I find the term ‘operations’ to be chunky and plausibly misleading in a survey such as this where it might take on quite different meanings for different people and organizations depending on the specific needs it refers to, for example, in this article: https://80000hours.org/articles/operations-management/
Insofar as it is feasible, I would love to see it broken up into different parts, as it seems to me that it can refer to a lot:
-People in operations roles act as multipliers, aiming to enable those in the organisation to maximise their productivity. They oversee the functions crucial to every top performing organisation, such as management, overseeing budgets, helping to hire and train new staff, and so on.-Great operations people are “systems builders” — they create and manage repeatable processes that keep the organisation functioning at a high level. This means they require significant creativity, self-direction and social skills, as well as conscientiousness.
...Creating a financial system.
Creating a productive office.
HR & Hiring.
Thanks for this Holly.
I plan to share your article and talk about in an upcoming workshop I am doing on Self Care for the Altruistic (which will mostly consist of using 80k’s strategies in addition to taking suggestions from participants and others EA folks https://80000hours.org/career-guide/how-to-be-successful/#1-dont-forget-to-take-care-of-yourself).
I resonated with most of what you wrote about. You are definitely not alone in having those feelings. (I have also been thinking and writing about sustaining altruistic motivation, and I found your article to be a helpful addition).
Another feeling that I come across might be an extension of ‘social approval and connection’ along with ‘other values’. I’ll call it Representing EA (or EA brand/perception management). Especially as a community builder, a mixed feeling comes up in moments where I think that I am helping shape someone’s early perception of EA yet I know that the ideas and practical realities are more complex, challenging, and individualised than I can easily portray in words, especially when I am, at the same time, trying to honestly mention the appealing parts of EA to someone who seems to be really interested in the EA ideas and values.
A feeling kind of like:
I cannot do a good job of explaining this to you until you see more for of it for yourself
yet I still feel the need to do a good job of explaining this to you
and I hope I don’t give you the wrong ideas
even though the decisions are ultimately up to you.
Thanks for the model! I found it useful for framing many community building plans. I am a community builder for EA Toronto, a local community group as opposed to a university/college group (though we will hopefully be collaborating with more schools and students soon).
For community group contexts, I think most of the elements in the model above fit in well, especially 1 on 1s. One element that I think might not cross-over so easily is the EA Seminar. People coming into an EA community of varying backgrounds, ages, and professional statuses might not get excited about or feel the benefit of an EA Seminar in the way that students would. There seems to be some interest in this kind of core ideas event, yet it feels like this event could/should take a different shape in the local group context, though I am not sure what yet.
I think there is also a worry about teaching EA as opposed to encouraging more grassroots and self-learning of EA ideas, though much of this can be handled by good planning and facilitation, as opposed to lecturing and other limited group formats.
I would be happy to hear if other people are having similar concerns about what seem to be core EA event types when there are applied in different contexts.
I just played with Parable of the Polygons recently http://ncase.me/polygons/ and I think it illustrates a simple general strategy for building more diversity which may underly many of the strategies in this article. The simple strategy is to have a preference against high levels of sameness (/homogeneity), given that one already has a preference for more diversity. I think it is important to not be okay with a demographically homogenous EA movement, manifested with more general strategies, e.g. ‘I will try to notice, feel bad/ disapproving, and do something about an EA meeting with over 80% white, male, tech, etc.’, along with the many great general and specific strategies in this article.
Thanks for the article Kelly.
Also, parable of the polygons is fun to play around with, aside from its instructive benefits. :)