2019 Statement of Intent Marshall Blatz
I. Statement of Intent
This document serves as formal notice of my intent to run for the position of Director for the Dallas Makerspace.
I've been a member here at Dallas Makerspace member for about 4 years, now. It's hard to document all the things I feel I have done for the 'Space...I think the most relevant is the time I spend each time I am in the 'Space helping where I can the people that are there that want/need it for a few minutes, or a lot of minutes, with their projects on a one-to-one basis. We are, among several things, educational in nature and I feel this is one of the most primary ways members at DMS can help promote Makery with others. And I also used to teach woodshop basics class weekly for about a year, and was an Honorarium Administrator for [not quite sure] months. Also have been happy to give occasional impromptu tours, am an avid garbage can emptier, and involved in several 1-off projects, builds, and team collaborations.
In my time as a member I have seen a lot of great things happen...again, hard to document them all, but I think toward the top of the list is seeing so many committees go from fledgling areas to powerhouses ( Woodshop, Laser, Auto, etc.) , and so many new committees and SIGs spin-off (e.g. Fiber arts...it's a pun!) or created brand new and fully functioning (e.g. Printmaking committee) like Minerva bursting from the head of Jupiter.
And I've also seen a clear decrease in member satisfaction, the general physical state of the 'Space, and an overall increase in factionization and divisiveness. I really want all that to stop. I hope and believe I can help with that, mostly by championing and supporting some basic structure, based in our By-laws and rules/policies. And so I am running for Director. Wish me luck!
- Science and business (MBA) degrees.
- Programming, system analyst, and technology manager career. Also, a lot of experience in formal project management (project plans and critical paths and Gantt charts and all that jazz).
- People/team manager responsible for hiring, developing, and managing several high performing teams (and one not so high performing :--( ). These included remote individuals, managers, and teams; and off-shore contracting resources.
- I am really open to feedback, suggestions, commentary, and constructive criticism. In fact I like it. It just needs to be reasonably supported and honestly presented. Expect a challenge response if it seems otherwise...
- Primary qualification: I really don't want this job. I won't do it for more than a year.
IV. Governing Principles
- All applicable external laws, By-laws, rules, and policies will be followed, enforced, and applied consistently and without prejudice or passion.
- Directors roles are most correctly seen as legal & financial fiduciaries, i.e. oversight for officers and committee chairs.
- Ensure all records of the corporation not protected by privilege or confidentiality are available to the members (see 1st point).
- Advice from corporate attorneys, CPAs, and other professional advisors should be proactively sought out as needed and faithfully followed.
- Organizational/management focus on member satisfaction and user experience going forward.
- Support that all Board meetings adhere to stated formats and rules of order, all agenda items are clearly communicated before meetings for public discussion, meetings are simulcast and/or recorded via video, and minutes are clearly recorded and published in a timely manner.
V. Organizational Objectives
- Begin to shift BoD to true director roles, and away from day-to-day or operational managers.
- In support of the previous point, more clearly define and/or create organization officer roles (President, Vice-Prescient, Secretary, Treasure, etc.) and empower to help manage day-to-day operations.
- Ensure By-laws rewrite moves forward and rolls-out "propositions" on a regular basis for discussion, voting by the membership, and adoption where applicable.
- Establish clear committee standards to be applied across all committees, including standardizing committee structure and monthly reporting (member meetings!).
- Examine/reform honorarium program to make sure it aligns with and supports current state-of-play at DMS and its life cycle.
- Work to better leverage DMS internal software development resources according to DMS needs.
- Really want to get a suite of surveys (open house attendee survey, new member survey, bi-annual satisfaction survey, exit survey) implemented, so we can really know how best to steer the ship.
VI. Closing Thoughts
- Transparency is a good thing. It is also a tricky thing... It means different things to different people, so I have tried not to repeat it like a mantra. What I won't do is cave every time someone squalls or squabbles to know what I said to myself in the shower or said to another director in the hallway or in a private meeting with whomever. Similarly, not every electronic document or communication is a candidate for immediate publishing - that's just not the way any organization runs. But we have, or will have, clear definitions as to what members can and can't access, and how, where and when.
- Managing a non-profit like the Dallas Makerspace is a non-standard management effort; people rarely have the experience for it, and even most other non-profits are not really like a Makerspace. The usual sticks-and-carrots available in traditional organizations are simply not available, In fact there are really only one or two that exist in this type of environment. But realizing this at the get-go, i.e. "I get it, that I don't get it" is a fundamental start for any director here. If you think you get it, you don't, and it means you are probably trying to remake the 'Space in your own image. I am not about that and it's not what I am interested in doing (read above if you are interested in knowing what I am interested in doing).
- Continuing success is only possible if many more members become more engaged and at very least are held to the basic standard of leaving the 'Space and/or particular area used no worse than it was found (ideally, of course, leave it better). Getting as many members, especially as they are on their way in, to sign onto to a basic credo like this will be core to moving us forward in the same direction such that more people have skin in the game.
Nominators: Stephenie Webb, Kent Bowling, Mathew Busby, Scott Blevins, Ken Purcell