Thu 7 Jun 2018 12:49PM

Reinventing 'Is it safe enough to try'

S Satya Public Seen by 290

Regarding the quite challenging and emotional onboarding meeting that we had I'd personally like to discuss if we can do this better. We have reached some form of consensus, which is a very good achievement, but my general feeling is that the way we have these meetings is not always perfect.

As we all know proposals can be rejected as 'not safe enough to try' by a single person. People have used this mechanism a couple of times now.

This mechanism means that a single person has a lot of power, resulting in a consensus that does not necessarily reflect the majority of the group. The only thing I see that this can result in is either
A) a tabling of the proposal or
B) a consensus to make everybody happy but that's not necessarily the best decision

Should we actually aim for a consensus where everybody is happy? Or should we aim for consensus that is the best for Giveth, with the 'risk' that that consensus might not always reflect the opinions and feelings of everyone in the team?

And I know that 'best for Giveth' is very subjective. Everyone has an opinion about it defined by his feelings, experience, background. So as we're all so different, should a single person have so much say in what's best for Giveth? Isn't a majority not a better indication of what's best?

And if the majority wants direction A) and that does not conform the vision of one or more people, should the majority then go direction B? Or should these people adapt to A or in the worst case leave Giveth because visions don't match anymore?

I'd very much like to have an open discussion about if and how holocracy can help us have less and better meetings. And if not, perhaps move to a system that is better (I personally love the advise process and the ego-bell in 'reinventing organizations') Perhaps people with more experience can shed some light?

Or if you think this discussion is pointless and everything is all fine, I could definitely table this discussion! :-)


Kay Thu 7 Jun 2018 1:32PM

First - Thank you for this loomio proposal Satya! My view of handling these kinds of decisions are based on what works for us and what seems to work for others:

On the topics of 'majority vote' I will root for our ususal practice of striving for 'unanimity' or 'total consensus'.

Sometimes and the more polarising a decision is for the whole group, unanimity might be impossible. In that case it would be better to shoot for 'rough consensus' where a cornerstone (like in holacracy) is that the arguments of the minority are represented and weighed in.

As for the topic of less meetings - I think having a discussion in loomio first is helping to a great extent mitigate information deficiencies and reduces ad-hoc uninformed decisionmaking.

We are employing the advice process - I wanted to make that official at a past governance meeting, but if my memory serves me well we said then that an official rule was not needed. It might have been the fact that not many people had read the book at that point.
We never tried the ego bell - I'd be down!

Closing up I would love for this to be one of the outcomes of this loomio, to:

Officially adopt into our core governance: rough consensus as unanimity escape hatch, advice process, ego bell

IETF on rough consensus - https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7282
Reinventing Organizations on meetings (ego bell is mentioned) - http://www.reinventingorganizationswiki.com/Meetings
Reinventing Organizations on advice process - http://www.reinventingorganizationswiki.com/Decision_Making#The_advice_process


[deactivated account] Thu 7 Jun 2018 4:02PM

Point #1
I agree with Satya's point. One person should not be able to block a rough consensus decision. I vote to remove that as an option for future meetings.

I very much agree with point B:
"And if the majority wants direction A) and that does not conform the vision of one or more people, should the majority then go direction B? Or should these people adapt to A or in the worst case leave Giveth because visions don't match anymore?"

I would even go one step further and say, at some point we should start dealing with how to fairly evaluate people and creating a protocol for asking members to be removed from regular rewards if we feel it's in the best interest of Giveth . ( but this is another loomio)

Point #2
I don't believe we are employing the advice process, if you actually read how it works you will see quite soon that no one is seeking advice or approval from those that are effected. Until ppl start to practice it For Real we will see continual inconsistencies/frustrations.


Satya Thu 7 Jun 2018 6:59PM

#2 - I'm not 100% sure about that. It seems to depend if the proposer can make a decision with or without amending his proposal after the reaction round. If that's not possible at Giveth then I think yes, we don't use the advise process.

And I don't read a decision can be blocked in the advise process, because there's ultimately only 1 decision maker, the person making the proposal, and it all boils down to trust.


Pol Lanski Fri 8 Jun 2018 3:55AM

I think that in order to use the advice process everyone needs to have the power to actually spend Giveth's money after such advice process is followed. Until now, only the circle leads have access to their respective budgets/cash boxes. It is true that a workaround for this is 1) You follow the advice process through loomio to keep it transparent. 2) you contact the relevant circle lead to unlock the money for you. - But in order to enforce that there needs to be a clear process- see my note below.


Pol Lanski Fri 8 Jun 2018 4:02AM

Reinventing Organizations presents "Teal" organizations as companies with very little bureaucracy and overhead because everyone is empowered to take their own decisions through the Advice Process.
The reason why policies are not needed for every petty issue and flexibility and wholeness are promoted is precisely because the foundations of such Advice Process and conflict resolution mechanisms are written, detailed, and there is no ambiguity on whether they have been respected or not.
As an outcome for this proposal I would like to see a clear policy - a written statement of procedure for what does the Advice Process means for Giveth, who can veto decisions, what the rough consensus entitles and what happens if such process is not respected.
In case such outcome is decided I volunteer to draft the first policy and utilize the advice process to create a policy that everyone can agree with - roughly ;).


[deactivated account] Fri 8 Jun 2018 10:42AM

I agree 100% Pol, I think what you're asking for is exactly what will happen once we have the donate button on the DApp. Campaigns will be funded or not through the review process we have in place. Circle leads will no longer be the only persons accountable for dispersing or spending funds. Campaign reviewers will be able to accept funds or raise funds for their Milestones. (This is slated for the 1st of July) so hold tight.

Second point: I couldn't think of anyone better to handle this foundational policies, we are in desperate need of eliminating ambiguity.

I will gladly review or add my thoughts if you contact me with a draft on Riot. Thank you for continually making impactful contributions to Giveth :hugging: you ROCK


Kay Fri 8 Jun 2018 11:23AM

I agree with Lanski's poposition to draft policies. Ill gadly help and share my notes. This should go on the Wiki - want to have a place there for policies.


Griff Green Sat 9 Jun 2018 9:23PM

Yeah here is the wiki link for the relevant policy: https://wiki.giveth.io/protocol/governance-meetings/

-----start excerpt-----
Objection Round
One at a time, the Facilitator asks each participant if they see "any reason why adopting this proposal would cause harm or move Giveth backwards." The proposer also gets the opportunity to raise an objection. Objections are stated, tested, & captured without discussion. One person may have several objections, and everyone's objections must be captured before we move to the next step.

If there is no objection, the proposal is adopted, and we move to the next agenda item.

The Facilitator will need to test the objection occasionally to determine if the objection is valid or to help the objector clarify the objection. To test there are 3 questions to ask:

How do you believe adopting this proposal would cause harm or move Giveth backwards?

Does this objection still exist if this proposal wasn't implemented?

Is the proposal safe enough to try, knowing we can readdress this later if problems arise?
------end excerpt-----

It is not that everyone has to be happy... not at all!

I may have done a poor job in facilitating this impromptu round... well i guess i wasn't facilitating... but either way the objection needed to be challenged.

I do think that allowing anyone to say: This is not safe enough to try, and to be heard out is VERY IMPORTANT. Usually this allows an easy fix to be integrated to alleviate that issue. The majority can be wrong and allowing one person the space to be a hero to save the organization from a catastrophic decision is an invaluable thing. It is a function that is rarely used any way (maybe ~5% of proposals have objections?).

The important part is that person can be challenged and has to back it up, if this is seen as inadequate then the proposal is safe enough to try. One person CAN NOT just blankety stop any decision in the governance process.


Pol Lanski Sun 17 Jun 2018 11:12AM

I have made a draft for an advice process policy. It has many holes on the actual practice of it, so I'd like your comments and inputs! I would like to know your thoughts on this so PLEASE take a moment to READ and COMMENT :) :)


Pol Lanski Tue 19 Jun 2018 2:24AM

Thansk so much for your comments! I will start a new Loomio to put everything together - meanwhile:

I see this as a part of a policy architecture / holacratic constitution of very few documents that state very clear principles to facilitate self-management without adding unnecessary bureaucracy.
These documents would be:

1- Advice Process (this one)
2- Purpose document: To refer to before starting any discussion: are we following our purpose? This can be as broad or as narrow as we want, but there’s a benefit on narrowing down.
3- Dispute resolution process: to have a process to resolve issues like “has the advice process been respected?” or any dispute between Unicorns. We all want to do what’s best but sometimes we need a process to force us to solve it in a specific way, a process that puts ego aside and looks for the best in us. Hence the purpose is not to punish, but to solve disputes.
4- Roles document: A good idea by Satya - once you define one’s scope, it’s easier and clearer who can start what. Obviously there’s freedom on these roles and they can be delegated to make them flexible and quick of reaction (by that I mean we shouldn’t have to wait till the next roles meeting for someone to start working on sth if this sth is time-bound).
5- Finally, in order to put all of this in order: an onboarding/training document to train everyone on the process of things? Meaning, self-management is not self-evident and we all need upskilling on this :). That or we make mandatory the reading of reinventing organizations :P.


Satya Sat 23 Jun 2018 8:28AM

I'm reading the Holacracy book and yesterday I hit the chapter about rejections and integrations.

Turns out that one can only have a valid rejection within the context of his own role, and there's a whole process for judging validity of rejections that we don't follow at Giveth. "Safe enough to try" is a too shallow representation of this process.

I'm tabling this discussion until the Holacracy meeting in Swiss.