Pilots, Initiatives, Stewards, Teams

A proposal for member initiatives and team formation which is directly tied with the forum’s structure. Topics represent pieces of work and are moved through the forum’s categories to show their status or roadblocks.

All members at Resonate have agency and should have routes to take initiative. I think key to this is creating a collaboration system clearly linked with the forum itself. This is a proposal for how that system could work smoothly without having to sort out every imaginable detail, entrusting that when we foster relationships between people they can work those details out. Key goals are to engage with each others’ ideas in an organized way, democratize team processes, establish support and camaraderie for workers, and allow for individuals to take initiative.


Here’s a breakdown of what I picture being the purposes of the forum categories and key work-oriented roles at the co-op.

Category: Blog

This category provides high-level orientation for everyone, whether just arriving at Resonate or if you’ve been here a long time. Executive Team is responsible for coordinating a monthly blog post summarizing recent updates across the co-op. This is where you go if you’re wondering, broadly, “what’s going on at Resonate lately”.

Category: Help Desk + Handbook

What if you need help with something in particular or have questions? Here’s where you go to get that help from fellow members and explore the Handbook – the co-op’s resource for detailed info on roles, policy, or how-tos.

Categories: General & Music

These are both open-ended chat spaces focused on discovery, sharing, conversation, and camaraderie – the exception being during General Meetings when the area is used for voting on major proposals (“resolutions”).

Monthly social events will be pinned in these categories for co-op members to meet up, socialize, and get to know each other in a relaxed way.

Category: Proposals

What if you want something specific to happen? In the Proposals category, members can share an idea for something that should change about the co-op or be built by @workers. Proposals are discussed here. Supported proposals can be:

  • implemented ad hoc within the Proposals category
  • added by the Platform Team to a related #plan in Platform category for future work
  • invited to have a Pilot step up to lead an Initiative and build a team to implement it
  • added to Needs if high priority but doesn’t have the necessary resources
  • be accepted into the Workshop category by a team to be implemented

A voting plugin can be installed in this area category so that members can show support for their favorite proposals. Proposals which want group discussion face-to-face can be explored in Assemblies or other meetups.

Proposals which are major in scope will be raised at a General Meeting of members as a #resolution. If @workers don’t pick up a proposal, it can be brought to membership more broadly for a vote.

Category/Roles: Initiatives

Proposals which fall outside the scope of teams can be launched as Initiatives if approved by the @executive team or a majority of @workers. Initiatives are expected to keep the co-op informed of their progress and roadblocks. If an Initiative achieves its goal before formalizing as a Team, it naturally disbands.

Roles: The Pilot

To be launched, an Initiative will need a Pilot to step forward to host meetups, invite others to help, and keep the community updated on its progress. A Pilot serves as host, welcoming folks to gather around the mission. A Pilot is responsible as coordinator, facilitator, secretary, and teacher unless other participants wish to help in those areas.

Roles: Pilots Collective

All Pilots (including Executive Team) meet regularly to clarify the co-op’s roadmap and check that projects are in sync across working groups. These meetings replace current Exec Team meetings. It’s hard for co-op members to help or have a say in things if they don’t know what’s going on, so it’s the responsibility of Pilots (including Exec Team) to ensure updates are summarized in the Blog and key Needs are highlighted. If a proposal, task or project falls between multiple teams, @executive team will decide which team takes it on.

Roles: Executive Team

Pilots who are appointed by members’ representatives on the Board to lead core teams, and approve initiatives.

Category: Needs

Some proposals which Pilots consider high-priority or urgent (1) won’t have a Pilot ready to lead an Initiative or (2) won’t be able to be accepted by a team due to their existing workload. In these cases, the proposal should be moved to Needs, with its call-to-action highlighted.

If you want to join an existing team, initiative, or take on a task, generally the Needs category will be the place to find it and sync up.

Roles: The Steward

For an Initiative to be recognized as a Team, its participants must select a Steward. The Pilot does not take part in selecting the Steward as the choice is seen as a sign that the team has built strong enough relationships among each other to be independent. The Pilot helps them get started, but the goal is that the team can make many of their own decisions. The Steward takes on some of the Pilot’s people-focused responsibilities such as meeting facilitation and work accounting, while the Pilot stays focused on project management and async coordination.

Roles: Stewards Collective

Collectively, Stewards are responsible for ensuring that each team has a path for Worker Membership and patronage and that folks, broadly speaking, are having a good time. They foster education about facilitation and collective decision-making across the co-op. If a membership process involves tracking work contributions or hours, it is Stewards’ responsibility to make sure this is happening and that participants feel their needs are being met. When requested, Stewards serve as the co-operative’s Grievance Committee, focusing on conflict resolution.

Roles: Steward + Pilot

In day-to-day work, a Pilot and Steward form a partnership which helps to guide a team toward their collective goals and welcome new collaborators. While our hope would be that a team could get together often to make decisions, this can be challenging at Resonate when folks are in many time zones. As a backup, this partnership provides mutual support if either needs advice, help, or a break. Splitting interrelated responsibilities between Pilot and Steward also helps ensure that the team itself stays in the loop, positioning leadership as a conversation, not a unilateral process.

Categories: Workshop

Each team has a respective category in Workshop, where they either start their own projects or accept Proposals from the community to work on. If they have additional workspaces, these should be linked to or noted in the category. When accepting a proposal, its corresponding forum Topic should be moved into the team’s Workshop category by the team’s Pilot.

The goal when building a team is that it be mostly autonomous, having the skills among its committed members to take ideas from start to finish. While a team certainly should be social, it is not a more general socializing call. Those on a team need to know that they have support of their peers to achieve their collective goals; real expectations are necessary. Ideally, these expectations should be decided by the Team itself.

Category: Platform

A place for the Platform Team to organize materials related to development, so that members can see the breakdown on what we’re planning to build. Said differently, if Blog is where you go for the birds eye view, here’s where you go if you want to get into the tiniest details or offer feedback on a feature which is in the works.

Essentially, this is both an active working space for developers and the community’s “recipe book”. This is a place to refine our #plans for what we have agreed we want.

Roles: Workers Collective

Those contributing work across Initiatives and Teams gather monthly or bi-monthly as the Workers Collective. These meetups are hosted by Stewards Collective. This group reviews the roadmap provided by the Pilots, the co-op’s budget, strategizes together, and votes on Initiatives (or new Worker-Members once the initial class is founded after a General Meeting).

Category: Ecosystem

As an open-source ecosystem and co-operative, not all projects need become an Initiative or be welcomed into a Workshop. You don’t need to be a “worker” to get creative and get involved! Whether you are a guitarist experimenting with pedals or a coder building a plugin to the Resonate Player, share your projects here. Everyone is encouraged to experiment using the platform we’re building together; the Ecosystem category is a dedicated space for folks to share updates and show off what they’ve made.

6 Likes

How are we feeling about this proposal? Particularly looking for support/feedback from @workers @executive @directors @assistants, but all are encouraged to click the poll below and speak up.

  • :ok_woman: I’m ready to experiment with this!
  • :person_raising_hand: I’d like clarification on something…
  • :tipping_hand_woman: I have an improvement to suggest…
  • :person_gesturing_no: I think this could do harm because…

0 voters

Much of this work is already underway in various forms. This proposal would unite these ideas into a cohesive model and fill in missing pieces. I’d like us to try this out for the next 3 months. During retrospectives we can reflect and improve as needed.

  • Current working groups will be re-titled as Initiatives. Only after selecting a Steward does an Initiative becomes a Team.

  • These Initatives will have a Pilot selected or approved by @executive.

  • Working groups without a Pilot will be invited to another working group or encouraged to continue informally as an Ecosystem project.

  • Board working groups will continue to be called Committees. Committees are linked to the Board rather than to the Collectives (Pilots, Stewards, Workers).

2 Likes

Really like this Hakanto and appreciate the work you have put into it. In terms of implementation and experimentation, I would start (‘pilot’) with a team (depending on the new term) that is either very new or doesn’t exist yet, that way it doesn’t disrupt or duplicate work for an existing group, but does bring new representation and value to the existing set up

3 Likes

Love this, my only question is, how would it help, for example, proposals move through to implementation. There’s a few proposals knocking around that have generated a bit of conversation but no clear outcome and now seem a bit stalled. It’d be good to have a process to highlight things that have stalled and either close them, or resolve, or move forward etc.

Or would my question above just be better handled by a work culture kind of thing, like the way you added the poll to your proposal? (which is great).

2 Likes