It's been two weeks since the last Town Hall hosted by the Board and Owners of KSI, yet little seems to have come from it. In fact, it's almost as if it didn’t happen because, when you talk to members, some choose to just let it go, some left, and some came back. To get a full picture of KSI’s current status based on what we do know is going on, we spoke to the members. No Board member nor Owner was interviewed for this article.
From those who decided to leave...
Usually, when someone is asked why they left, we run into negatives and sometimes situations we cannot resolve. In this recent instance, leadership must try all they can. They have no choice but to step in, talk, and be transparent. If this cannot be achieved, there are members who have said they are willing to leave and those who have left already. The following comes from some of the latter.
“It’s all of their fault! Great that the Kered and JT said, ‘sorry’ but who gives a ****.” This former member continues, “The whole board needs to go except Vik!”
Some members only left because they feel KSI is going in a different direction, "....I only left because I'm not sure where KSI is going, and I don’t think it is for me.”
One may ask why it matters about those who left; they left, and it's their problem. Retention is a problem and...
...a Town Hall is still another reaction.
Reactions regarding the Town Hall and the answers provided by both Board and Owners varied from positive to having little or no faith. For example, one member says, "I feel that the Owners made a decent effort to answer as many questions as they could; however, I do not feel they have specific answers to the questions people asked. They spent a lot of time going off on tangents and answering other questions without answering the one at hand. As far as my feelings on the owners, I have mad respect for the two of them, and I am good friends with Derek. I don't have much to complain about, but I will be watching to see what happens in the coming weeks to see if they commit to their promises or not. One example being, I asked a question in open door days ago hoping from a reply from the Owners directly and that has not happened yet. Take that as you may, but if I was an Owner looking to regain the trust from my members and leaders I would be making every effort to communicate and answer queries, possible."
Some claim that leaders are being lazy and complacent. Another remark indicated, "I'd have to say the owners did great, but they left and have a lot of trust to regain from me. If you leave and come.back, it just means you made a quick decision and don’t think."
Back and Ready to Do More
“At first I couldn’t care less, but, after the town hall, I felt everyone had something to hide as if they knew that something was coming…. I felt I couldn't lose my family and leave them behind. I care a lot for them and about KSI.”
Coming back is both a difficult choice and a thoughtful one. It means accepting how KSI is working and helping better it from the inside. This community has much to offer in terms of diversity, skill-building, and mentorship, and there's always room for those who are eager to support those endeavors, new or returning.
Mixed Reactions from Those Who Stayed
Staying means that, no matter if you have faith or not, someone wants to be here for one reason or another. Staying means it's time to kick into high gear.
"I stayed because I have no reason to leave, I'm a part of KSI global. It doesn’t mean I wouldn't leave if I didn't believe what was said.”
Another member says, "I stayed because I really think no one is lying or hiding anything, and the Town Hall was perfect."
Where Do We Go From Here?
Today, KSI stands around 500 active members. Of which, some have both advice and warnings. We interviewed quite a few people and came up with a variety of answers, most of which were unexpected. One, in particular, stood out.
“I thought the town hall meeting was successful in a way but also failed in some other areas. It was a great way to try and bring a new way to help motivate and bring in some much-needed momentum in the right direction, but the follow up to member’s concerns was a failure. Of all the years that I’ve been in this community, this is probably the most crucial time for upper leadership and the rest of the community to kick it into high gear. Granted I know things do not happen overnight and maybe even within a week but all that momentum that I could see at squad level was wasted.
“Transparency is important; letting members know that their community leaders are trying is important, especially to the newer generation of members. With the lack of direction from leadership, it’s hard to see what the future might have in store for us. I don’t want to sound like I’m talking down to upper leadership because they are doing something to help move forward. Vik has been doing an amazing job with communicating to us what his goals and expectations are, and that kind of mentality is what I believe is needed from the rest. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed, and I’m glad we had the turnout we did at the town hall and with everyone expressing their opinions is what we needed in order to move forward…
I’ve been a director, a division leader, all of [the ranks] repeatedly... With me coming back to the community and starting from the bottom and working my way back up again, it’s going to push me to where I want to be -- that bridge between members and upper leadership, divisional roles or higher. Knowing the needs of the members and the way leadership needs to respond. My goal ultimately is bringing back the LE mentality. Knowledge, Strength, and Integrity. It’s our core values. Having the knowledge of what to do, the strength in which to get things done, and the integrity of doing the right thing at all times. It really doesn’t get simpler than that.”
So how does KSI as a whole address all that is going on? Well, first it starts with being open about everything, which includes our flaws. We must understand what we are doing wrong before we can move forward and not sweep everything under the rug. We must allow members to stand up and call out what is wrong and hold each other accountable to KSI's core values.
Second, remembering how we got here. We didn’t get here overnight at all; it took a decade of work and effort. It means going back to our roots, which is all about gamers building a space for gamers. Everyone suffers from wounds whether it be surface-level, mentally, or physically threatening. Right now, we are opening the wound as we always do in a vicious cycle. Hopefully, we will not be left on read.
Edited by Nex Addo