Re: committee effectiveness
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2004 09:51:01 -0700 (PDT)

On Sep 19, 2004, at 6:13 PM, Melisa Schuster wrote:

Our Process Committee is endeavoring to do a community training on improving committee effectiveness. It is my observation that many of our conflicts stem from ineffective committee functioning rather than interpersonal problems (which often gets scapegoated).

Actually research into teams has demonstrated this very well. Interpersonal stuff is scapegoated for poor performance. If you focus on performance suddenly everyone is productive and personality clashes are tolerated or disappear.

There is lots of stuff on good functioning. Perhaps if you could say more about a specific problem people would be more likely to chime in. Your questions require a book to answer.

The one thing that is very important is that each group, team, or committee needs a leader, a recorder, and money handler. These are functions that have to be covered. In a small group the same person may do all of them, a larger group may have two people in each position. In a VERY large group, a whole sub-group doing each thing.

The leader (president, chair, etc.) is like a general manager.

The recorder (secretary, etc.) keeps track of decisions and other documents and distributes them to team members as necessary.

The money-handler (treasurer, etc.) keeps track of money, bills, payments, budgets, etc.

These functions are vital.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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