MF/PL Leadership Committee Decision-Making Process

(note: this is a work in progress)

What decisions are made at MF/PL?

Categories of decisions

What are some broad categories of decisions that are made? Examples could include fiscal, technical, political, personnel-related...

  • JM: Direction: Over all direction and areas of focus of the organization (e.g. Hemispheric Innitiative, etc)
  • JM: Infrastructure: what areas to focus on, what technologies to use, what and when to buy new equipment
  • JM: Collaboration: within the given political direction, what coalitions to join, what conferences to attend, what to present, etc.
  • JM: Message/Communication: how and what to communicate with members -
  • JM: Staffing: who/when to recruit or hire for staff -

HG: other recent decisions made about membership dues and limits, deadlines for payments and processes for removing non paying members. utilizing new accounting software


Within those categories, what sort of timing is MF/PL confronted with, from decisions that need to be made at the spur of the moment to very long-term, big-picture decisions?

JM: Direction is long term. Infrastructure, Collaboration, Message/Communication and, at times Staffing, can be opportunity based and more time-sensitive.

HG: weekly staff meetings are where a lot of the day to day issues are discussed and decisions made. many issues are tabled for future meetings, but decisions are made on a weekly basis. These meetings include staff, co directors, sometimes support team members and other lc members who do a lot of work with MF/PL. Whether these meetings are open to more involvement/participation is a useful question.


what decisions can be made by staff and/or support teams on their own and which kinds of decisions need to go to the LC?

JM: Rather than decide what kind of decisions can be made by which body, I think we should identify the scope of decisions. Staff will always make decisions in all areas, because they are implementing those decisions. However, these should be implementation-level decisions. Similarly, the LC should make broader decisions on all topics.

How have those decisions been made previously?

JM: Jamie and Alfredo have been involved in all decisions and have consensed on all decisions. Together we have decided which decisions need to be brought to the attention of the LC or which decisions we need approval from the LC on.


  • Up to now, who has typically made those different types of decisions?

JM: See above.

  • What are all of the decision-making bodies currently at work at MF/PL? (e.g. co-directors, staff as a whole, board, LC, support team)
    • JM: Membership as a whole
    • JM: Leadership Committee
    • JM: Co-Directors
    • JM: Staff
    • JM: Support Team


  • How are those decisions made within each body?

JM: Co-directors make decisions based on consensus, staff based on informal consensus with co-directors making final decisions when necessary. The LC has operated based on an informal voting process. And support team based on informal consensus, with most decisions made at the moment by the people doing the work.

  • How are decisions recorded, shared with the wider organization, enacted, and followed up on?

HG: we've started taking notes of the weekly staff meetings which are now public. notes from LC meetings I believe are also posted online.


Outside of the people actually making the decisions, who else is consulted for input or feedback that is then incorporated into the decision-making process?

JM: tech related decisions are often put to the support team. On other occassions we'e formed adhoc groups to help develop our projects (such as the latin america group).


What have the benefits of the decision-making process to date been? What have the drawbacks been?

HG: I think the above questions are important, but I think we also need to start brainstorming which kinds of content decisions should be made by staff, directors, lc and support team. for example - some sample ideas: should there be an approval process for equipments charges above a certain amount; conference requests; new member requests; when tech upgrades are needed; etc. at what point can working groups have autonomy over their work and what decisions need larger leadership review? I think that's the critical question.

Last modified 10 years ago Last modified on Dec 9, 2011, 6:54:10 PM