[openskills-dev] OpenSkills Governance

Stephan Vissers vissers_itm at yahoo.com.au
Thu Aug 3 01:29:06 BST 2006

Hi Doug
 I agree with you. Maybe if we need a committee it is  the Party Committee; smt for you? (for myself it sounds pretty good).  Just kidding but all discussions about the 'organisational' part I  reckon it is not worth spending too much time on. I would like to  explain to you where I would like to spend my - partly free - time on  re Openskills and what motivates me (and maybe others) as Openskills  subscriber.
  Getting interesting contacts is for me a key element of Openskills. So  far that works all fine for me but I would love to see if we could get  more guests, users and  members and it becomes even more  international. For me it doesn't matter how I can get some good  contacts - work related or special interest related contacts -   thru openskills or otherwise. An example of a good new contact I have  got just recently: In my job in Darwin I was looking for database  experts with lots of billing experience. Typical a hard skills search,  so I used Openskills and found two good blokes. Althought they were not  available or not prepared to work in Darwin I still have as a result  these good contacts and that could always be handy in future. I got the  DB person in the end, working mainly in Melbourne, thru a friend of a  friend. 
  Furthermore expectations about the growth of  Openskills should not be sky high. It is al fine to me if Openskills  keeps a relative small club with hundreds of people. Better having a  small club with people you like to drink a beer with (I guess you do as  well). Of course a bit more members should be better for better  infrastructure and availability and be able to pay for this. I haven't  studied entrepreneurship and I am not a Marketing man, the only thing I  can advise is to be a flexible organisation with the posibility to  promote  some good stuff, based on skills of members, like this  last screencasting stuff, and keep on developing.
  I wonder what the expectations are of the founders of Openskills?? 

  Note: by the way, I don't no why but don't like the 'Governance'  terminology, why don't we talk about 'doing things' and 'thinking what  to do'? 
  Cheers, Stephan 
Douglas Camp <dcamp at acm.org> wrote:  
I studied entrepreneurship (hard to believe that's a legitimate field of
study, eh? ;-) in business school -- in examining how companies got
started, one lesson that hit home for me was the danger of
'over-engineering', if you will, the startup infrastructure --
entrepreneurs will sometimes focus very hard on getting all the pieces
in place (accounting systems, marketing systems, personnel systems, etc
ad nauseam) -- believing that by doing so they could ensure the success
of their startup -- however, what sometimes happens is that they become
focused on and mired in this process, become much less nimble, much less
able to adapt/respond to changing market conditions, or even a different
understanding of their own basic business.

A good example (close to my heart :-) dealt with the startup of a
brewing company (Sam Adams, I think) -- the founder was working very
hard to setup all the systems he thought he'd need to get it up and
running, and floundering. Luckily, he got some good advice: Forget all
that, and go sell beer -- which he did. Lucky for me since I like the
beer :>

All that said -- and I'm not at all sure how applicable business lessons
are to an entity like OpenSkills -- I think it's important, early, to
stay flexible, ready to adapt and change as soon as problems arise --
and that's tough (impossible?) to do with a committee, however
well-intentioned, overseeing every step.

Wonder if I've just talked myself out of a committee job? ;-)


On Tue, 01 Aug 2006 18:11:35 +1000, "Bruce Badger"
> On Tue, 2006-08-01 at 17:21 +1000, Robert Collins wrote:
> > On Tue, 2006-08-01 at 17:01 +1000, Bruce Badger wrote:
> > > 
> > > I think OpenSkills is heading in the right direction, just too slowly.
> > > The elected committee structure has many things going for it when
> > > managing a stable state, but my feeling is that it's really just
> > > slowed
> > > things down for a young OpenSkills and we need a different model until
> > > we get established.
> > 
> > Do you have a specific model in mind?
> I don't yet.  I'm looking for suggestions.
> -- 
> Make the most of your skills - with OpenSkills
> http://www.openskills.org/

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