How Best to Use Modern Technologies

Marc Rosenblum via pbs
Sat, 18 Feb 2023 00:00:42 PST
On 2/17/2023 11:32 PM, Mike via pbs wrote:
> Bob,
> You are 100 percent correct what a sad distraction this sideshow has been.
> I’m also happy to see what a class act Vlad is.  Even in his acceptance of
> the apology offered by Robin.  I agree with him, where is her real sense of
> remorse? I will go further why have neither she or the person she was
> emailing sent him personal apologies? Are we ok with that? I’m personally
> struck by the insensitive nature.  I spent the week reviewing documents on
> “best practices board members for small non profits”  I suggest any with an
> interest google this or “governance for small non profits. “
> Vlad this week has shown immense restraint and bravery through his
> thoughtful comments. A capacity to not only forgive but find value.  Tells
> me more about his qualifications to be VP than a resume.
> I know we seem to have a crisis called lack of volunteerism.  Intimating
> that the membership is disinterested in volunteering.
> I learned this week that the amount of volunteerism is seen as the canary
> in the coal mine of good governance. If members trust and are generally
> satisfied they volunteer.   So the lack of volunteerism should be an
> opportunity for the board to reflect on its activities and policies.   It
> seems to me that the level of volunteerism was dealt a mortal blow not so
> much by the painfully inappropriate email, but what happened after.   Robin
> does not apologize at all until prompted by Arnold. Then she asks for our
> foregiveness and understanding, a teaching moment if you will.  I step
> back further. Vlad who just months ago wrote a great article for her on
> Hipps to fill the bulb garden, now answers another call of hers for a VP. I
> see a dedicated volunteer who wants to further serve the group?  Instead he
> is tripped up in private never to be given the chance to learn, grow and
> change?
> I find that ironic at best.
> One of the most important characteristic valued in a chair or president is
> empathy, that ability to understand. Also a nurturing welcoming demeanor.
> Who creates an environment where  fair play and equality are important.
> What is the common thread ? it’s called a closed board of directors.   It’s
> typically initiated by young organizations who need to establish best
> practices and gives them protection.  A safe haven to govern.    Many times
> its just left in place because.,
> What are examples we could develop in our board?
> A board that serves at the pleasure of the membership. Who understands
> implicitly it’s a privilege to serve on the board. It’s not a right.
> A board that values diversity of thought and idea.  Achieved with diverse
> representation.
> A well established succession plan where several younger members of the
> group are groomed over time to participate in governance.
> A nominating committee who takes direction from the membership not the
> board.,
> Term limits spelled out in advance.
> Roles of all board members in writing.
> A process to remove poorly performing board members.
> A code of conduct signed by all board members
> There are many more..
> I apologize if some find my tone not to their liking. I do not mean to
> offend anyone.  Our group will never be perfect and people make mistakes
> all the time I’m guilty of all the above.
> However being on a board wether elected or appointed you work for the
> membership what we witnessed last week was a board member who laid low,
> offered half an apology.  Still has not apologized to the one she spoke
> poorly too.   I have personally been accused of taking an extreme stance?
> My responce what if you were on the receiving end of that conversation.
> In my research on closed boards and the fallout.., other board members
> fearing reprisals, don’t act.  these are the product of the  closed board
> system.
> I’m reminded of the saying by Lord Acton:
> Nothing corrupts absolutely like absolute power
> The current board is aware of the shortcomings of the current system but
> typically quips it protects the board from a take over by forces
> unfriendly?
> Folks we can offer that protection so many other safer ways.,
> Will this be the board to do the right thing and create the opportunity to
> build the system of checks and balances we don’t have ?
> It’s scary to look inward and admit there is a better way.  I know each
> member has that capacity.
> I don’t blame anyone for calling me out or saying I’m stirring the pot.  I
> only ask you to go down the governance rabbit hole for small non profits to
> realize it’s time for fairness acccountability and checks and balances.  We
> can be that group.,
> I feel the current board every member is capable of change.  They are the
> group that can make the difference. I hope they accept the opportunity.
> The first step is just knowing we all can do better.
> Respectfully
> Mike Lowitz
> San Diego
> On Wed, Feb 15, 2023 at 9:50 PM Robert Lauf via pbs <
>> wrote:
>> All,
>> We seem to have fallen down a rabbit hole with all this back and forth on
>> list vs forum, and perhaps the Mother Ship prefers this sideshow to
>> distract everyone from the original discussion triggered by the outrageous
>> email snafu and the underlying attitudes that it exposed.  But to get back
>> a bit to the general topic of whether PBS has some strategy and what it
>> might be, has the organization really thought about the big picture: why
>> are we gathered here in the first place, and what are we doing (or what
>> should we be doing) to further that mission?
>> Facebook and Instagram are great tools for 14-year-olds to tell one
>> another what they had for lunch today; they are inherently ephemeral and
>> very content-light.  The real value of the PBS community, in my view, is
>> the sheer weight of expertise that many of our members have to offer to
>> relative rookies like me.  Maybe we should be thinking of how best to
>> harness that expertise to help interested members, rather than trying to
>> appeal to 14-year-old nonmembers and their phones.
>> Not too long ago, one member offered to take others on a wildflower
>> expedition in CA.  To me, this represents the absolute best of what PBS can
>> and should be about.  So is there a way for us to harness technology to
>> make more things like this available to our members?  A fellow
>> member/enthusiast suggested that PBS could host Zoom meetings, which might
>> be informal lectures, tours of member gardens or greenhouses, or wildflower
>> walks.  (Wouldn't it be great to have Uli walk us through his gardens and
>> the surrounding countryside, for all who cannot practically biff off to
>> Portugal for the weekend!)  This proposal struck me as a wonderful idea,
>> which PBS could implement and moderate at practically no cost in money or
>> manpower.  But, alas, it was given the brush-off for reasons known only to
>> our totally unaccountable "leadership" team. Perhaps they can explain to us
>> why they blew off that brilliant suggestion?
>> What is our tagline?  "PBS - where good ideas go to die"?
>> Bob  Zone 7
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Well said, indeed!

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