One of the biggest challenges that any organization has of any size is the issue of accountability and the challenge of the disparity between those who are willing to suggest new ideas and those that will eventually implement them.
In other words, it’s so much easier to suggest some new idea, some suggestion, some new initiative than actually helping out and putting your feet and hands where you mouth is, especially in a volunteer-based and lead organization.
But that’s what WordPress is all about – we are a community-led and founded ecosystem where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and provide value to other people; but accountability can always be reviewed and improved.
That’s what Jane Wells seeks to do over at the Make forums and around volunteering – simply put, if you suggest an idea you must also share your available hours to make that idea a reality:
We have traditionally sucked at making suggestion follow-up transparent, and need to do better (that’s part of the hope with team reps). That said, the handful of people who get suggestions and requests lobbed at them 24/7 aren’t servants, and shouldn’t be treated as such.
To that end, when commenting with a suggestion, I’ll ask that commenters on this blog follow the same rule I used to use for the core team scoping posts: if you make a suggestion, include whether or not you are willing to help with the work to make it a reality if the suggestion is accepted, and if so, indicate how much time you have to give to the project.
So moving forward, try not to say, “I think think it would be great if you did [idea],” but instead say, “I think it would be great if we did [idea]. I [describe the skills you have that you can use to make this idea happen] and I can give about [say how much time you can give to working on this project].” It’s also okay to make a suggestion you’re not willing to help with (or don’t have the skills for), but you should still give this information.
I’m loving this push because it will really ensure that the best ideas eventually get implemented and will require a bit more wisdom and thought before someone just spouts off a neat idea but who has no intention of actually making it happen.
She goes on to give a few examples of what a good suggestion might look like and this one is my favorite:
So, please keep this in mind the next time you share a great idea – just ensure that you’re really committed to idea enough to lend a helping hand so that some real awesome stuff can happen.
Thanks Jane for your obvious leadership here and pushing the community as a whole to really step up their game.