Decison making (was: RE- THE POLITICS OF)
From: Fred H. Olson WB0YQM (fholsonmaroon.tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 94 00:37 CST
Message author: Andy Sachs  IGC.APC.ORG!ASACHS   
Posted by the COHOUSING-L sysop.


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There's been a lot written in this conference about consensus, and I want
to add my thoughts, especially in response to Jake Morrison's statement
which suggests that consensus decision-making doesn't always produce
creative solutions to problems, such as what to name a community

I'd like people to think of consensus decision-making as the last step
in a process which can be creative all along.  Decision making, whether
you are voting or tossing a coin or searching for a unanimous show of 
hands should always follow a cfter a clear group agreement about what
the alternatives to the problem are.  So a group can spend time being
creative by developing a range of great, crazy, interesting, uninhibited
ideas and then switch to evaluation and decision-making.  The decision-
making rule can be "majority rules" or consensus or whatever, but the
step you use before getting down to decision making can be creative.

We use a six-step process no matter what the ultimate decision rule:
(1) Acceptance by the group that a problem exists and needs our attention;
(2) Understanding by all of the problem;
(3) Agreement on a definition of the problem (often stated as a question);
(4) Generating options without evaluating ideas (research, brainstorming);
(5) Identification of personal and group preferences ("evaluation");
(6) Decision making (Group commitment, reached in different ways for 
(different kinds of issues, time pressures, etc.).

The "we" refers to a community-based center that helps groups in Orange
County, North Carolina solve problems collaboratively - including local
co-housing efforts.
--
Fred H. Olson   fholson [at] uci.com     Sysop of COHOUSING-L mailing list
1221 Russell Av N; Minneapolis, MN 55411        voice: (612) 588-9532
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