Governance of Meetings
If you are looking for more notes on past Giveth DAC/Community Meetings, you can find this here
A rather practical and short guide about recording a meeting can be found here
For our Giveth DAC Meeting specifically we follow many of the holacratic principles, this meeting is structured following the example of holocracy governance meetings:
- A meeting Facilitator and a Secretary are determined before the meeting begins, the facilitator moderates the discussion and the Secretary takes notes.
- Everyone checks-in by voicing their intention for the meeting and revealing momentary personal distractions.
- A meeting agenda is created. Agenda items are come from Loomio threads.
- The meeting facilitator goes over the agenda and for every item:
- The Proposer describes the tension and in one sentence makes a proposal. The proposal should in general be creation of a circle, role or policy.
- All the meetings participants may ask clarifying questions about the tension or proposal.
- The topic proposer repeats the proposal if there were any questions.
- All meeting participants in turn express their reactions.
- After the reaction round, the topic proposer can amend their proposal.
- Any meeting participant can object to the proposal.
- The topic proposer can amend their proposal and if there are no more objections the topic passes.
- The Secretary summarizes the meeting.
- Everyone in turn checks out by expressing their opinion on the meeting.
The purpose of a governance meeting is to:
Create, remove, or modify the Roles of the Circle
Create, remove, or modify the Policies of the Circle
Elect people to the core roles of the Circle
There are Specific Roles to be filled… In general we use roles to avoid things getting personal. For instance it is not that the Griff is interrupting Jordi, it's that the Facilitator is making sure the Smart Contract Reporter respects the meeting's process.
The Facilitator needs to stay curious and calm. They make sure the meeting process is RESPECTED at all costs, like a referee. If anyone is disrespecting the meeting process, they are disrespecting every other attendee of the meeting and it should not be tolerated. The Facilitator is encouraged to interrupt when people are getting off topic and is discouraged from making extra commentary or from coaching. It is very important that the Facilitator stay neutral.
The Facilitator holds the space so that people can process their tension on their own and react as they need to express themselves freely in a safe, controlled environment.
RIGIDLY hold the process and keep it sacred! Be the most stubborn person in the room! Ruthlessly crush out of process interactions! INTERRUPT! This might start out awkward slow and clunky… like the first time you do Yoga… but it will get better. When everyone is on board, the meetings can go quickly and efficiently. We want fast meetings, not slow ones, but you must let people have their space during the reaction round and it is important to address every person every time.
The Secretary needs to stay curious and calm. The Facilitator can be the Secretary as well for smaller meetings but in general it is best if they are 2 different people. The secretary takes notes the best they can, this often will help us create a blog post out of our weekly meeting.
The most important task is to record the agenda items. Everything else recorded after that is bonus :-D, but the Secretary has the responsibility to be the go to person when there is a conflict in interpreting the results of the meeting
The Proposer needs to stay curious and calm. They are the person who put a tension on the agenda. It is their responsibility to propose a solution to the tension and it is their responsibility to make sure that their solution will likely alleviate their tension. It is NOT their responsibility to solve other people's problems. One tension at a time. Don't feel pressured to solve other people's problems with your solution. Everyone is an adult and we need everyone to take care of themselves. That starts with you taking care of your responsibilities. You do not have to take any of the feedback you received.
The Reactors are everyone who is not the Proposer during the decision making process. They are encouraged to freely react however they want during the reaction round.
The Objector needs to stay curious and calm. They are anyone that believes the proposed solution to the Proposer's tension would cause harm or move Giveth backwards. If they just have a worry about the proposal or think something should be added to the proposal but don't think it the proposal would concretely cause harm or move giveth backwards, than it is not a valid objection and it should be ruled as an invalid objection by the facilitator.
A Facilitator and a Secretary for the meeting should have been chosen ahead of time and once everyone is at the meeting the meeting can begin. The last person to arrive is to be publicly shamed if they are late ;-)
1. Check in
Everyone calls out what is distracting them, and states a 20 second or less intention for the meeting. One person speaks at a time, NO discussion.
2. Facilitator States Meeting Logistics
A simple space to triage any administrative and logistical issues to take into account for the meeting. E.g., We have 2 hours for the meeting; Jen needs to leave early; this meeting is being live streamed and has 25 viewers so far; we'll be bringing lunch at 1pm; etc.
3. Building the Agenda
The goal is to build an agenda of tensions to process. Each agenda item is limited to 3 words MAX. There is no specific order and anyone can add items to the agenda. The Secretary captures the agenda items for everyone. The facilitator will determine the order these agenda items are processed.
4. Process each agenda item with the Integrative Decision Making process
The Facilitator encourages everyone to take notes and determines the order these agenda items are processed on the fly.
The proposer describes a tension and makes a proposal to resolve it. Only the proposer speaks.
Anyone can ask questions to better understand the proposal. The proposer then has a chance to respond. This is not a space for back and forth discussion; rather, the pace is one answer for one question; pause; then next question.
It's NOT allowed to use clarifying questions to give an opinion about the proposal. Opinions, suggestions, reactions, all should be left for the Reaction round coming next. The Facilitator will cut off any question that's conveying an opinion or isn't intended at better understanding the proposal. There is no hard line between clarifying question and reaction, and it's at the Facilitator's discretion to discern between the two.
One at a time, each person reacts to the proposal as they see fit. No response or interruption is allowed during someone's reaction. Any type of reaction is welcome, from intellectual critiques to emotional outbursts. The only caveat is that reactions should not be engaging someone in particular. Everyone reacts except the proposer.
Reactions are the only step of the governance meeting when people can speak freely. It's a perfect phase for providing different perspectives and suggesting improvements to the proposal, so that the proposer can integrate those changes if he or she likes them.
This is the dangerous part of this meeting if people want to keep talking and talking… that is ok, and HAS to be allowed. This could make these meetings long.
Amend & Clarify
After all reactions are complete, the proposer can optionally clarify the intent of the proposal, or amend it based on the reactions. Only the proposer speaks; no discussion allowed.
Although the proposer can modify the proposal however they want, the goal is for the proposer to amend their proposal if they found a better way to address their tension. It's not his job to address all the concerns and reactions he heard during the reaction round, or even to make improvements that were suggested by other participants.
Watch out for proposal creep.
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?
If one or several Objections were raised, the Facilitator moves to the Integration step. The goal is to amend the proposal so that it would not cause the Objection, and would still address the proposer's original tension. Objections are integrated one at a time. For each objection, the Facilitator facilitates a discussion to help integrate the objection. Mostly the objector and the proposer speak, but others can help as well. The discussion stops as soon as the objector and the proposer have both agreed that an amended proposal would not cause an objection while still addressing the proposer's tension. This is not a place to debate the value of the proposal or the objection! We need to focus on finding an acceptable amendment to the proposal that both the objector and proposer agree on. MOVE FORWARD ASAP!
Once all objections are integrated, go back to an Objection round to ensure there is no new objection.
Each person can share a closing reflection on this meeting. No discussion.