[hackerspaces] Dealing with micromanagement of hackers

Bert Hartmann berthartm at gmail.com
Wed Feb 26 19:08:08 CET 2014

Hey Torrie,

I don't know anything about your space, so this is all pure speculation on
my part, but if you don't have enough consensus to pass a budget, perhaps
you do need to open up the discussion to more people until they're
comfortable with the result? If you do have consensus, then it shouldn't be
an issue, and just approve the budget and move forward.

I know in New Jersey the law requires our non-profit to have an annual
meeting with all the members about this time of year, where we
traditionally pass a budget for the year, among other things. Perhaps a
similar type of meeting for your group is healthy, so that no matter what
process develops the budget (1 man and a spreadsheet or 20 people in 20
meetings) there's a hard and fast deadline everyone's working towards so it
doesn't get out of control and you end up with a workable result to present
the rest of the group (who will presumably keep on hacking despite it).

Incidentally, to answer your last question: I've seen the role of the board
as handling all the bureaucratic stuff (rent, government filings, cleaning
the bathroom, budget negotiations) so that the hacking may go on unimpeded
for everyone else. Some of it's unavoidable, the trick is just to minimize
the impact to the organization at large and the members in specific.

my 2 cents,

On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 11:08 AM, Torrie Fischer
<tdfischer at hackerbots.net>wrote:

> Hi, discuss@!
> Lately at my hackerspace, we've had a member who is very interested in
> micromanaging the space. I'm currently both treasurer and AWS sysadmin for
> synhak.org, where I proposed a budget to use some grant money we received
> to
> secure 3 year funding of our infrastructure.
> Time and time again, this member in question wants to form a committee or
> some
> equally stifling bureaucratic structure to analyze any change to the space
> under the guise of "investigating all the options".
> Micromanagement like this is totally against our culture, but it seems that
> there are one or two others who go along with it because it "makes sense".
> Whats the best way to kill bureaucratic micromanagement and protect the
> hacker
> ethos at a space?
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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