[hackerspaces] Dealing with micromanagement of hackers

Bob Bownes bownes at gmail.com
Thu Feb 27 06:26:36 CET 2014

It is a desire for control more than anything else. Roberts Rules (you do follow RR, correct?) has a number of ways to shut this down. Ask him if he is making a motion, if so, call for a vote on the motion and kill it right there. Do that a few times and he will get the point. Or, limit all discussions to 5 minutes,  when he proposes a committee to 'study' something, have the president thank him for the input, continue the discussion, and call for a vote.  

> On Feb 26, 2014, at 23:53, Torrie Fischer <tdfischer at hackerbots.net> wrote:
>> On Wednesday, February 26, 2014 13:08:08 Bert Hartmann wrote:
>> 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.
> The budget isn't part of the issue. The issue is that the member is wanting to 
> continuously form committees to evaluate every significant piece of our 
> infrastructure budget. An overall budget committee is good, but not a budget 
> committee, external hosted infrastructure committee, IT committee, floorplan 
> committee, kitchen building committee, business development committee, 
> outreach committee, and most other ideas.
> We've got 20 members. Its a bit overkill and micromanagement.
>> 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,
>> Bert
>> 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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