Common Room Forum Discussions
How the Common Room Works
The Common Room consists of a range of Forums intended to act as a “coffee table” for members to gather around and discuss any related topics of conversation or reflection. Forums may either be Public and accessible to all members, or Private, where you have to be admitted by application. Private Forums are normally linked to a specific Project Group and may be being used for collaboration between a limited number of team members, so depending on the nature of the work of the group, don’t feel insulted if your request is not accepted.
Once in a Forum, you are free to create a conversation on any related topic. Just start typing under “Create New Topic”, add a tag line if possible to link the subject to the website search function, tick the “notify me of replies via email” box if you like, and hit the submit button.
Creating a New General Topic Forum
To avoid a proliferation of duplicating Forums, the administrator (aka “The Caretaker”) controls the creation of new General Topic Public Forums. If you have a suggestion for a new General Topic Public Forum open to all members, don’t hesitate to let us know in the Suggestions Forum or email us on [email protected].
Creating a Project Group Specific Forum
You are greatly encouraged to enable the sharing of ideas with other members in the “What’s Happening” News Forum, Unfortunately, as things stand a Project Group Specific Forum is only accessible to Project Group Members, but it can be really useful in the following manner.
As a second chamber to your Project Group Room
If you are running a Group Project (see below), there is an option to create a Forum linked to that Project Group. Most project groups will be private and, as a default setting, their Common Room Forum will also be private. It is important to note that anyone granted access to your Private Forum will also have access to your Project Room. Consequently the use of a Private Group Specific Forum is limited, but does enable the creation of a second “meeting room” to a broader range of “non-executive” trusted collaborators. The Project Group is where most of the “executive” work is performed, whereas the Private Forum is where “supervision”, sounding board, or comments on posted drafts may be solicited from participants. Just do not forget that giving access to a Private Forum, involves giving access to the Project Room also.
The existence of a Private Forum is visible to other members in the spirit of transparency. It is a value of this website that members to know what projects are being worked on in order that they can make contact, enquire, offer assistance, etc., rather than duplicate an initiative already existing.
N.B. When creating a private project group forum it may first appear amongst all other public forums (but remains private). The Website Caretaker will eventually move the private forum to “Group Specific Forums”.
Sharing Project Group news and developments with other members without access to Project Room
The Project Group administrator is committed top providing at least a quarterly update on how things are developing with the initiative. This can be done by creating a Topic with the name of the Project Group in the “What’s Happening” News Forum and providing your update there. Please update progress and thoughts as frequently as you wish, the quarterly update commitment is a minimum!
If the project is large and significant enough, we can establish a full General Access Forum to invite all members to participate in an ongoing discussion or debate. If this is of interest to you, please apply to the Caretaker at [email protected] or post an entry in the Suggestions Box Forum.
Making Changes to the Forum
Changing names, titles, descriptions, cover pictures, etc., even deleting a Forum, is easy. When in your Forum, as Creator and Administrator, click on the “Other” icon at the far right of the menu and click on “Manage” – all options are available to you there.
When you have established your profile, you can start to explore who the other members are by going to the Members Page. All members are found on this page and by clicking on a personal icon/image, you will be taken to their activity page where their recent public comments and postings may be seen. Click on the Profile button and you will find the same type of background information that you have yourself input, and which is available to others to discover under your profile. You can also see what Project Groups they belong to or Forums they contribute to. Finally, you can send them a message or request they add you as a Friend. If they accept you, they will appear ion the Friends Page under Members and you will be notified. If they reject you or ignore you, you will not. You can still message them.
Finding Members with Special Interests or Skills
You can look at individual members on the Members Page, or search for Members with particular knowledge or skill sets by going to the “Get Connected” Page. Here you will find all of the options that are available to choose from when creating your profile and here is where it proves its value. Click on (e.g.) the button for expertise in Board Governance, and a window will appear with those members who admit to having that expertise. From there, send them a message, or send a Friend request to get connected and start a conversation.
Discovering Members looking for Collaborators
Under Project Rooms – Groups, there is a public group entitled “Notice Board: Help Wanted”. This is useful to browse on a regular basis as any member (including yourself) can post an update creating a new topic of conversation on a particular need they/you might have. A member who is expert in governance might be planning to write an article or start research on the potential use or impact of Blockchain on Boardroom procedures. By advertising your need and nature of help wanted on the project, its a good way to find volunteers to join in on the effort.
Starting a Project
Finding Project Partners
Under Project Rooms – Groups, there is a public group entitled “Notice Board: Help Wanted” or “Help Offered”. These are useful to browse on a regular basis as any member (including yourself) can post an update creating a new topic of conversation on a particular need they/you might have, or advertising their interest in getting involved. When planning to start a new Project Group, it might be useful to have a look and see if other members are already looking for help on a similar idea, or is offering their time and competence in a way that is helpful to you. By looking at what other members are working on and need help on in “Help Wanted”, or discovering who is looking for opportunities to collaborate in “Help Offered”, is a great way to connect and to find projects to work on together.
Establishing a Project group
Once you have your idea of a project, it is easy to create a group by going to the Project Rooms or Group Page. All you have to do is click on “Create a Group” and follow instructions. Think of a Group Name that is descriptive and clear on the topic being pursued. The ethos of the website is to be transparent and open about what we are working on. Explain in a short paragraph what the project is about to “outsiders” so that other members might know what you are working on. They may be able to provide information or contribute, or just be able to discuss the interest area with you. Don’t forget to elect some common tags by clicking on those on offer below the group tag box, or adding your own, separating each with a comma, to facilitate website search functions. Click on the Create Group button at the bottom.
Should I create a Group Specific Forum in the Common Room?
You now have the choice to create a Forum linked to the Project Group. You can do this at any time, but its usefulness is a subject in itself (see above and below for more on how to start and use Project Group Forums). If you choose to create a Project Group Specific Forum, by default it will have the same private/public status as your Project Group Room. It will provide a private second chamber to your project group for (e.g.) a higher level discussion with trusted interested parties. You can think of it as the Group Project Room being the working space for the Project “Executive”, while the Forum is for less intensive “Non-Executive” sounding board and oversight activity (like asking a few people to review your working drafts, for example). Just remember, that those who have access to your “non-executive” Project Group linked Forum, also have access to your “executive” Project rooms.
You can create this second, non-executive, Forum at any time (see “Making Changes” below). Do not choose the option of “Hidden Group” as it is contrary to the transparency value of the website. If by accident you do so, the Caretaker will change the status to a private group.
Inserting Profile and Cover Images for your Group Project Room
Drag and Drop or choose a picture of between 250MB and 1,5GB to serve as your Cover image for the Project Group page. Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug in the downloaded software that prevents cropping and choosing the presentation of the picture you choose. The same problem goes for any uploaded portrait picture for the Profile Picture. Until further notice, I recommend you choose the option to take a photo via your computer, put on your best smile and “capture”. Hopefully this can be corrected later and you will be able to edit your cover and profile pictures properly then.
Inviting Team members to the Project Group from the Website
On the final page you will be able to send an invite to those who have accepted you as a Friend to join your project Group. N.B. Bear in mind that for administrative and security reasons, the website administrator has access to all Project Rooms irrespective of private/public status.
Making Changes to the Project Room Settings
Changing names, titles, descriptions, cover pictures, etc., even deleting a Project Group, is easy. When in your Project Room, as Creator and Administrator, click on the “Other” icon at the far right of the menu and click on “Manage” – all options are available to you there in a menu starting on the left with “Details”.
Communicating within Project Groups
When you create a Project Room, you automatically create a private page for the exchange of ideas, comments, documents and plans to those you have invited into the Group.
Communicating and Interacting with Non-Project Group Members
If you wish to supplement your confidential work in the Project Room by creating a public Project Group Linked Forum where you can explain more about your work, seek suggestions or comments or opinions on such matters as you might be happy to share with other members. You can do this by requesting the Caretaker on [email protected] to create one for you. This is necessary if you wish Forum participants NOT to have access to your Project Group Room! On the other hand, you may also post updates and requests for comments by posting a new topic or updating an old one in the “What’s Happening” News Forum.
Updating other Members on the Website about your Project
The facility of being able to create closed Project Group Rooms is to enable progress between a narrow range of website members, but not to exclude others from being excited about your work. It’s a condition of having this facility that the Project Group Administrator posts an update on progress at least once a quarter in the “What’s Happening” News forum, eventually inviting comment from other members to drafts or ideas. Don’t be surprised or upset if “the Caretaker” reminds you of your obligations every now and then – he’s only doing his job!
Sharing Documents in the Project Group.
Sharing documents on the website is easy. In the Forums or Project Rooms, there is a “Documents” button. Click it and see what documents are already uploaded, or go to the “Upload a New Document” button at the bottom of the page. Find the document on your computer you wish to upload and then proceed to complete the Display Name and Description boxes to explain what the document is about. Choose an existing document category or create a new one. This is important. The upload will not complete without this step. Do not forget that you need to decide who may upload documents to the Project Room. This is vital as the Project Room Administrator is responsible for all uploaded content.
Expanding Project Group Membership to Individuals not yet Members of the Website
You may wish to import an existing project onto the website, or invite an old friend or colleague to help you in the project work who is not yet a member of thegovernanceproject.org. As long as they meet the membership criteria of the website, do feel free to invite them to join. Just refer to the FAQ section below: “Introducing an Old Friend”.
Ending a Project Group
Once a project has ended, culminating in an outcome or experience that might encourage or inspire others, please share your findings. Consider converting your Private Forum or Project Room into a public one. It might require a few minutes to tidy it up, but consider the interest you might have in discovering what other members have been up to. At the very least make an announcement in the Public Announcements Forum and upload something to give other members a taste of your achievements or conclusions.
Connecting with New Friends
Finding Members with Special Interests or Skills
You can search for Members with particular knowledge or skill sets by going to the “Get Connected” Page. Here you will find all of the options that are available to choose from when creating your profile and here is where it proves its value. Click on (e.g.) the button for expertise in Board Governance, and a window will appear with those members who admit to having that expertise. From there, send them a message, or send a Friend request to get connected and start a conversation.
Finding Members looking for Collaborators
Under Project Rooms – Groups, there is a public group entitled “Notice Board: Help Wanted” or “Help Offered”. These are useful to browse on a regular basis as any member (including yourself) can post an update creating a new topic of conversation on a particular need they/you might have, or advertising their interest in getting involved. A member who is expert in governance might be planning to write an article or start research on the potential use or impact of Blockchain on Boardroom procedures. By looking at what other members are working on and need help on, or discovering who is looking for opportunities to collaborate in “Help Offered”, is a great way to connect and to find projects to work on together.
Volunteering – Advertising your Interest in Joining a Project Group
Everyone loves a volunteer! You can pursue the labels on the various projects ongoing under Project Rooms – Groups, but you can’t know if they are interested in having other members joining the project. It may be well advanced, or already have enough members involved. Whereas there is no harm in “knocking on the door” to a group and offering your help, but you might find unexpected opportunities by advertising your interest in joining in projects and what knowledge and skills you might contribute in the public group entitled “Notice Board: Help Offered”. It is particularly of interest as it might make you known to co-members who have not yet created a project room or posted a “Help Wanted” announcement.
Introducing an Old Friend
Working with new friends may be fun, but working with old friends is comfortable. A mix is ideal.
If you have a friend or colleague that you would like to work with you on a Group Project, or simply believe that he/she might find value in joining our website, that is both welcome and encouraged. All you got to do is ask your friend to complete the registration/application form and send your recommendation as to character and qualification (see below) to the Caretaker at [email protected]. As long as the criteria for membership is satisfied, we will expedite the request asap.
Qualifications for membership:
- Members must be able to be trusted that they will agree to share their knowledge and expertise and freely contribute to a learning culture within the website.
- Members will respect the intellectual ownership of ideas and information shared on this website, not seek to use insights shared by others for commercial gain without requesting and receiving permission to do so.
- Members have a track record as an expert and creative thinker in their field evidenced by the publication of books or articles, holding teaching positions at educational institutions, or by reputation as an expert and practitioner in a field within governance, compliance, ethics and society.
Posting a Blog
Posting Blogs on theGovernanceProject.org relating to work or matters that relate to our focus on governance, compliance and ethics is VERY welcome indeed. However, as it is part of the website visible to the rest of the world, it is important that the website administrator maintains control over its content. Please, please write and post on our website, but submit them to [email protected] for approval – we will then publish asap. To be clear, our interest is to share knowledge not restrict its distribution. Consequently, we are happy for you to post the blog on other websites of your choosing, albeit that it would be great to have you reference our blog as the primary source! Your choice.
Join the List of Members available as Speakers
Situated under the “Who We Are” Page, we have a page (“Speaker’s Market”) for Members to advertise themselves as available for public speaking engagements, or for delivering a course. At this stage there is no automated system for making an entry, so it has to be manually constructed by the Caretaker. If you wish to have your name added to the list, please mail the Caretaker at [email protected] and ask us to add you to the list. Initially, we will list names in alphabetical order, but we will try to establish a search function for subject tags on the page in due course. Have a look at the existing sample for myself, Anthony Smith-Meyer and try to follow that template.
In your mail request, please include the following details (try copying and pasting the list into the mail!):
- Full Name (as it should appear):
- Complete the sentence “Available to Speak on Subjects related to: …” with “tag” words.
- If you have a motto or “Tag Line”, let us know what it is.
- Short bio (max 150 words) written in the third person – e.g. Anthony is a professor of management:
- List of publications:
- Recent Speaker Events: Provide a list of venues you have spoken or taught at during the past 12 months (avoid too much detail: the organisation and location suffice. Preferably mention only events where you could get a reference).
- Social Media links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, personal webpage, etc):
- Terms and conditions (use, delete or amend as you see fit):
- I am available to speak for not-for-profit events pro bono subject to my travel costs being covered.
- I am available to run seminars or courses at commercial rates.
- I am available to write courses or to tailor and facilitate modules.
- References from previous speaking engagements are available on demand
- For further information please contact me on: (email address).
- Please include a suitable Portrait image (of type jpg., png., etc) of yourself. The size of the picture should be in the range 100-200kb.
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