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On July 8, 2015, Anthony raised some concerns about the current state of the team and some ideas to help solve some of the problems we were facing as a team. Matt Brandt took this conversation to another level suggesting we needed to take a step back, assess our health, and figure out what we wanted to be in Mozilla's third age. This page documents that journey.


After the initial team discussion, Anthony and Matt volunteered to drive this conversation forward. They met to hash out the details of a discussion to follow and came to three realizations:

  1. They realized fairly quickly that, at our core, we’ve not adapted well to the change happening around us; we lost clarity about ourselves and lost focus on the community to which we belonged.
  2. They realized that we needed some time to reflect on ourselves, our core strengths, our values, to find common ground, and to make ourselves whole again; that this is critical to our success as individuals and to Mozilla’s success as a whole.
  3. They realized that an email thread was probably the least effective way to take our first steps toward healing; we needed to be more creative.

After boiling it down they decided the best first step was to try to come up with our mission statement; this would become the foundation of our direction forward. The only question was how best to develop a mission statement. They thought the original idea of discussing this by email was not an ideal way to foster a creative, collaborative process. Out of this the idea of a Tea Time was born.

Tea Time

The purpose of this exercise is to help inform our team’s mission statement. We see this as a critical first step toward healing some of the damage we’ve been dealt recently as a team and as a community. Anthony and I will be available at any point during this process should you have questions or concerns.

Phase I - Initiation

1. Anthony and Matt will create a sign-up sheet for all those who want to participate.

2. After everyone has signed up we'll assign partners at random. If there's someone you feel comfortable opening up to then please let us know privately.

3. We'll send out emails to individual pairs once you've been assigned, at which point we move into Phase II.

Phase II - Conversations

1. Once you’ve been partnered you’ll have a few weeks to have a one on one with your partner. These one on ones are an opportunity to share concerns about our current state, the challenges we face, and the future you want us to realize. We hope these conversations evolve and branch out organically. Here are some questions to help initiate the conversation:

  • What brought you here, to the Mozilla community?
  • What keeps you here?
  • What is important to you and why?
  • What do you want to create?

2. Here are some guidelines and suggestions for having a rewarding conversation:

  • Meet whenever, wherever, and however you and your partner want.
  • Set up a private document with your partner to take notes, write down anything they say that resonates with you.
  • Work with your partner to create a safe space to open up and share.
  • Create a social contract with your partner about the rules of conducting your meeting and the sharing of information afterward.
  • The conversation may become difficult or even emotional at times, try to push through this and dig into the core issues at play.
  • Make sure you both take turns speaking.
  • Actively listen, listen with empathy, and acknowledge what your partner is saying.
  • Provide your partner the space to finish their thought, resist the urge to fill in long periods of silence.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your partner's permission to share something which might not be relevant or is difficult to say.

3. After the meeting is over take a day or two to sleep on it and digest the experience you shared.

4. Have a follow-up conversation to discuss the experience with your partner and to dig deeper into anything you think deserves further exploration.

5. After the meeting, draft what it is you'd like to enter into the feedback form and send it to your partner for review.

6. Give your partner an opportunity to review what you've written before you submit the feedback form.

7. Finally, enter the feedback into the form and submit it.

Phase III - Review

1. Matt and I will review the feedback once all the information is added to the feedback form.

2. We'll arrange a meeting with the entire team to categorize the feedback into three buckets

  • things we need
  • things we want
  • and things we should let go

3. From this meeting we'll create a strawman mission statement and share it with the rest of the community.


1. Establish a vision in collaboration with the core team [a]

  • [DONE] create a framework for 1:1 conversations with the core team
  • [DONE] present the framework and get people signed up to participate
  • [DONE] create pairs of participants and email those pairs to initiate the 1:1s
  • [DONE] publish an open letter to the public
  • evaluate the feedback received from the 1:1s
  • conduct a meeting with the core team to draft a vision based on the collective feedback
  • conduct a follow-up survey to assess how people felt about this process
  • a. all contributors we see as critical to our success, regardless of financial compensation.

2. Provide the broader community an opportunity to influence the vision

3. Lay the necessary groundwork to start building toward the vision

4. Empower community to evolve and scale through various pathways/experiments under the guidance of the core team

5. Revisit our vision and promote growth of the core team

6. Open a dialog between Mozilla leadership and the QA community to allow:

  • explanation of the changes that were made
  • airing of unintended but very real side-effects of the changes
  • working together to move forward past any pain points
  • definition of what community means to us