evidenced to be a griefer will simply not be invited, regardless of what group zie may or may not belong to. This has the added advantage of weeding out bad apples regardless of the group they belong to.

Q: I’m confused on *being members of other groups mentioned as the catalyst for this, why is it a conflict?

A: It's long been NCI's policy and culture to deal with the individual, rather than by group. It's my understanding that the policy was stated as if an individual belong to a group to be known, alleged or disputed as "a griefer group" they may not simultaneously occupy an official position at NCI. You may play and hang out with us, but not be a helper, LO or BoD. They either leave NCI or the other group. Some felt that was in conflict with dealing with people one by one, case by case, as well as being a less effective strategy for keeping our lands peaceful and our membership secure. Some of our officers/helpers/regulars also associate with some Woodbury members. This brought it from a theoretical issue, to a practical one.

Q: My question is who decides who is or isn’t a griefer group??

A: That is no longer an issue, as we've decided to continue on with the policy of judging people by their actions, rather than by whom they hang out with, or are alleged to. That's one of the reasons why we decided against blanket judgment based on group membership.

Q: Just wondering why this was decided now and not long ago

A: Because a third party made the proposition recently.

Q: New management, is justified, if they have new goals, different from the past, so my questions is what new goals do we have? And why Carl is no more suitable for these new goals?

A: First, Carl voluntarily decided to hand the reins over. He doesn't want to do it anymore. Second, we still need someone to keep the place going, pay the bills, etc. Carl worked hard to make sure that it could run with or without him, and we owe him gratitude for putting such a great system in place.

Q: What about classes? Who will teach?

A: All classes and events will continue as they have before.

Q: What about NCI's finances? I would like to know the financial situation of NCI.

A: Thanks to the excellent work of Carl Metropolitan and the Board of Directors, NCI is financially solid, and business should continue as normal.

Q: Most of the builds are in Carl's name... the signs, the actual flooring... Are we going to leave them as owned Carl or will someone be replacing them?

A: Carl is working with us to transfer it to us

Q: I would prefer a more democratic way to make the new guidelines.

A: We are all still in the process of sorting out how such a large organization can be effectively and democratically managed. We want to ensure that there is an excellent balance of strong leaders and group and membership input and contribution. There may be more changes in how we are organized and manage ourselves as we go through the evaluation process.

Q: The only real concern I can think of right now is that the Board establish a better protocol for dealing with disagreements on policy with the Executive.... maybe some type of supermajority vote, resigning or threatening it doesn't seem to be a productive way to come to solutions

A: Today's agenda is to keep people up to speed. You make a good point that can be taken up soon, but this meeting is not the place for it. Today, we fill in details and answer questions.

Q: What has or will the board do to keep on top of this type of interruption in the future?

A: That's a good question, and honestly, over the last 48 hours I don't think we've gotten to that point yet. We hope to find a way to have more folks involved in the entire decision making process for large important issues. Just not sure yet what the mechanics of that will be. We strongly feel that the future will bring a more democratic process for all of us with issues that affect us all. Do be aware that while Carl put a lot of thought into succession, we were a bit caught off guard by the timing, so we're still working on practicalities, rather than strategy right now

Q: Are we losing Caledon?

A: We are looking at all of our current land holdings to determine which ones are providing the most effective use of our skills, money and time. As soon as we are done with the review, you will all be informed.

Q: The relationship between NCI and Caledon seems to have become a bit muddled. How does the current situation affect NCI's involvement with LL's community gateway program standards in general, and continued participation with Caledon Oxbridge in particular?

A: That is also now being determined. We need to speak with Oxbridge management, and we will be seeking guidance from Linden Lab specifically on whether or not our current policies meet or exceed their expectations. Quite Oh: I think the short answer is "we've been working mostly on the mechanics so far, we haven't really had time to consider all the potential variations of all relationships yet". Please understand that there is still much work ahead of us, it has been less than 48 hours since we began

Q: One thing I see is the desire of the officers to have a voice. They want the new management to consider their views. So... What I, and I'm sure others, would like to know, is at what point does the management put down their foot and say "I'm sorry, that's the way it has been decided, and will be enforced"? There *will* be disagreements between officers and various people, even on the management team. So where do you draw the line?

A: The new management team has already begun examining the possible ways that everyone can be included on major decision making policies that affect the entire group. We don't yet know just what is even possible to do. We don't think that every little decision needs to be gone over with every member of the group. That's just not feasible. We'd never make any. However, we do strongly feel that for major changes, your voices should be heard. And they -will- be. We now need to work out an effective means of accomplishing that.

Q: Yes, Gramma, but even with major changes, you will have to deal with people who disagree with those decisions. NCI has a history of making rules then bending them when people complained. Will this change? Will the management have the stance to say to a few individuals "I'm sorry"?

A: This question seems to address having strong managment. The Forums and blog that Lethe has created for us we hope will be a very much used tool to help in that. What other tools or methods we might need we'll have to see. That's one reason for setting up the forums so issues can be discussed without everybody having to be in-world at the same time. The best answer we can give is "We will do our best, and learn as we go". We can't promise a flawless system in a world of people. Management will address needs as they arise. For those who don't know me very well, the ones who do can tell you. I am not afraid to stand up and make a call when it's needed.

Q: Will we still be having the other LO regular meetings that we just started to have

A: We will continue to have regular helper and lo meetings as we were having before this started.

Q: What is Carl's role going to be... I mean he's going to help transition In some ways I would think.... and even though this was unexpected, it wasn't unplanned that he would be leaving the Executive role.... so when will we get started on a proper party/recognition for his departure?

A: Carl has decided to step down, and leave NCI. He has agreed to assist us in the transition. Many of us would like a party to honour Carl. We are all still his friends, we honour him, his dedication and all that he has done for us and but in the end that's his call, it would be up to him as to whether he would actually wants one.

Q: How can I access the new website?

A: Currently the forums are located at The blog is currently at Please read my announcement at the top of the forums. Any questions about the forums should be directed to Lethe Naumova. If I don't have an answer for you, I'll find one out.

Q: I would like to say thank you to the BoD for having such speedy responses to all that is happening within NCI, and congratulate everyone on keeping a cool head?

A: Thank you. We don't make any guarantees with anything. We can only do the best job we can see to do each day that we are given, and come back the next day to do it again. We ARE keeping on top of things, but give everyone a short while to find the working groove, if you know what I mean

Q: Quite Oh: OK, do we have most of the questions answered? Basically, very little is changing at ground level. [strike]Carl has left BoD, not NCI, he's still with us[/strike]and maybe now he'll have the time to hang out with us. It's been 48 hours; so basically, we dealt with mechanics, not strategy. [[Correction by Quite Oh: At this point, Carl Metropolitan had chosen to leave NCI groups. The error is Quite Oh's]].

C: NCI WILL be fine
C: I would also like to add one thing: Quietly tell the truth and the rumours will die a natural death. No Screaming. No ranting. No raving. None of that will ever accomplish anything except give you a headache. We have to practice what we preach. We set an example for all every single day by doing exactly what we do.

Q: Is there anything I can personally do to help?

A: Help stop the rumours that NCI is over is one way to help. Distribute facts, not fiction. Inform in a fact-based way, keep the expression of emotion in check when speaking of it to the membership. Keep being the best NCI member you can be!

C: I don’t have a question only I need to say this .. I have been part of NCI for couple of years and I have friends that I love dearly as Gramma, Blu, Linda, Afon.. and Carl to see any one resigning has hurt me very much and I have cry over this ending. I myself don’t see Carl having to leave his position in this way. He deserved a better recognition of all he has done for NCI and all of as when having problems

A: We agree. Clarification: Carl was NOT ousted. He chose to leave. It was HIS decision, and honestly, some of us were caught by surprise. We are ALL sad to see him go. [We are] going to do everything within [our] power to organize things for this group so that there will be ways to accommodate issues in a more productive and healthy manner in the future.

C: I know and it hurts me it had to be like this at the end i only hope next time is an issue is more discussing the problem and not one that is so great has to leave NCI.

A: I agree whole heartedly with those feelings.

C: He did because he love NCI and he appreciate and love you all and did not wanted you to have to go either. Thank you that is all I had to say thank you very much

Personal note by Quite Oh.

I believe that it is the general consensus of NCI members at all levels that few people have been as good a friend to NCI as Carl has been. He has always acted according to his highest integrity, led the way and set the example. We all cherish what he has given us, we are very deeply saddened that he's no longer with us, and we will do whatever it takes to honour him by keeping the community and family that he helped us build alive. NCI was built from years of hard work, dedication, energy, passion and vision. For that, Carl, Tat, Brace and all the members of NCI will always have a special place in SL and in our hearts.

Let us keep NCI strong by following their examples.
NCI Helper and Land Officer Meetings
Only friend on/offline announcements and Mystitool chatter has been removed.
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Last edited by Quite Oh on Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:45 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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