Slips in schedule could result in reduced staff bonuses.
ICANN has clear short term economic incentives to roll out new top level domain names, and bonuses are one of those reasons. Read this exchange at the Cairo ICANN meeting between ICANN Senior Vice President of Services Kurt Pritz and former ICANN board member Michael Palage:
>>MICHAEL PALAGE: Mike Palage. Kurt, as you can appreciate, there are a number of attendees here today that have a vested financial interest in seeing the launch of this new TLD process. I was wondering if you could perhaps answer the question, are there any staff bonuses or performance clauses that are tied to when this process happens?
>>KURT PRITZ: We have essentially a management by objective program at ICANN, and so each trimester, where — each trimester, we each have individual goals to meet. The trimesters run along with the meeting schedules. So each trimester, for example, I have a set of goals to meet. My bonus is based on meeting those goals.
So one of my goals this trimester was to publish the draft RFP. And so part of my bonus will be based on that. But the percentage of bonus is preset as a maximum, and then you get a numerical score for how you did on your goals, and then you get a little bit of a bonus.
>>MICHAEL PALAGE: So just a follow-up question. To understand what the motivation is, obviously a lot of people here want to see this happen sooner as opposed to later. But there are some in the community that are not as, shall we say, opportunistic towards the launch of new gTLDs. So on behalf of that community, I think it would be important if you could perhaps share with the community what the targets are for bonuses.
When do the new TLD process have to start? What is the date? And if, in fact, that date slips, when does staff begin to suffer economically for missing that date?
>>KURT PRITZ: I don’t know. I think I have given you a lot of information that — you know, I don’t know how to go down the path on this question.
>>MICHAEL PALAGE: Thanks.
It’s no surprise that bonuses are tied to meeting objectives. But these goals should take into consideration the overall organizational goal. I have a patent for goal structure and how goals tie into an organization. If the goals are properly aligned, then what this means is ICANN has a goal of introducing TLDs in a timely manner rather than listening to the community.
Regardless, here’s one more reason new TLDs continue to go forward even though most people seem to be opposed to them.