Amendment Batched Amendment - Strategy and Resource Director Proposal

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Factom Standing Parties,

I am pleased to present the Director Framework and Administration proposal. The last few months have been incredibly intense from a Governance standpoint. However, I truly feel that all the dialogue, arguing, and ideas have been extremely beneficial, as they have helped us do an extremely deep dive into just exactly what the Factom Protocol needs to do in order for us to get back on the right track and achieve our potential.

This batched amendment pertains to two documents:

Doc 008 Factom Director + Council Framework and Administration - Version .4

Doc 001 Factom Governance - Version 3.0.0

Note: Doc 002 states that the files should reside in the Factom Google Drive folder "XX-Draft-Documents." Due to lack of permissions, I am self-hosting these files until they can be moved to their proper location.

OVERVIEW
The Factom protocol can be segmented into four categories, or legs of a chair, if you will. These four categories are:

1. Strategy
2. Resources
3. Governance
4. Tokenomics

This proposal seeks to streamline Factom’s approach to (1) Strategy and (2) Resources by utilizing an approach softly mirroring aspects of a traditional organizational structure while still ensuring the protocol stays decentralized via proper checks-and-balances.

PARALLELS BETWEEN PROTOCOLS AND TRADITIONAL BUSINESSES
  • Businesses need to generate revenue to grow their business
  • Protocols need to generate revenue (via usage, which leads to token price appreciation) to grow the protocol

  • Businesses are a collection of individuals working towards a common goal
  • Protocols are a collection of individuals working towards a common goal

  • Businesses need competent and qualified leaders to steer the ship
  • Protocols need competent and qualified individuals to steer the ship

This proposal stops short of pitching a full-blown CEO-base approach and instead proposes a Director-based approach. This position will be known as the “Strategy and Resource Director.” The Director’s role is akin to how a CTO may oversee certain technical aspects of a business, but lacks power in other aspects of the business, such as finance (CFO). This proposal seeks a compromise between ANOs in support of a CEO-like approach and those wary of a CEO-like approach.
 
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On behalf of Sphereon I’ll post a more extensive vision for the protocol in the next few days.

For now, we want to thank all the parties for getting this whole discussion going and all the efforts that they’ve put in so far.

From our point of view we believe it is super important to break the impasse and take several decisive actions.
We’ve seen first-hand how important it is in our dealings with other projects/companies to be able to make decisions and get things done. As a commercial company Sphereon really needs this and we’re sure other companies that want to work with Factom require this as well.

We believe the best way by far to achieve this is through a Director model.

Not a Director that will just execute what he/she thinks is best, but a Director that will consult and work together with the various stakeholders and people like Mike, Vidale, Colin, Anton, Matt, Jason, Julian, Hinamatsuri and others, that will try to build consensus. But in the end will take a decision and move the protocol forward.
A Director that will not do everything himself but will “direct”: a Director that will delegate tasks to others. Others in the community, but also to professionals with more or specific knowledge about certain subjects.

We will remain a decentralized protocol with enough safeguards through the current ANO system, but – temporary – we need to do a lot of things in a short period of time to get this thing moving and turned around.
 
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Thanks to @WB for running the "Leadership and Decision making vote". The final result was 8-6 in favor of the council. However, we know two of the three abstaining parties have shown support for the Director proposal, so we're really looking at an 8-8 tie.

Because we are truly deadlocked, I think we should use this discussion thread to hash this out once-and-for-all by diving into the details instead of just discussing things from a "theoretical" standpoint.

I'll get that ball rolling...

Here's the simple question every ANO needs to ask itself:

"Which approach provides Factom the best chance of success - Director or Council?"

1. @Niels Klomp - Would you like to share your vision for Factom under a Director approach?

2.Vidale / @Jason Gregoire (or anyone else) - Would you like to share your vision for Factom under a council approach?

Thank you in advance.
 
Thx @Matt Osborne , I will happily share my vision about a director approach. I will split that up in 2 parts. More like a management summary, for people that do not have the time and/or energy to read everything. I will write that down ASAP, but I am happily giving the word to the Council approach proponents first. My approach would be very much like a traditional interim management approach backed by a very experienced Management Team with members that ran at C-Level in international companies and for instance a top 100 biggest company in the Netherlands, ensuring we do not just jump into something without having a proper vision, strategy and constantly verifying every single decision to see whether it fits the strategy. That is also why I have been saying we are doing things in the wrong order. If I would be voted director, I guess I can prove why you want to change it around.
 
Thanks @Matt Osborne. You're absolutely right. Let's hash it out here. If it takes a few extensions of the discussion, then that's a small price to pay for resolution. I'll post my vision here tomorrow.

Overall I'd like to say that I appreciate all prior discussion you've tried to incorporate into the document. Just so my position is clear here: You don't have to fear for any "what about committees". I accept it's not popular. If we want an Oversight group - we can have it. If we want treasurers, we can have them and see how it goes. I do have a preference for any leadership having a zero or otherwise very limited role in selecting those groups to keep that oversight as strong as it can be.
 
I too support thrashing this out here. We cannot afford to have the split in thinking about community direction that we currently have. There are merits to both side of this argument and it is our responsibility to find an agreeable way through it for the sake of Factom's future. Lets establish the things we do fully agree on and resolve those that we don't. There should be nothing more important to us all than this at the moment.
 
Here are some high level thoughts.

Summary:

Factom organizes itself into a small council that’s representative of the many areas it is serving. The classical: tech, outreach, governance. Or stakeholder-focused: users, ANOs, token holders.

The council recruits top talent. Internally and/or externally. At least one C-level executive manager preferred. Internally, each member may have full control over its designated day-to-day business, but the council is mutually accountable for results.

With baked-in consensus because the decision-making process is more representative, a council can develop effective, trustworthy processes for their assumed mandates (strategy, grants, hiring). These mandates exist to get day-to-day work done. In the open, or by building a flexible cell of expertise around each member. Continuity in leadership and trust in processes mean parties will want to work with Factom again.
_________________

Considerations:

There’s a lot of work to be done. Probably too much work for one person to be involved in everything. In theory, sure, a CEO is a key enabler. And in theory, sure, a CEO is great for coaching underlying teams. But we’re not dealing with theory, we’re dealing with reality. And our particular situation with the candidates we have says the following.

  • Bandwidth is a bit of an issue (agendas are pretty full)
  • Personality is a bit of an issue (eek, they’re all Dutch!)
  • Trust is a bit of an issue (any single candidate disenfranchises many ANOs)
So you tailor the solution to your particular situation. This is the balancing decision-makers do every day. Just look at any crisis. Is a full lockdown effective? In dense cities, yes. In rural areas, less so.

A council alleviates the above and is actually very flexible in its composition. We can make it representative of our focus areas, e.g. tech, outreach and governance. Or organize it around stakeholders: users (business dev), ANOs (resource management) and token holders (community management).

So yes, under a council we will drive a community-backed roadmap so we don’t run into any longer-term efficiency & cohesion problems. Under a council, the community will finally streamline its tokenomics and make it fit our intended strategy. Under a council, we will install specialist roles (e.g. secretary, governance expert) so we can have trustworthy processes associated with our leadership. That leadership will have strong continuity in case a member is removed or otherwise becomes incapacitated.

And not entirely unimportant, under a council we fit the ethos of being a decentralized blockchain project without sacrificing performance. As long as we use the right ingredients. To be on par with or exceed single leadership, we go with the best definition of a team: a small number of people with complementary skills and perspectives, and with a commitment to common objectives and mutual accountability. Shared leadership works to keep performance and morale high in exactly those ways, and if there ever was an ecosystem in need of those benefits, it’s Factom.

As for decision-making internally, personality and experience will always determine how decisions are made. Any reasonable council will give a C-level member the biggest say in a situation that calls for it, but again, it needs to be in the spirit of getting things done together, shoulder to shoulder.

Because our weakness is our divisiveness, any current candidate filling a single seat will disenfranchise a lot of parties within our fragile ANO system. It’s a potent risk to our decentralization. A council will represent all sides and will be a more trusted entity from the onset. Without trust, we watch each other with eagle eyes, preying on that one mistake, or we surrender completely. We get conflict, or we get apathy. Both lead to less work being done, weaker oversight, and we see stalemates as a result. We’ve all experienced it. It’s real. Now we can change it, with a representative council structure that fits us best.
 
Thanks for laying this out Vidale, I appreciate it. Follow-up questions to dig deeper:

Factom organizes itself into a small council that’s representative of the many areas it is serving. The classical: tech, outreach, governance. Or stakeholder-focused: users, ANOs, token holders.
For clarification, how are these council members elected? What is the high-level process?

As for decision-making internally, personality and experience will always determine how decisions are made. Any reasonable council will give a C-level member the biggest say in a situation that calls for it, but again, it needs to be in the spirit of getting things done together, shoulder to shoulder.
For clarification, how exactly does voting occur? For example:

1. Do the three council members vote on every decision and the majority wins?
2. Do the three council members 100% defer to the C-Level person?
3. When does the council overrule the C-Level executive?
4. What happens when all three council members have a differing opinion about something such as which C Level to hire? Or what the tokenomics should be? Or which grants should be funded?

The council recruits top talent. Internally and/or externally. At least one C-level executive manager preferred. Internally, each member may have full control over its designated day-to-day business, but the council is mutually accountable for results.
So the assumption is that a C-Level executive will be interested in reporting to a council potentially composed of individuals with no experience actually having built a business, correct? Even worse, a council member could simply be a person that is a token holder that is popular on Discord. Yet, a qualified C Level will still be interested in this role, correct?

Is expecting a qualified C-Level person to take orders from an inexperienced council realistic?

@mboender Would anyone from Sphereon be interested in this structure? Could you please explain why or why not? Thank you.

So yes, under a council we will drive a community-backed roadmap so we don’t run into any longer-term efficiency & cohesion problems.
Just to clarify, is the community determining the roadmap? Or is it the Council? Or is it the C-Level person(s)?

There’s a lot of work to be done. Probably too much work for one person to be involved in everything. In theory, sure, a CEO is a key enabler. And in theory, sure, a CEO is great for coaching underlying teams. But we’re not dealing with theory, we’re dealing with reality.
1. Isn't it "reality" though that CEOs have literally built every single one of the 10,000 largest companies in the world?

2. Following up on that, are there any real-world business examples of a council similar to the one you are suggesting having succeeded?

Thanks in advance!
 
For clarification, how are these council members elected? What is the high-level process?
Originally the relevant committees would have nominated them based on a profile they’d draw up. Standing Parties/ ANOs would have approved or rejected that nomination.

Aside from being very elegant (and overly ambitious), this had two other effects:
  • Involved non-ANOs in electing leadership (through committee membership)
  • Strong ties & trickle-down effects from leadership to lower bodies, which could have boosted participation and consensus.
The community rejected that, so that’s behind us. We can just elect them through your process in the Director proposal, which is really a multi-winner election process anyway. I’d add that every eligible voter gets as many votes as there are seats to be filled.

Really, I guess we’d be fine with nearly everything in this current proposal. As a compromise. You just switch out single leadership with council leadership.

Just to clarify, is the community determining the roadmap? Or is it the Council? Or is it the C-Level person(s)?
Really up to leadership. I’d suggest they pick a community-backed roadmap if such an initiative exists (probably not the worst decision legally either) and then add new content or zoom in on existing content depending on the strategy they want to follow.

1. Isn't it "reality" though that CEOs have literally built every single one of the 10,000 largest companies in the world?
This reflects a very naive stereotype of a lone businessman single-handedly building an empire. It makes for a great film, but the “reality” is that almost none were created that way nor are they managed that way. These success stories are the result of luck, relationships, and the perfect timing of putting talented teams together and focusing it with dedication and tenacity behind a common objective. That’s the real driver behind success.

Our situation is also vastly different from structuring an LLC / Ltd. With a Director you’d be looking for single-seat interim management of a decentralized blockchain project. The few candidates we have for that single seat would each disenfranchise a large number of parties who have majority control. Not a great starting point for a success story versus little Zuckerberg starting out from his basement.

People are fallible, and considering the dynamic of a divided community, the safe bet for Factom is to ensure our success is not resting on a single person.

So the assumption is that a C-Level executive will be interested in reporting to a council potentially composed of individuals with no experience actually having built a business, correct? Even worse, a council member could simply be a person that is a token holder that is popular on Discord. Yet, a qualified C Level will still be interested in this role, correct?
I guess if someone very experienced takes issue with working in/with a council, then as a Director they’d definitely not enjoy reporting to a group of ANOs who are subject to the same preconceptions you’re projecting. And then they wouldn’t be a good fit for any leadership position in a decentralized project and we shouldn’t want them anywhere near us.

Is expecting a qualified C-Level person to take orders from an inexperienced council realistic?
If they’re in a council, they’d be working on whatever they have the mandate of doing. They’d listen to other members just like you would normally. I wager that other members would listen to this person more, though. Equating that to taking orders seems a bit of an exaggeration.

If they're hired by a council, then yes, lol.

Would anyone from Sphereon be interested in this structure? Could you please explain why or why not? Thank you.
I don't think the protocol should cater for one party specifically, we are a decentralized protocol after all. [Bonus points if you remember who originally said this.]

1. Do the three council members vote on every decision and the majority wins?
2. Do the three council members 100% defer to the C-Level person?
3. When does the council overrule the C-Level executive?
4. What happens when all three council members have a differing opinion about something such as which C Level to hire? Or what the tokenomics should be? Or which grants should be funded?
1. I imagine each has conditional authorities. Majority rule is also possible. Up to them.
2. Up to them.
3. Up to them.
4. Resolve it.

Personally it doesn’t concern me much. Top-performing teams shouldn't be bound to any external bylaws or procedures. You want to keep them agile and let them work it out. It also adds importance to recruitment.

In nearly every small group I’ve played a role in (if they had a clear purpose), I’ve always found the dynamics to be very healthy and productive. Maybe that’s just me and it's not the default experience for a VIP CEO-level person.
 
We can just elect them through your process in the Director proposal, which is really a multi-winner election process anyway. I’d add that every eligible voter gets as many votes as there are seats to be filled.

Really, I guess we’d be fine with nearly everything in this current proposal. As a compromise. You just switch out single leadership with council leadership.
Under the council framework, would we have 3 different elections (tech, marketing, Governance) and then just hope the people that got elected could somehow form a solid working relationship? Or, are you thinking that the three-man council would run as a team? Meaning, we'd have something like four councils of three people each running for election. People would then vote for their favorite "council."

Really up to leadership. I’d suggest they pick a community-backed roadmap if such an initiative exists (probably not the worst decision legally either) and then add new content or zoom in on existing content depending on the strategy they want to follow.
Community feedback is essential, I completely agree with that. My fear though is that if the community has to approve the roadmap via 60% vote, then we'll just end up stuck (like now). So, I am against this being codified in Governance (maybe the council is also, I don't know). If a Director or Council wants to hold a roadmap vote on their own, that's fine. But, I am against tying our hands together by codifying this into Governance.

This reflects a very naive stereotype of a lone businessman single-handedly building an empire. It makes for a great film, but the “reality” is that almost none were created that way nor are they managed that way. These success stories are the result of luck, relationships, and the perfect timing of putting talented teams together and focusing it with dedication and tenacity behind a common objective. That’s the real driver behind success.
So you believe that if these 10,000 companies had employed a council structure, and council members are elected by the employees and product users, that these companies would be just as successful?

I don't think the protocol should cater for one party specifically, we are a decentralized protocol after all. [Bonus points if you remember who originally said this.]
Which other ANO or ANO-related entity that has C Level execs with decades of international business experience would you like me to ask? I am only aware of one involved with the protocol. Hence, why I asked Maarten. If you know of others, by all means, please ask them if a qualified C Level Exec would want to be managed by people with no serious business experience who were elected by a community that largely also has no business experience. Doesn't exactly sound like an enticing opportunity. But, maybe I am wrong. Hence why I asked Maarten.

SUMMARY
Overall, it seems like we're actually moving in a good direction. Hopefully, after going back-and-forth once or twice more, we'll be able to tailor this proposal so it suits everyone. Then, we'll just let elections resolve the rest of the outstanding issues. At least that's what I am hoping for.
 
Decided to create a summary later. This is a tad long, but there is enough to talk about. Obviously I left out certain parts, as it would become a book.



First of all I would reach out to all ANOs and interested parties (also non ANOs and ex ANOs that we know off) and have short individual meetings with the parties that are willing to cooperate/meet. This is to both explain what I will be doing in the short and medium term, but more importantly to get input from those parties and to see what they really want, and what they can provide in terms of resources, products and/or clients for the protocol. I will create a high level report out of that anonymizing and/or omitting any details where necessary and obviously approved by these parties.

What I would do in parallel is to hash out the strategy for the protocol together with Maarten and our COO, that you all don’t know who is also called Maarten. He has been COO/CIO for a top 100 company in the Netherlands for the last 8 years, where he was responsible in his group for several hundreds of millions in turnover, with over a billion for the entire company every year (for @WB : Anwb reizen). He holds a Cum Laude MBA Master from Nyenrode Business University with a thesis in Blockchain and its adoption in the Netherlands, so I guess he is qualified for the job 😉

This would result in an internal and external analysis, a SWOT matrix, together with confrontation matrix, a Product Portfolio Analysis (where it makes sense and based on the input from the ANO meetings, probably using a BCG Matrix and/or Osterwalder Value Proposition model). This will result in a Business Model Canvas for the protocol, which basically is the single piece of “paper” we can use to validate almost every important future decision against. This process takes roughly 4 weeks, with first results in 2 weeks. Obviously the outcome will be shared with ANOs and the wider community, during which feedback will be incorporated



Then we would determine what is missing to create the most amount of value in the shortest amount of time, whilst at the same time seeing where we as a protocol can align interests in terms of product and resources. This would also mean that a party like Sphereon would align their strategic direction to an extent with the protocol, bringing some existing products and/or ideas to the protocol (open-source). One thing is for sure. There would be at least one highly visible 2nd layer application of the protocol (blockchain for good makes sense) in there for which the protocol would become known/famous and for which we know we can execute because the tech to make that work is roughly there and together with all stakeholders (that is ANOs, (external) developers, community members, universities we are in contact with, partners and relationships). I get people would be afraid that it becomes a Sphereon show. It simply will not, because we would definitely invest in the protocol going down this route, doing all out in the open and we value any and all party that would like to help in execution in whatever form. It would also not make sense to do anything remotely like that. ANOs are in charge at the end of the day, very much like a board.



From the analysis outcome you will get vision, strategy and plans to execute. The latter includes the roadmap and, financial, marketing and resource plans, hence why I have constantly said we are doing things in the wrong order. It would include a tokenomics proposal that is in line with the vision and strategy and provides (crypto)investors enough body and confidence it will become a success. It would also include feedback cycles to incentivize both adoption and interest in the token and that limits the inflation. Good ideas from current proposal will obviously be brought into that proposal. It would also contain a rebrand proposal that is in line with the direction we set out. The above, together with the Rosetta work and the ETH wrapped tokens allows us an easier entry into Exchanges and (re)start discussions with them. Timeline for this phase is roughly 2 months.



The plans would include a change to our current grant system. Bringing the system in line with what serves the protocol best, holding the plans against the strategy, vision and roadmap. Anybody can subscribe to and help with the execution. Probably we will want a system in place where we all leave a certain percentage open for novel projects and/or startups a bit similar to what we have now, but the biggest chunk will be protocols and specifications first for all interested parties to work on. The important part of the system is, that the parties, existing and new, that are willing to put in work (development, marketing, outreach, governance) will find a place in the system.



Maybe a big elephant in the room, but in all of these plans there will also be the future role of ANOs, our inflation and current average efficiency of 30%. Although not the direct mandate of the proposed role, it simply is not something you can ignore in the overall strategy for the future of the protocol. It ties in too many aspects not to address it (inflation, value for money, primary role, infighting, execution).



With the resources becoming available and the inversion of the grantpool towards common goals, we will see more collaboration (very much like the Sphereon business model btw) with known people/parties, but also with new parties. This phase will take 6 months, during which also the sourcing of people will happen.
Although maybe too early to discuss as we need feedback from all of the above, I do want to mention that this phase in my plans would also form the start of the formation of a non-profit foundation, to hold/manage part of the tokens that would become available, and to give the protocol a proper entity and leadership structure. This is where something resembling the council approach can be formed, with the exception that it has a leader/director. Not something in the middle from what I read with the council approach.



Obviously the Director is not doing everything all by him/herself. It doesn’t make sense to do everything as one person. It will be a combination of rallying the troops, using resources and relationships that are already available as well as getting new people/parties on board. Getting something of the ground needs a bit of luck, but more importantly it needs a vision, strategy, alignment, persistence, resources and leadership. In order to achieve that we basically start at the opposite end of what we have now and move to something in the middle. Something that is proven and maximizes our chances of success. But at all times with ANOs having the eventual say, just not in every single decision. I would be accountable to ANOs and would seek the go ahead and approval where needed, but certainly not on every small matter. Simply like a board I would be accountable, provide updates and ANOs could sent me home at any time. I am confident that I can turn the protocol around in 2021 together with the help of all that are willing.
 
Under the council framework, would we have 3 different elections (tech, marketing, Governance) and then just hope the people that got elected could somehow form a solid working relationship? Or, are you thinking that the three-man council would run as a team? Meaning, we'd have something like four councils of three people each running for election. People would then vote for their favorite "council."
I think both are feasible. Under the first, running multiple elections simultaneously (separate subforums) probably sounds harder than it really is. Yes I'd expect them to form solid working relations. Again, they'd have separate responsibilities in which they really wouldn't get in each other's way. There'll be some overlap, sure.

To me, a council is a convention of individuals that make for a fair representation of a certain cause. A permanent meeting. Separately, each member can be a "Director" in whatever it is they are charged with doing. An example is Niels post above. But they talk to each other. Listen to each other. They point down the road and say: let's meet each other there. Under this proposal, there will be some fuzziness in how certain votes are cast, but that was always something you and I'd accept.

Under the second method you listed, I'm not immediately against it, and it guarantees a more streamlined team from the start, but there are many combinations to choose from and if just one person isn't desirable, the other two won't make it either. If we happen to agree on a council, we can let ANOs choose if they want this type of election process instead.

But, I am against tying our hands together by codifying this into Governance.
I don't think that's needed either. Typically, I think we tend to codify too many details as it is. Which is important in some areas, not in others.

What we'll need some agreement on in the future is how motions/votes are interpreted. For instance, the objectives vote just passed. Does it need inclusion in a governance doc? Not really. But can a Director/Council just straight up ignore it when they present their own roadmap? Well I wouldn't recommend it.

It's fine to have multiple roadmaps/objectives. That's what most decentralized projects do. Look at Tezos. Their foundation might have an internal roadmap. Arthur Breitman once posted what he calls a roadmap or his personal roadmap. Then there might be a community roadmap to inspire community action.

So you believe that if these 10,000 companies had employed a council structure, and council members are elected by the employees and product users, that these companies would be just as successful?
If their final decision-making was also split into political parties, then yes.
 
roadmaps are a living document. It gets changed over time, especially in agile times like these. Obviously not every week or month, but priorities shift if something takes of for instance or doesn't seem to work. That is part of the game. On of the biggest mistakes though is trying to communicate a really elaborate roadmap with many things in there. They you are setting yourself up for (perceived) failure, because the chances of underdelivering are very big.
 
roadmaps are a living document. It gets changed over time, especially in agile times like these. Obviously not every week or month, but priorities shift if something takes of for instance or doesn't seem to work. That is part of the game. On of the biggest mistakes though is trying to communicate a really elaborate roadmap with many things in there. They you are setting yourself up for (perceived) failure, because the chances of underdelivering are very big.
We do have more issues to track than many projects. I think tracking them and making progress of the critical items will not hurt us.

Historically we have been slammed by stability issues which killed momentum on goals that otherwise would have been our top priorities. Stability as an issue has largely gone away, with just elections during upgrades as our current known risk, cross our fingers.

Nothing in the roadmap currently should impact stability so I'm less concerned with the number of items in the current list.
 
We do have more issues to track than many projects. I think tracking them and making progress of the critical items will not hurt us.
Totally agree, hence why I would reach out to all parties. But you need differentiation of what the protocol will accomplish next few quarters and what the wider community is doing. Ideally these are very complementary, but as a protocol you cannot paint to nice of a picture if you are not in full control of it
 
Under the second method you listed, I'm not immediately against it, and it guarantees a more streamlined team from the start, but there are many combinations to choose from and if just one person isn't desirable, the other two won't make it either. If we happen to agree on a council, we can let ANOs choose if they want this type of election process instead.
1. So to clarify: The much-preferred council approach involves three separate elections for three separate positions as opposed to councils running as teams in a single election, correct?

2. As a follow-up, it sounds like the GWG is unwilling to modify this proposal to fit the GWG's needs. For example, including a clause that allows the Director to hold sub-elections where a tech person, marketing person, etc. can be elected by the Standing parties (ANOs) and the Director can implement whatever decision-making process they would like. Correct?

I'd personally prefer to find a way to compromise so we can move forward, but if that's not an option, then that's totally fine. I am just trying to make sure we're on the same page. Thanks

I think both are feasible. Under the first, running multiple elections simultaneously (separate subforums) probably sounds harder than it really is. Yes I'd expect them to form solid working relations. Again, they'd have separate responsibilities in which they really wouldn't get in each other's way. There'll be some overlap, sure.

To me, a council is a convention of individuals that make for a fair representation of a certain cause. A permanent meeting. Separately, each member can be a "Director" in whatever it is they are charged with doing. An example is Niels post above. But they talk to each other. Listen to each other. They point down the road and say: let's meet each other there. Under this proposal, there will be some fuzziness in how certain votes are cast, but that was always something you and I'd accept.

Under the second method you listed, I'm not immediately against it, and it guarantees a more streamlined team from the start, but there are many combinations to choose from and if just one person isn't desirable, the other two won't make it either. If we happen to agree on a council, we can let ANOs choose if they want this type of election process instead.
Factom has been paralyzed with indecision since the start. Can you please detail how a Council would actually make decisions? Does the marketing person have sole control over all marketing decisions? How does the C Level executive factor into this? What exactly is the process for decision making? Is it a vote w/ majority rule? Assuming the council will somehow all get along and everything will be harmonious is unrealistic. There needs to be a defined decision-making structure. What exactly is it? Also, how are initiatives (e.g., tech vs. marketing) prioritized?

Also, could you please detail the pay structure for the council members? Hard numbers preferred.

Maybe I am missing something, but it seems like the council approach is light on details. Clarity would be much appreciated.

Thanks

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Governments can't even properly run a DMV. I am not sure how you arrive at the conclusion that they could build a $100 billion+ corporation from scratch. Thinking a government-type structure can accomplish this isn't grounded in reality, it's grounded in idealism.
 
So to clarify: The much-preferred council approach involves three separate elections for three separate positions as opposed to councils running as teams in a single election, correct?
Yeah, if we define a council's profile beforehand (e.g. we know it's tech, outreach, governance), have three, simultaneous subforums for candidates instead of just one. You can still see it as one big election.

If we don't define a council's profile beforehand (e.g. they are elected as a general council and sort roles out between them), have one subforum with a multi-winner election.

If you want a single-winner election process where teams can apply instead (e.g. 3x Sphereon member, 3x Kompendium member), then you pass that by the community first. Happy to hear other people's thoughts on that.

As a follow-up, it sounds like the GWG is unwilling to modify this proposal to fit the GWG's needs. For example, including a clause that allows the Director to hold sub-elections where a tech person, marketing person, etc. can be elected by the Standing parties (ANOs) and the Director can implement whatever decision-making process they would like. Correct?
Would it help you if I worked on an amendment to this proposal so we can compare?

Factom has been paralyzed with indecision since the start. Can you please detail how a Council would actually make decisions? Does the marketing person have sole control over all marketing decisions? How does the C Level executive factor into this? What exactly is the process for decision making? Is it a vote w/ majority rule? Assuming the council will somehow all get along and everything will be harmonious is unrealistic. There needs to be a defined decision-making structure. What exactly is it? Also, how are initiatives (e.g., tech vs. marketing) prioritized?
You don’t mandate anything for a team. You elect an x number of peers - meaning that one cannot be removed by the other. They do have separate authorities that are theirs and theirs alone. If someone wants the authority of strategy and a budget to carry out certain domains within that strategy, with a cell (management team) behind him, he’ll be very able to. You let the usual dynamics sort any fuzziness out.

Everything’s light on details and the lines will blur. Including this proposal. But I thought we accepted that and we move on.

Also, could you please detail the pay structure for the council members? Hard numbers preferred.
$5 weekly per council member.

I’m not sure how you honestly want me to give hard numbers. That’s up to each candidate when they apply. I’m not asking Niels for a hard number either. It’s not the time.

Governments can't even properly run a DMV. I am not sure how you arrive at the conclusion that they could build a $100 billion+ corporation from scratch. Thinking a government-type structure can accomplish this isn't grounded in reality, it's grounded in idealism.
You’re unsure because I never arrived there. It was a reflection of our situation and how that’s very different from the 10,000 companies you keep bringing up.

Our ultimate decision-making (ANOs) is split into ‘factions’ with different ideas. That's a problem of decentralization. There is division and stalemate on major topics. Your solution, based on our current candidate list, is to take one person from one faction and magically assume it’ll bring all factions together. That’s idealism.

If this passes (which it can!), we risk major integrity and oversight problems because a large number of ANOs will turn to conflict or apathy. With conflict, any Director will just get challenged at every turn. With apathy, any Director is largely unchecked due to close ties with the ANOs that are still around.
 
Interesting that a proven mechanism of leadership is portrayed as idealism. A director brings clarity, direction and certainly will not result in second guessing every step of the way, not because I would be a dictator. Simply because I am capable of the analysis, creating proper plans, executing them.

Will there be some parties or people that do not agree? For sure, but that is even more the case when you bring in more decision makers without proper leadership structures in place.

The indecisiveness and lack of clarity already shows quite clearly in this thread, which brings me to the next point:

@WB You decided to accept the nomination for the director position. Let's assume this ammendment makes it and you would get elected as Director.

What would be the exact difference with the council approach of which you are a co-creator and proponent from the GWG?


PS. I can give the remuneration figure I would seek at this moment if you want.
 
Would it help you if I worked on an amendment to this proposal so we can compare?
If there's a way to modify this proposal prior to vote so it could also potentially incorporate what the GWG envisions (as well as what the Director approach envisions) and have the approach be decided by an election, then let's 100% do it! Does this sound good to you?

You don’t mandate anything for a team. You elect an x number of peers - meaning that one cannot be removed by the other. They do have separate authorities that are theirs and theirs alone. If someone wants the authority of strategy and a budget to carry out certain domains within that strategy, with a cell (management team) behind him, he’ll be very able to. You let the usual dynamics sort any fuzziness out.
That somewhat clarifies who has jurisdiction over what. But:
1. How would the C Level executive factor into this though? Does this person's power supersede the Council?
2. How are priorities decided? How are budget allocations decided? This will 100% be a point of contention.

With the Director approach, this is cut-and-dry (the Director has the power). I am just trying to understand how this would work with the council so people can make an informed decision.

$5 weekly per council member.

I’m not sure how you honestly want me to give hard numbers. That’s up to each candidate when they apply. I’m not asking Niels for a hard number either. It’s not the time.
Well, we have very limited financial resources. So, if we have 3 council members and a C Level executive all getting paid 5,000 FCT a month, that equates to 60,000 FCT a quarter, which is over half of the grant pool. That doesn't leave a lot left over. So, I think compensation is highly applicable to our conversation.

@Niels Klomp Could you please provide your compensation? Thank you.

Our ultimate decision-making (ANOs) is split into ‘factions’ with different ideas. That's a problem of decentralization. There is division and stalemate on major topics. Your solution, based on our current candidate list, is to take one person from one faction and magically assume it’ll bring all factions together. That’s idealism.
The Director approach is based-on hundreds of years of data and hundreds of thousands of success stories. That's reality.
The Council approach is completely unproven and thus based-on optimism/hopefulness. That's idealism.

Director approach: Data-driven.
Council approach: Idealism driven.

If you had to bet your life savings on which of the two choices will best turn Factom around, you're sincerely telling me you would bet everything on the council approach succeeding over the Director approach?

If this passes (which it can!), we risk major integrity and oversight problems because a large number of ANOs will turn to conflict or apathy. With conflict, any Director will just get challenged at every turn. With apathy, any Director is largely unchecked due to close ties with the ANOs that are still around.
If this proposal passes, it will be because 60%+ of ANOs decided to offload the strategy and resource allocation to a Director. So, I guess I don't follow your logic. Thinking we will ever come to a solution that makes 100% of ANOs happy is just not realistic. Additionally, this is not about what is best for ANOs. It is about what is best for the protocol, which includes FCT holders, ANOs, and end-users.
 
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If the 3 council members each have their own area of expertise then what would happen if two members disagree to something that is going on in within the last members area? Should they then sort it out amongst themselves or should the area of expertise bring a stronger mandate? In the first case we would lose some of the decisiveness in the latter case it would be a bit like having three directors (which might work).

If we end up with a council model I believe it is very important to have some mechanisms for resolving any deadlock that might occur. I get that the council should try to resolve matters as much as possible themselves, but we need to have solutions in place when that does not happen.

Overall I am in favor of a director approach. I think there are some fair points about continuity and avoiding disenfranchisement of some ANOs, but I think it is outweighed by the decisiveness we get from a director. Case in point, Niels was already able to draw up a plan for the coming months. With a council we would first have to elect a council, then have them agree on such a plan.
 
Digressing a bit from director vs council: @Matt Osborne I note that in your proposal it says "The Director will not be able to override decisions made by Committees designated by the Factom Governance". So would the director instance have no say in how the website is maintained? I get that the director should not be able to push changes such as tokenomics or demotion onto the servers, but is that wording not limiting the director quite a lot?
 
We need decision making and direction. IMO, the decentralized governance approach has been exhausted over the last few years, so it's time to try something new that can focus the efforts of the community. Councils are just slight variations on what we've already been doing and will continue the politicking and gridlock.
I think we have far more suffered from a lack of focus and cooperation than from decentralized governance. We did not have a roadmap but were still spending resources in several directions. Moreover a limited team gathering several competences is not really what we have experienced so far, but instead a fully diluted decision process with no strategic vision. And such a structure does not prevent natural leadership from emerging within this group.

Overall, this approach looks more balanced and representative to me and yet still super efficient and effective

(As a side note : being decentralized is not inherently bad or good especially without the right representative organization and transparent processes.)
 
Case in point, Niels was already able to draw up a plan for the coming months. With a council we would first have to elect a council, then have them agree on such a plan.
Don't we have to elect a Director as well?

I don't see the big deal. We seem to be thriving on the idea that we'll have a council of two idiots forever arguing with the 'expert.' ;) Who's honestly going to argue with Niels and the plan he has? He'll get to do that straight away and be supported left and right.

It's far easier to follow through with a supported plan inside a small team. We've tried the single party approach before. It's called the grant system. One party presents a fantastic plan, and ultimately not much becomes of it. If anything's a slight variation, @Nate Miller - it's that.

Did I ever gridlock on anything with @Alex when I was in Factoshi? Not really. Did I ever gridlock on anything in the GWG - which touched on some of the most heated topics you could imagine? Not really.

If there's a way to modify this proposal prior to vote so it could also potentially incorporate what the GWG envisions (as well as what the Director approach envisions) and have the approach be decided by an election, then let's 100% do it! Does this sound good to you?
Working on it now - will be here tomorrow!
 
If the 3 council members each have their own area of expertise then what would happen if two members disagree to something that is going on in within the last members area? Should they then sort it out amongst themselves or should the area of expertise bring a stronger mandate? In the first case we would lose some of the decisiveness in the latter case it would be a bit like having three directors (which might work).
It's the second. We elect three peers. Within their respective authorities, they can't be overruled. There will be grey areas for sure, but they'll be less important if they're not captured as an authority anyway. There will be similar grey areas with a Director and ANOs doing work.

Overall strategy would immediately go to the most technically oriented person - because Factom is a technology product.
 
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