Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom

Allison Mankin <> Wed, 11 February 2015 09:24 UTC

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Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2015 04:24:04 -0500
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Subject: Re: Updating BCP 10 -- NomCom
From: Allison Mankin <>
To: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <>
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Murray,  see if these paragraphs work in the draft.  I've covered the
points that I suggested in my point 3 that you quoted.  Thanks very much
for the ping!!

Section ??  - Hiring Manager Responsibilities of the Nomcom

The voting members of the Nomcom serve as hiring managers for the
leadership of the IETF.  That responsibility includes not only assessing
whether those nominated are technically capable of the leadership roles in
question but also whether they will serve well to lead others and work
synergistically in the bodies, the IESG, the IAB, and the IAOC.  To make
good judgements on these axes, the Nomcom needs to cultivate very good
listening (to interviews, to feedback).  Even more so, the Nomcom should
cultivate their skills of  "slow thinking" as they evaluate, interview and
deliberate.  The Nomcom should be careful to really digest the resumes,
feedback and other input about candidates, because otherwise it is too easy
to pick a familiar or "famous" candidate when a less well-known candidate
may have a great deal more to offer.  This term "slow thinking" comes from
the 2011 book "Thinking Fast and Slow" by the economics Nobelist Daniel
Kahneman.  Slow thinking refers to careful, thorough, deliberative
processes of thought, in contrast to rapid judgements, intuition, gut
feelings, all of which make up fast thinking.  During fast thinking,
unconscious biases have extra sway so that equal or more competent nominees
may be dismissed too quickly compared with nominees who are "known
quantities."   Fast thinking is likely to result in not truly digesting and
perceiving every candidate's skills - based on gut feelings, nominating
panels give less time to the unfamiliar resumes, are less conscious of all
the qualifications of the less familiar candidates.  It is very important
for the IETF as an organization that excellent nominees not be
inadvertently overlooked.

Section ?? - A Note about Interviewing

Interviews that the Nomcom decides to conduct need to be carefully planned
and organized to emphasize fairness and consistency to the candidates.
While the specific procedures will be determined by each Nomcom aided by
the Nomcom Chair, here are some overarching principals:  it is advisable to
prepare a starting slate of questions that each nominee in particular
positions will all be asked; this ensures a basic fairness and also helps
to make interviews complete.  Each interview should have sufficient
participants, including a set minimum number of voting members.  One
approach to organizing interviews is for the Chair to assign a Lead, a
Scribe, and one or more Observers for each.  The outcome of having
consistently sized and organized interview panels is that all nominees will
receive fair amounts of attention and sufficient efforts on interview
reports to be shared with the rest of the Nomcom.

On 11 February 2015 at 02:40, Murray S. Kucherawy <>

> Cycling back around since the threads died off:
> On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 10:40 AM, Allison Mankin <>
> wrote:
>> 3. A bit fuzzier, but I think important, would be to include some guiding
>> language for Nomcoms about their task as hiring managers recruiting and
>> selecting leadership for the IETF.  I found it very important to advise my
>> Nomcom to use "slow thinking"  (in Kahneman's sense) and make sure to
>> really digest the resumes, questionnaires and feedback, because the pace of
>> the Nomcom and human nature tend to result in "fast" or intuitive dismissal
>> of some really good candidates based on e.g. their having less fame.
>> Similarly, without constraining the exact procedures, it is important to
>> explicitly find ways to make interviews consistent across candidates and to
>> have enough of a panel of interviewers.  The pace and stress of scheduling
>> interviews means it's important to put these goals front and center,
>> because they are actually quite challenging to accomplish.
>> I can propose some text for these.
> Hi Allison,
> I think I've nailed down the other two, but I would really like some text
> for this last one.  You probably have a much better idea of what you'd like
> to see here than I do.
> I may post -02 tonight so people can see the other proposed changes.  If I
> do that, I can catch your text in -03.
> -MSK