[TheThinkTank] Policy or Process for Removing Collective Members

veganboyjosh at gmail.com veganboyjosh at gmail.com
Sat Mar 21 08:58:04 PDT 2009


i believe our bylaws state that board members can be removed by
super-majority vote of the board (2/3, if memory serves) or if a board
member misses enough board meetings.

that said, someone taught me long ago that when dealing with or reprimanding
people's behavior in a workplace--and our organizations are workplaces, even
though a lot of us don't get paid--when discussing inadequate performance,
or unacceptable behavior, it's important to make the issue the behavior,
lack of performance, etc, and not the person. it's not the person you have a
problem with, it's their lack of positive energy, or presence of negative
energy.
this way, (so long as the offense wasn't one which banishment is the final
solution) at least there's a chance that the person will change and remain a
volunteer/collective member.



On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 7:47 AM, Sam Santos <lalato at gmail.com> wrote:

> One thing we do is we post all of the things we need volunteers for on our
> wiki.  We then advertise that via an e-mail list (kinda like this ThinkThank
> list) to our membership.  We make sure that it's understood that no job is
> just for one person.  Anyone can do any job, and, in fact, the more people
> that help out (even on the simplest tasks) the better.  This promotes a
> volunteer culture and it helps build connections between members.
>
> We don't take those volunteer duties off the wiki list.  We do put the list
> of names of folks that have volunteered to do it there.  If someone slacks
> off, we will try to hold them accountable by pointing out that they
> committed to it.  If the person (or persons) continue to slack off, we
> remove their name from that task on the wiki.  And then we advertise again
> that we need volunteers for that task.
>
> It doesn't have to involve a lot of drama.  It's just a list of tasks that
> need to get done.  If someone gets hurt feelings because they're slacking
> off.  That's a personal issue outside of the volunteer tasks.  I hate to say
> it, but there isn't always a way to give people this kind of information in
> a way that won't make them upset.
>
> That doesn't mean the person gets kicked out of the collective.  It just
> means that they aren't assigned that task anymore.
>
> If you need a more formal process... you could always bring task
> reassignments to a vote at your regular meetings.  Might make for a much
> longer meeting, but it would give your group a chance to air things out in a
> more public forum.  The trick there is to not let things go crazy about
> something that might only be a minor grievance.
>
> Another way to do it is how I've done it at another organization (community
> radio station) where I volunteer.  I'm currently sort of a co-chair of the
> rock/pop genre (basically every flavor of rock from bonnie prince billy to
> bon jovi).  I've only ever been to one meeting, but my co-chair goes to
> most of the meetings.  I do some of the work (cateloging music, making sure
> all the new stuff is available to DJs, and my co-chair does some of the
> other stuff).
>
> Honestly, the station would be better served with one person that could
> handle everything and go to all the meetings.  But, we're making it work as
> best we can with our available volunteer time.  Maybe that's a model you
> guys can shoot for.  Maybe instead of trying to replace the slackers...
> just add people that will help with the tasks.  If the slackers can do a
> small part, the other helpers can handle the rest.  Between the group,
> you'll get the task completed.
>
> One downside I've noticed to this approach is that if I can't volunteer one
> week...  all of the things I normally will definitely not get done.  It's
> not like my co-volunteer is picking up the slack (pardon the pun).  ;-)
>
> --sam
>
>
> On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:12 AM, Macho Philipovich <macho at resist.ca>wrote:
>
>>
>> maybe i'm misunderstanding the situation, but if people aren't following
>> through on the tasks they commit to, couldn't they just be approached to see
>> why, and to see if something could be arranged that works better for them?
>>  you could also let them know in as non-guilt-tripping a way as possible
>> that the collective is really counting on them, and that if they're too busy
>> or just feel like shirking it would really benefit the shop for them to let
>> someone else step in who's able to commit.
>>
>> the only rule we have that gets you an immediate boot at our shop is
>> physically violent behaviour.  even for stuff like fucked up
>> racist/classist/sexist shit, we try our best to work it out by
>> communicating, so i'm not sure i see the need for booting someone just for
>> being a flake.
>>
>> macho
>>
>>
>>
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