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Re: Nomcom process realities of "confidentiality"

2008-03-20 05:48:30
On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 02:06:12AM -0400, Noel Chiappa wrote:
    On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 10:11:09AM -0700, Dave Crocker wrote:

    > ... the conduct of Nomcom processes tends
    > towards pretty classic personnel assessment, but with people
    > typically lacking classic personnel training or experience. 

This would be different from a normal election... how? :-)

Well, one of the that have been raised in the past about keeping the
list of candidates confidential, and to have Nomcom ask send out
questionnaires to a specific, targetted set of more senior technical
leaders in the community, as opposed to simply throwing it open and
having everyone send in comments, is (a) it might overwhelm the Nomcom
who might have to wade through a vast number of comments, and (b) it
might turn it more into a popularity contest, as opposed to picking
someone who was the best qualified.

But as I said earlier, this is one of the places where how you frame
the NOMCOM process is critical.  Is it a "governance process", where
we are trying to select the organizations political leadership, in
which case perhaps direct elections and campaigning and complete and
total transparency, with no privacy rights expected or given (maybe we
should demand that candidates publish their tax returns, like US
Presidential candidates :-)?   While we're at it, maybe we can take
snippets of comments made at an IETF plenary years ago, take it out of
context, put it on You Tube, and arrange to have it played constantly
and constantly on the evening news....

Or is it a personnel process, where we are trying to find the best
candidates to promote to a technical architect position --- and in
personnel processes there is usually *much* more use of confidential
feedback and information, and most of the time, when the management
selects who will be the next senior technical architect for a
department, the junior engineers just out of college don't get to see
the list of candidates being considered, and get to submit comments to
the promotion board about whether it's easier to work with candidate A
or candidate B.

The answer of course, is that it's a bit of both.  Which leads to all
of these tensions, and IMHO one of the reasons why we have such a hard
time finding consensus on this issue.


                                                - Ted
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