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Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:07 pm
by John Swain
A tab seems to have appeared recently on the ECF website, under the Grading Database tab, with the heading "Ask the Directors". It also gives a number of helpful options about the urgency of the request, confidentiality etc. This looks like a commendable approach - Directors expecting and apparently welcoming questions.

Is this a new development or have I been half-asleep and not noticed this facility?

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:12 pm
by Carl Hibbard
A nice spot that one John.

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:12 pm
by LawrenceCooper
John Swain wrote:A tab seems to have appeared recently on the ECF website, under the Grading Database tab, with the heading "Ask the Directors". It also gives a number of helpful options about the urgency of the request, confidentiality etc. This looks like a commendable approach - Directors expecting and apparently welcoming questions.

Is this a new development or have I been half-asleep and not noticed this facility?
I hadn't seen it before so here's the link for anyone not sure where to find it: http://www.englishchess.org.uk/ask-the-directors/

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:17 pm
by Julie Denning
It's new. In fact John picked it up within about 10 minutes of the Board being notified it had gone live. We hope it proves a positive development for everyone.

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:29 pm
by David Robertson
It's a foolish idea: commendable in theory; gormless in practice.

If only 1% of ECF members make an enquiry of a director, that's 100 emails that need to be written - an intolerable burden. And this doesn't include persistent questions from the Inquisitor-Generals, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, the axe-grinders, the political mischief-makers, and the congenitally dissatisfied.

Doomed to disappoint

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:01 pm
by Kevin Thurlow
"And this doesn't include persistent questions from the Inquisitor-Generals, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, the axe-grinders, the political mischief-makers, and the congenitally dissatisfied. "

Well, that deals with one member...

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:40 pm
by Mick Norris
Kevin Thurlow wrote:"And this doesn't include persistent questions from the Inquisitor-Generals, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, the axe-grinders, the political mischief-makers, and the congenitally dissatisfied. "

Well, that deals with one member...
:lol:

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:46 pm
by Mark Jordan
David Robertson wrote:It's a foolish idea: commendable in theory; gormless in practice.

If only 1% of ECF members make an enquiry of a director, that's 100 emails that need to be written - an intolerable burden. And this doesn't include persistent questions from the Inquisitor-Generals, the paranoid, the conspiracy theorists, the axe-grinders, the political mischief-makers, and the congenitally dissatisfied.

Doomed to disappoint
The application has been developed after lots of thinking and discussion and will be monitored by the office and any teething problems dealt with. Questions and answers that are of more general interest will be published on the website in anonymised form. We also hope to use this to work towards creating an FAQ page on the website which will lessen the need to answer the same questions over and over. Why not give it a chance rather than predict failure before it's even been up for 24 hours?

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:52 pm
by Mick Norris
Mark

We wish you luck with it, but the experience of the ECF Forum isn't really good, so you are bound to get people expecting the worst

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:00 pm
by Mark Jordan
Mick Norris wrote:Mark

We wish you luck with it, but the experience of the ECF Forum isn't really good, so you are bound to get people expecting the worst
Thanks Mick!

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:43 pm
by Kevin Thurlow
We should of course give it a chance.

However, we had such a system at work on the intranet. If the management got a planted question ("Would you agree that the management are doing a brilliant job?"), a full answer was given. If the question were slightly awkward, either they answered a different question or gave an evasive answer. On one memorable occasion, a very awkward question was just deleted from the system.

I assume here we won't see what the questions are. It may be that several are so similar, one answer will suffice. It may be that it would not be appropriate to answer a question (e.g. for legal reasons). I assume that if someone asks a question which is ignored, they will screech about it here.

So let's see how it works, but we should be very clear, if you invite questions, you have a duty to answer them!

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:59 pm
by Carl Hibbard
Is this feature meant to replace the other place?

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:03 pm
by Paul Dargan
I recall an "ask the CEO" system being created at a client, just as they were going through a 'merger' which in reality would see them bought and subsumed by a larger organisation with a much more 'American' culture and way of doing business. A noble idea, as part of a well-thought out comms programme.

The deal was that any emails sent were completely anonymous (they weren't actual emails, you just posted a question) and that they were reviewed daily by the CEO and he personally provided the responses.

Got quite a bit of use in the first week until someone from comms had one too many at a social event and explained the two flaws with the system;
1) the messages weren't anonymous - they knew who was logged in on the computer when the question was sent
2) Steve (the CEO) never got to see the questions, let alone respond to them ...

Got rather less traffic in week2

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:32 pm
by Mark Jordan
Kevin Thurlow wrote:We should of course give it a chance.

However, we had such a system at work on the intranet. If the management got a planted question ("Would you agree that the management are doing a brilliant job?"), a full answer was given. If the question were slightly awkward, either they answered a different question or gave an evasive answer. On one memorable occasion, a very awkward question was just deleted from the system.

I assume here we won't see what the questions are. It may be that several are so similar, one answer will suffice. It may be that it would not be appropriate to answer a question (e.g. for legal reasons). I assume that if someone asks a question which is ignored, they will screech about it here.

So let's see how it works, but we should be very clear, if you invite questions, you have a duty to answer them!
The directors have agreed that all questions will be responded to within the time frame. If an adequate answer to a question is not possible within 5 working days then the questioner will be notified and an indication will be given as to when they might expect an answer. The intention is to be candid in answering questions and certainly not evasive but if a question is not easily answered, seems inappropriate or, obviously, if there are legal implications, advice would need to be sought. A response explaining this would be forthcoming. All of this will be monitored by the office and the application will be reviewed and whatever necessary steps will be taken. We will let members know if there are any changes.

Re: Ask the Directors

Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:07 pm
by Kevin Thurlow
Thanks Mark

Paul Dargan made a good point. I asked an online question at work and was asked by a manager what the answer was!