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CraginS
Defender I

Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!

Board Candidate and Member  @DavidMelnick has exposed a VERY disturbing situation over in the thread 

(ISC)2 Board of Directors election

giving a possible explanation why Board Members have spent years avoiding direct communication with (ISC)2 members, when he said the following:

 

"Your comment is fair, but having been on the Board, I think the Board suffered a bit from putting gags on individual members to ensure we all spoke as one board. I think this became a problem that should be corrected. Board Members need the freedom to engage. David Melnick, Candidate"

 

I call upon all Candidates and Current Members to immediately explain this situation and to disavow any future effort to continue this disastrous practice..
I further ask that every Candidate immediately pledge to reach out to the membership thorugh thee Community and direct e-mails to pulse the membership for comments on items currently in discussion by the board.

 

I ask that write-in Candidate Diana Contesti @dcontesti join in the conversation along with her posted query regarding licensure.

 

I further ask that Grandpa Rob @rslade join the conversation and bring this thread to the attention of the successor CISSP Forum at Groups.io

 

Wit deepest reagard,

 

 

 

D. Cragin Shelton, DSc
Dr.Cragin@iCloud.com
My Blog
My LinkeDin Profile
My Community Posts
8 Replies
dcontesti
Community Champion

Re: Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!


@CraginS wrote:

Board and Member Candidate  @DavidMelnick has exposed a VERY disturbing situation over in the thread 

(ISC)2 Board of Directors election

giving a possible explanation why Board Members have spent years avoiding direct communication with (ISC)2 members, when he said the following:

 

"Your comment is fair, but having been on the Board, I think the Board suffered a bit from putting gags on individual members to ensure we all spoke as one board. I think this became a problem that should be corrected. Board Members need the freedom to engage. David Melnick, Candidate"

 

I call upon all Candidates and Current Members to immediately explain this situation and to disavow any future effort to continue this disastrous practice..
I further ask that every Candidate immediately pledge to reach out to the membership thorugh thee Community and direct e-mails to pulse the membership for comments on items currently in discussion by the board.

 

I ask that write-in Candidate Diana Contesti @dcontesti join in the conversation along with her posted query regarding licensure.

 

I further ask that Grandpa Rob @rslade join the conversation and bring this thread to the attention of the successor CISSP Forum at Groups.io

 

Wit deepest reagard,

 

 

 


So I also was on the board at the time that the board spoke with one voice.  It was decided by the entire board that communications on decisions that went out should be consistent and even if one disagreed with the decision, they we were to carry the party line however that never meant that we couldn't talk to people.

 

Some very important things came to the board via chats with members...Changes to the experience levels on different certifications, the ladies scholarships, work on diversity, etc.  The speak with one voice was around decisions that were made NOT you cannot talk to people.  Strange how folks interpret things.  

 

Yes this made it sometimes difficult but it did not stop the board members from talking to members...."and before anyone jumps up and says "you upheld these rules"....I did but I also made both my work email and home email addresses to anyone that wanted to chat.  I think @rslade can attest to that.

 

My understanding is that this rule has changed however I have seen almost no interaction from any of the current board members on this forum or others.....yes a few did chime in last year prior to the election, however, once the election was done, they seemed to disappear.

 

If I should manage to be written in (which I strongly doubt), I will keep on chatting in the Community and other forums.  I have no plans to disappear and my emails will always be available.

 

Members of the board also interact regularly with folks at conferences that they attend or industry events and discuss many many issues.  Members of the board recently attended Secure Asia in Japan where I am sure they chatted with members.

 

Richard Nealon (@trickydicky) asked the candidates their opinions last year but unfortunately those conversations were archived so we cannot refer back to them.

 

my two cents

 

Diana

 

 

denbesten
Community Champion

Re: Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!

This has come up on the community before.  Apparently, those in favor of such a position feel that the board should speak with "one-voice".  There is some value to that, in that after a decision has been reached, there does need to be uniform backing by the entire board.  Further, when a person is in a position of power, they do need to be careful in their speech lest casual comments are treated as official gospel.  

 

The naive approach to this to stifle speech.  Likely it comes from parenting -- "Do what your dad said and no backtalking". Although there are cases this is appropriate (legal strategy, confidential negotiations, personnel actions, etc), it tends to result in loss of respect for leadership when used unnecessarily.

 

More nuanced approaches are publishing dissenting opinions alongside decisions, with a clear understanding that majority opinion is "law" and the only thing that establishes precedent.  The US Supreme Court is a great example of this in action.

 

Another technique is to train officers to routinely identify when their speech is personal or official.  This can  be done with word choice, how they sign communications, references (or lack thereof) to their office, etc.  

 

That said, the part I find most disturbing about such allegations is that a board is supposed to represent the corporate owners/shareholders.  In the case of a Business League [501(c)6], the closest thing to owners is the membership.  Members elect/fire the board and the entire organization exists solely for the benefit of the members.  Withholding germane information from the membership, in my eyes, would be akin to being deceitful with one's boss.  On the "badness" scale, this probably falls somewhere between insubordination and professional negligence.  I do hope that this is not "official policy" and that any lingering examples can be quashed.

 

That said, I don't feel we need the grandstanding CraignS suggests.  We just need up to 5 candidates show up on the community and make such a commitment.  Then, we need to vote for them and encourage others to do the same.

 

David Melnick's simple effort to solicit and thoughtfully respond to my opinion was enough to earn him at least one vote -- well unless 5 more candidates do the same, in which case I will need to do some more analysis.   In the end, I guess the old adage does apply -- to win an election, you need to shake a bunch of hands.

denbesten
Community Champion

Re: Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!

Reading a bit further, it appears that this was a problem in years past, but now has been solved.  That said, board engagement and transparency with the membership both remain important deciding factors in my vote.

 

@wimremes wrote:

 

When I joined the board in 2012, you [Diane] were the primary enforcer of a strict "the board speaks with one voice" policy. This effectively blocked communications by a board member to the membership. The divide between the membership and the board was huge. Today, any board member can speak their mind even on contentious issues, as JJs posts on LinkedIN prove. Even as chair, she can voice her opinion without the board getting their panties in a twist over it (distracting from doing actual work). This is great.

 

[cite]

dcontesti
Community Champion

Re: Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!


@denbesten wrote:

Reading a bit further, it appears that this was a problem in years past, but now has been solved.  That said, board engagement and transparency with the membership both remain important deciding factors in my vote.

 

@wimremes wrote:

 

When I joined the board in 2012, you [Diane] were the primary enforcer of a strict "the board speaks with one voice" policy. This effectively blocked communications by a board member to the membership. The divide between the membership and the board was huge. Today, any board member can speak their mind even on contentious issues, as JJs posts on LinkedIN prove. Even as chair, she can voice her opinion without the board getting their panties in a twist over it (distracting from doing actual work). This is great.

 

[cite]


Win,

 

When you joined the board in 2012, I was not a board member so therefore could not enforce anything and if you read my note, I already said that I did enforce that.

 

In my mind there has been no transparency with this current board.

 

 

 

Diana

 

DavidMelnick
Newcomer II

Re: Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!

WOW. This is an exciting discussion. 

 

I guess on the one hand, this thread illustrates how my poor word choice, i.e. "gag" (though honestly that did capture how I felt back in the beginning), can lead to lots of strong reactions. That type of response is just what I think led some folks to want to limit unstructured engagement and control messages from Board members to the community. 

 

I am glad to hear that the Board apparently has shifted to a more open approach to community engagement. Anyone that shared the Board with me during my tenure knows that I fought hard and loud for greater transparency. Apparently I may have more support in that effort. 

 

Thanks for the lively conversation. I feel like I should create a "gagged" meme for myself.

David Melnick

 

rslade
Influencer I

Re: Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!

>   I further ask that Grandpa Rob @rslade join the
> conversation and bring this thread to the attention of the successor CISSP Forum
> at Groups.io

[snort] Whu ... You woke me up for *that*?

Sorry, I thought it was pretty obvious that the Board has been gagging members
for some time now. We have had lots of BoD candidates running on platforms of
greater communication, only to completely disappear once they got elected. I'm
not cynical enough to think that *all* of them were lying to us. The only
reasonable explanation is that as soon as you get elected you have to sign some
draconian NDA that says you can't say anything to anyone.

====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@vcn.bc.ca slade@victoria.tc.ca rslade@computercrime.org
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men
to do nothing. - Edmund Burke
victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm http://twitter.com/rslade
http://blogs.securiteam.com/index.php/archives/author/p1/
https://is.gd/RotlWB

............

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CraginS
Defender I

Re: Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!

I truly appreciate all the responses here, and hope that the discussion continues. I fully support all Board members 'speaking with one voice" AFTER a Board decision has been voted on and confirmed. My concern about the 'gagging' of the Board is that Board members may have been precluded from engaging with the membership about ongoing topics before the Board BEFORE a decisional vote.

 

In particular, I hope we see an increase in direct communication, especially here in the Community, with Board members letting the membership know what topics are currently being discussed, or pending attention at meetings, and allowing us, the membership, to provide our comments on the topics prior to the Board meetings at which the official discussions and votes take place.

 

Would it make sense to have a forum in the Community dedicated to open and pending issues, on which a Boar member posts the outline of the topic, and then all the membership can respond with comments?

 

@Kaity would you please consider working with the Board for procedures to establish such a forum?

 

Thank you, all.

 

 

 

D. Cragin Shelton, DSc
Dr.Cragin@iCloud.com
My Blog
My LinkeDin Profile
My Community Posts
Kaity
Community Manager

Re: Board Members Gagged! Denied Comms with Members!

Thank you for your input @CraginS - I will share this idea.