Tired

Jul. 4th, 2012 07:33 am
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
[personal profile] jennyst
[personal profile] awatson wrote a great post on burnout recently. I've mostly been suffering from those symptoms too much to write in here, despite my early dreams. If you want more OTW news, [personal profile] renay and [personal profile] hl are also writing a bit from different perspectives.

Board is difficult. We have three people who can hardly ever make a meeting at the moment. I would say you can see from our minutes, but I'm having trouble getting a quorum to approve the minutes so I can post them. And it's getting to be holiday season, so it's only going to get harder. We can't really have the discussions of big issues that we need if only half the board are there. So we tick along on the admin side, and work on making specific committees more sustainable.

That's an uphill battle, too. We have had an unlucky year, with six chairs having to step down in the first six months of the year - that's significantly higher than normal. We've also had a lot of experienced staffers finally hit the point of "too much". So for those who are left, training newbies is balanced with keeping things running, and trying to fit in some long-term strategic thinking in the gaps. It's easy to think that all we need to do is train and mentor more people for future leadership, but mentoring is hard work, even if it's rewarding. There are people who say they have tons of professional experience, but then don't seem to apply any of the expected skills to their org work. Which applies to me some days, too - I forget that the day-job skills for dealing with difficult clients could be applied to fannish friends in the org.

The AO3 performance problems have slipped off the headlines, but behind the scenes everyone knows it's only a temporary reprieve - we need to fix the actual problems so they don't recur. And because of the stress that's causing, still no-one wants to talk about any of the issues that were raised publicly during the last election.

I wanted to end this on a hopeful note, but I can't think of one right now. I guess that's another of the symptoms of burnout. Anyone want to volunteer for Board next year?

Date: 2012-07-04 12:55 pm (UTC)
ruric: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ruric
I'm sorry you're having a rough time of it, but I've been impressed with how much more I know about the OTW because the comms seems to have improved significantly.

From the regular posts with links to thinks of interest, and publishing of minutes, the feedback on the survey - there's info out there now that there wasn't before.

Also wrestling an organisation to change is a bit like trying to change the direction a supertanker is moving - it doesn't happen quickly.

I'm still tiptoeing around getting more actively involved, losing most of May to being ill and most of June to catching up with being ill has not been convenient!

On a personal front I'm also slightly worried about the sheer number of meeting the OTW seems to have/expect people to attend. Hearing people talk about 2 or 3 meetings a week often at stupid o'clock in the morning? I know that I couldn't do that and do actual work for the org (and hold down some local voluntary work I do) - so I've been hesitating about gettig back in touch.

I don't see how the actual work gets done when there are so very many meetings (which I kind of expect at Board level) and I've done my time working for OWSNBN where we would spend endless days in meetings talking about what needed to be done which meant we then had no time to DO what needed to be done.

In short I hear you and feel your pain, especially if Board members are not able to attend meetings. We went through a similar phase in the non-profit I used to work for and the end result was an inclusion in Board/Committee members job description and a charter that said if they didn't consistently get to 3/4 of the meetings they would have to leave the Board/Committee. It was the only way we managed to get bums on seats consistently.

I wish you all the best and please, please make sure you get some downtime or soe way to decompress before you burnout too!

Date: 2012-07-04 04:09 pm (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
an inclusion in Board/Committee members job description and a charter that said if they didn't consistently get to 3/4 of the meetings they would have to leave the Board/Committee.

This sounds like a good idea; I wonder if the upcoming Code of Conduct will have a section concerning Board attendance too.

Best of luck, Jenny, and please know that all of us really appreciate your hard work.

Date: 2012-07-04 05:18 pm (UTC)
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
From: [personal profile] renay
Alas, no. Our Code of Conduct (which is actually available in V&R - Projects on Basecamp as a draft) doesn't cover meeting attendance for the board (or anyone). That would definitely be a bylaws issue for the Board and Legal.

Date: 2012-07-04 06:10 pm (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
Thanks for the clarification!

Date: 2012-07-05 07:13 am (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
Ah, good to know that attendance is already part of the org's rules & regulations! I can definitely see why it's hard to enforce though.

Date: 2012-07-05 06:24 am (UTC)
unjapanologist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] unjapanologist
FWIW, I was exceptionally glad to have an org-wide at Australia/Asia time -thank you! It always feels like I either have to miss org-wides because they're in the middle of the night, or have to rearrange my sleeping schedule because they're extremely early in the morning.

Date: 2012-07-05 01:23 pm (UTC)
ruric: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ruric
Ah thank you for that clarification! One meeting a week is much closer to being do-able!

I completely get that when working across multiple time zones meetings have to timeshift - as long as that timeshift is rota-ed so everyone is equally convenienced and inconvenienced that seems fair. *G*

hasn't been enforced consistently for a while

Which is a problem for a non-profit where your Board is voluntary. Also if the people having perhaps an icreased amount of power on the Board are those who're not showing up? Well it can be very difficult to broach and enforce the regs if they're contintually enforcing a non-quorum state.

I really hope things get better.

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