Values/2016 discussion/Transcripts/G

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1 == preliminaries ==
2 4: Transparency about openness, inclusion
3 1: Transparency can have different meanings / levels. Not just fishbowl, but also good information that is timely and honest
4 3: important to decision making and allowing others to see how they were arrived at and participate in the process effectively
5 == list of values you prepared ==
6 === 2 ===
7 2a: Openness/Supportive: listening to others, taking into account other ideas, being transparent, freely willing to share with colleagues, and the world
8 Also overlaps with mentorship, support, cooperation from other participants.
9 Taking Wikipedia’s values and reflecting them inwards. Overlaps with transparency too. Willing to share processes, tools, data, ideas, and the ethos we circulate in
10 2b: Curiosity: a desire to learn and grow, interest in the world, open to other ideas and changes. (This echoes what 1. Is writing about openness too. :))
11 People who work at our org have a natural inclination to learn, and not be satisfied with the status quo. Openness to new ideas. Explore, make sense of the world around us.
12 2c: Community: part of a larger group or ecosystem, sharing beyond the foundation, working with not for.
13 We’re not an island. Part of an ecosystem that cares about protecting an open Internet. We work with others to figure out what this free knowledge system looks like. Wikipedia is kind of like a big neighborhood.
14 Digging into the why:
15 === 5 ===
16 5a. Humanity/Humanitarian: I came to work for the foundation because we work to support people who want to help others. I believe to some extent we all share information in order to improve people's lives, given them access to information they need to be able to add that information to enrich and impact their everyday life.
17 Personal story about caring about people. [personal details not recorded] Times when I didn’t have access to information and I really wished that I had; then tried to help others who didn’t have access to information. I want to share back and help others.
18 5b. Mentorship/Supportive/Caring: I came to this organization because of the work it does to support others who are trying to help the movement reach the sum of all human knowledge. To help others share information they have with the world. I find that mentorship and support is something we do on a daily basis (supporting the staff, communities, etc.) and we do it because we care about other people.
19 I want to see other succeed. Want to support people who have less resources in some areas.
20 Talk to the quietest person in the room and ask them “how can I help you”.
21 Having someone to help you / mentor you is important. Feel that I’m not the only one of X here.
22 5c. Equality/Balance/Fairness/Equal opportunity: We are here to share in the sum of all human knowledge. We say this because we believe that every person in the world is valuable and has something valuable to share to the world, no matter their background, experience, family, creed, etc. And we are doing what we can to bring in other people's voices, to bring balance in our work so it is accessible to everyone.
23 It’s one thing to strive for equality, but it’s another thing to actively go our of our way to reach out to someone, to invite them to come and talk to you
24 E.g. Global reach team; working with people who are brand new to Wikipedia.
25 1: I’ve always been wary of the word “to help”. You phrased this very nicely when you explained you trained people to become trainers and give them your skills. It’s not just about helping others, but also putting yourself on the same footing. Also related to 4’s value of relationship / connectedness. Mentorship is a really hard concept to display and explain without coming out as patronizing, which has been the bane of our movement. People who have been with the movement / WMF for a long time … there’s a history that we should never forget. Also relates to the humility part of 3’s value of non-hegemony. Competition is good for what we do.
26 5: I also had humility on my list of potential values.
27 === 1 ===
28 1. Cooperation: we make sure that we work *with* people. We grow with them, we fail with them. We join strengths and overcome weaknesses together.
29 Core of what we’re doing; doing things together; trying to build an encyclopedia, or empower people who do this. Working with people, use that synergy of being together
30 1. Openness: open arms, open to change, to new ideas and point of views, open to diversity, open to different views. We welcome all that comes our way.
31 In the org, welcoming everything and everyone that comes our way. Open to change, new ideas, POVs, diversity. Openness is about welcoming; something that makes it so that when people look at us, they want to come towards us, because we’re inviting the conversation and the work together
32 1. Loyalty: We are loyal to the people we cooperate with, and we provide them reasons to be loyal to us. We are faithful to commitments we make and the obligations we have (source: ;)). We are loyal to the people we serve. We try our best not to let them down, and if we do let them down, we try to make up for it.
33 We’ve forgotten to build this into our system from the beginning. One thing really missing… we’ve tried to separate things for legal reasons, making sure that we’re “independent” as orgs / affiliates. We need to make sure that we’re loyal to affiliates, to our readers, to everyone we work with and for. And encourage the same loyalty in return. And loyalty to our mission and vision
34 F: Where does trust fit in this value of loyalty?
35 1: it’s probably its basis, its foundation, but it goes further than just trust. We owe someone something, not in a bad way, but “I exist / I can thrive because you’re here”, and it goes both ways. I want to go further with you. It’s about realizing that we’re all connected, this is a big network. Pulling in one direction disturbs (or moves) everything. If someone is taking the lead, we might want to follow them because we trust them. Affiliates have been pushed to be as independent from the WMF as possible, and therefore don’t feel they owe the WMF.  And we don’t feel we owe affiliates either, because we’re not sure what they bring us. Missing the idea that without each other, we wouldn’t be there.
36 3: Loyalty is important, but taken to the extreme it can also have negative consequences. E.g. citizenship leads to nationalism. What can loyalty be balanced with?
37 4: Independence?
38 F: link between loyalty and diversity?
39 1: Not sure they tie together. A clear vision shows where loyalty stops.
40 Humility: remember where we come from; we might have a good answer, but it might not be the right answer tomorrow. Even if we decide not to go with someone’s idea right now, value it regardless and keep it in mind for later because it may become applicable or the right thing to do. Respect them.
41 3: free knowledge is contested terrain. free knowledge is very conflict-ridden and conflicts are inevitable. It’s hard to have conflict; how does the org handle / approach / resolve conflict? It’s a difficult space to navigate. We need to be aware, and not to have undue expectations.
42 F: Challenges and conflicts between the individual and the collective. … What are the values that help us deal with conflict?
43 === 3 ===
44 3: approaching this from the POV of “how can we get there”, i.e. approaches that allow for example diversity to emerge naturally: “ I believe diversity will be an emergent property of these values rather than pursue diversity for its own sake which risks being delegated to tokenism, filling checkboxes, or becoming a buzzword.”
45 Openness ( Genuinely open to hearing / listening / learning from multiple perspectives, positions. Free knowledge and sharing of it widely is hard to accomplish without that receptive state of being open and not prematurely closing down.)
46 Independence ( Not be beholden to any prominent systemic actor - social, cultural, political, state, or any other - so that minority / non-conformant / uncomfortable voices and perspectives are not suppressed. Funding is usually one of the ways dependence and outsized influence manifests, and so our current fundraising approach fosters this value)
47 Non-Hegemony (WMF should not strive to dominate the free knowledge / knowledge sharing space. Instead, it should strive to create and nurture the ecosystem that lets multiple different actors thrive and prosper. I don’t believe any single organization can truly capture the diversity of what exists in the world today.) …
48 Contrast this with Google or Facebook.
49 1: What would be the word for this that isn’t “non-X”?
50 F: One word that has come up is plurality, pluralism
51 3: sometimes it’s easier to define what you don’t want rather than what you want
52 1: We have indeed ruled out the competition. We didn’t intend to, but it happened. How about rephrasing this in “we’re fostering a thriving environment for knowledge, free knowledge”?
53 3: … some focus on oral traditions. And English is very dominant. Grantmaking, chapter model are ways of fostering this value, but I agree it’s still limited.
54 3: Maybe “fostering an ecosystem” … not sure what that exactly means, but it is a cute phrase :)
55 === 4 ===
56 4. Enthusiasm: I like to approach my work with enthusiasm, and passion. You want to feel like you’re doing something meaningful. Serious work but an environment that fosters optimism. Passion and zest for all we do - whether the tasks or deliverables are big or small that contributes to our greater mission. Our work is interesting fun and meaningful
57 4. Flexibility: the realization that we’re in this world today, with intrinsic and extrinsic demands and to have a culture that supports this flexibility that equates to work life balance and thus greater productivity through adaptability.
58 4. Relationships: Knowing the people I work with is essential to maximize my effectiveness here both personally and professionally. I not only need to have relationships on a personal level - but so to know who is an expert in what for those times I need guidance on how to proceed from a strategic perspective. We need to have strong ties with each other. I need responsiveness, collaboration at work. The likelihood that you can achieve what you need to do. Openness, relationship, a clear understanding of what everyone does. What I need to accomplish; crucial to achieving my goals. Knowing who can help you, who I can help, to do our best work and collaborate. Develop personal relationships with people as a result of work activity. This ties into responsiveness. In order to accomplish what each dept/org needs to accomplish, responsiveness is not only considerate but crucial to reaching our goals. So, we need to be clear what we need when from each other and follow up - ties in w/a supportive environment where we all need each to do our best work collaboratively.
59 4: I keep hearing this theme of connecting. Maybe “connectedness” is more accurate than “relationships”. I love attending the Metrics meeting and learning about new things.
60 Dependence and independence, and flexibility. Relationships are that way. We’re dependent on one another, but we’re also independent. We inspire each other.
61 F: Does collaboration go to a deeper level for this?
62 4: The stronger our relationships with each other, the better we collaborate, and the deeper the relationships. Liking each other is a bonus. (?)
63 4: Flexibility is more of a benefit. I truly value enthusiasm; even enthusiasm about something that’s making you angry. Intensity that drives the work.
64 F: How does flexibility tie in as a value for the org, the mission, the vision?
65 4: Because we’re global. Flexible in how we communicate with each other (e.g. timezones, hangouts). It’s about getting your work done in a manner that works for you. A rigid environment may lead to an exodus.
66 Learning is fluid and organic, so we need to be flexible. Rigidity is not a good trait for an organization or a person.
67 5: Connection between 4’s value of relationship, being able to rely on each other, help each other
68 4: Yas, as relationships strengthen. At first you’re not sure you can rely on / trust someone else.
69 5: You can have a relationship because you need something out of that person, or because you want to help. There are different types of relationships.
70 volunteered
71 Flexibility, trust, communication
72 A healthy org. Has a good and healthy ecosystem (which is likely composed of these values we’ve mentioned) which makes it easy for people to come in and also makes it easy for remaining people when folks leave an organization. It’s healthy for people to leave, and healthy for people to come into an organization — and I don’t want us to conflate loyalty with needing to stay forever, because that’s not something we should want or expect from our employees.
73 1. (to F) Do the same values come up and come up again?
74 F: Positivity, enthusiasm, having fun has come up. Collaboration/cooperation has come up.
75 So there is some emerging values that cross a number of the conversations.
76 F: Values that help deal with conflict?
77 2: If somebody is having a bad day: there might be something else in their life that is a problem. Not take it personally. So try to think the best in others/forgiveness is good. So: “they’re coming with the best intentions”.
78 3: Openness and respect both help deal with conflict especially when you are encountering a new way of perspective which you might never have encountered before … so being able to suspend judgement is important. Try to see things from the other person’s perspective
79 5: Listen to learn, not listen to respond/contradict.