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Back to the Real Issue – A Compromise Suggestion

February 25 2008 at 9:28 PM
Tripper McCarthy  (Login tripperm)
Registered User

 
It seems that the debate currently seems to be revolving around two issues: 1) do we want a member elected board, and 2) the whole discussion about the changes to the Bylaws. While these are important topics to discuss, I think we are drifting away from the real fundamental issue: How can we bring more accountability to Alcor?

Yes, I know that a member elected board would bring accountability, but that isn’t the only way and shouldn’t be the only approach discussed. I have an alternate idea I would like to present. While not as tough as a member elected system, it might be one we can all find some common ground on. After all, I doubt that there is anybody on either side of the aisle who doesn’t agree that some increase in accountability wouldn’t necessarily be such a bad thing.

Annual Review

Every year I have an annual review with my boss. He has to fill out a standard form (provided by HR) which grades my performance on several categories, and also gives feedback on why I received the ratings I did. My boss is a fair man, and he knows the trials and tribulations I face on a day to day basis pretty well. Each year I embrace this chance to get an overall view on how I am doing, where I am excelling, and where I need to pick up the pace a bit.

I think the same thing should happen for Alcor. Each year (probably at the end of the year) the Board of Directors, Advisers, and Alcor employees would rate the organization on several categories (finances, readiness, marketing, etc.) and give feedback on why they rated categories the way they did. These evaluations would then be sent to a third party who would post the statistics on the grades received and also the feedback (anonymously presented) on a website. In parallel the same review would be open to members of Alcor to leave their grades and feedback as well. This third party would be seen as a watch-dog organization whose sole purpose is to present the findings of these reviews to the public at large for their education. They would make no comment one way or another about the contents of the reports but simply be an outlet to publish the information.

I think it is important for the Board, Advisers, and staff members to do a review of Alcor because they are the ones closest to the issues and often have the best understanding on what is going on. And after having talked to some of them privately, it is obvious that they agree as well that there are areas that need improvement. Having the general Alcor members also take part in a parallel review would give the internal Alcor representatives an outside perspective. It would show any disconnect between what one group sees as true in comparison to the other.

What this Would Accomplish

There is an age old adage that if you are forced to display your dirty laundry, you are more likely to do a load. I believe that if the performance review outlined above was carried out and made public it would force changes in areas that had perceived deficiencies. I fully admit that there would be no teeth to such a review, but a low grade in one of the categories, be it from the internal or external review, would be hard to get away from. At the very least it would promote dialogue on the perceived problem.

Conclusion

This idea is probably not perfect, and will certainly not make everyone happy. But then again compromises never do. I truly hope everyone will carefully consider this as a way to bring a little more accountability to Alcor without completely rocking the boat.

Tripper

 
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Finance Department
(Login Finance_Department)
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Annual Performance Reviews

February 27 2008, 2:24 AM 

Tripper suggests: "I think the same thing should happen for Alcor. Each year (probably at the end of the year) the Board of Directors, Advisers, and Alcor employees would rate the organization on several categories (finances, readiness, marketing, etc.) and give feedback on why they rated categories the way they did. These evaluations would then be sent to a third party who would post the statistics on the grades received and also the feedback (anonymously presented) on a website. In parallel the same review would be open to members of Alcor to leave their grades and feedback as well. This third party would be seen as a watch-dog organization whose sole purpose is to present the findings of these reviews to the public at large for their education. They would make no comment one way or another ...

I think this is an excellent idea. Strangely enough, insiders close to Alcor's board have mentioned to me that annual performance reviews have already been done by Alcor employees and management, and the same have been done on them. Why have we not heard the results of these reviews? Are they that bad?

I would only add that the Board of Directors itself should be equally subject to performance review, not just by them, but also by the employees and management, and by the ordinary members.

Will that happen? Sure, when Alcor members get the vote.

FD

 
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