Thanks for keeping this discussion going and making a few important points about member selection. The way I personally view it, it is a double edged sword. The tighter the selections process the higher the chance of loosing valuable talent. On other, hand letting everyone onto the team ends up destroying team’s dedication because the meetings end up being hangout places.
Nevertheless, I do not think that we should give up. As a community, we can never be perfect; however we can come close to it as long as we strive for it. (I’m not saying that this is a perfect solution but this is the best I could think of.) At tomorrow’s team meeting I’m planning to propose the following process.
- List of positions needed on the team will be posted to give students the idea for the kinds of things that they might do on the team. It will be stated that it is not necessary to be specifically interested or fit for one position it order to join the team.
- People interested in joining the team will be asked to fill out a form with contact information. They will also have to sign with their parents a letter that explains the level of dedication that the team usually involves.
- Every member who requested to join the team will be interviewed. I believe that this is better then filling out a form describing that person’s skills simply because an interview will allow you to tailor each question specifically for that person.
- Based on that interview we will work with the member to come up with a self-contract in the area that we believe fits him best. In the end, we will offer our knowledge and resources to help the new member accomplish the task.
- Those who successfully complete a task on time will move on to a new one, thereby getting things done for the team. Those who do not get things done will automatically eliminate themselves because as you have noticed from our team rules, people can only attend the meetings if they are there for a specific purpose unless it is an update meeting.
- Lastly, after each task the member would be asked to sum up what exactly he did to accomplish the task.
I believe that the above model will allow to take care of selection and attendance issues. After all even if the person only accomplishes one thing that is still more valuable then the same person sitting at all the meetings and doing nothing. When it comes around to choosing who is going on the trips, the summaries will be of far greater aid then simply the time the person has clocked.
Looking at the pole results I have noticed an eminent threat for FIRST. A lot of teams are anarchy, meaning that they probably waste most of the time arguing. Even more teams are a dictatorship, which probably means that people are not able to express their creativity to their full potential. Only about 1/7th of the teams seem to be in the consensus. Let’s use this thread to come up with some creative ways to deal with problems that FIRSTers face everyday and then after discussing them with the ENTIRE team, implement them.
One of the biggest challenges that I see is coming up with a good command structure for choosing the solutions. Because the experience level varies significantly among the members, I do not believe that a pure democracy will work like it can with the rulemaking process. However, in a pure dictatorship many great ideas could be shoved aside which would of course do miracles to decrease the team spirit. Any ideas on how to solve this issue?