Organization was Re: A technical assessment of porting "Sugar" to Windows.)

Edward Cherlin echerlin at
Thu May 1 14:41:54 EDT 2008

On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 2:21 PM, Mitch Bradley <wmb at> wrote:
>  A general observation about organizational behavior:
>  Organizations do not act coherently to nearly the same extent as
>  individual humans.  Individuals change their minds, act in ways
>  inconsistent with their stated goals, respond to different external
>  pressures at different times, etc.  With organizations it is even worse,
>  and the larger the organization, the more complicated it becomes.
>  Organizational leadership changes, goals and external realities change,
>  internal groups vie for influence, compete with one another and work at
>  cross purposes.  Different people within the organization make
>  statements that are attributed to "the organization".
>  Expecting an individual to behave coherently over time is dodgy at best;
>  expecting it of an organization is almost certain to disappoint.
>  In the OLPC case, the leadership at the very top hasn't changed, but the
>  second tier has changed, and the situation and external pressures have
>  changed drastically.

Yes, the middle tier is now supposed to be Kim Quirk (Technology),
Robert Fadel (Administration), Charles Kane (Business Development),
and whoever replaces Walter in Deployment. Has anybody heard? The
failure to announce such things is one of my biggest complaints.

Kim and Robert are adamant about not supporting first world
deployments, although they sort of allow them. GiveMany is a joke, and
the OLPC community isn't permitted to discuss projects like Illinois
(100,000 units proposed) with the staff. I haven't talked to Charles.

That reminds me. Do we have any idea what the Boards of Director and
Advisors think about all of this?

Does anybody have contact information for them? I have a few e-mail
addresses. Well, I'll ask.

Dandy, Ed, Joe, Alan, Mako (all bcc) pass it on, please, and read the
thread. We think that Nicholas doesn't know what he is talking about
with this Sugar on Windows idea and dissing Open Source, that he is
and has been dangerously out of touch with staff and volunteers, and
that he is now endangering the mission. Problems like this are
supposed to be the reason for a Board of Directors to exist in the
first place, so we want to hear that Board members are taking the
issue seriously, and preferably see evidence that you are listening to
what is going on, and understand the issues. Advisers, any assistance
you can give will be appreciated. This is the time to advise, if ever
there was one.

Nicholas's post

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Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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