RE: RE: committee effectiveness
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 2004 07:36:47 -0700 (PDT)
 If you want committees to be effective you need a clear agreement as to
what things and by what process committees communicate and decide things.

At Sharingwood we have set up teams that make decisions over their areas.
They have full budget authority to spend their budget as they need to
without oversite.  Teams are expected to:

1. Post notice of meetings, including any decisions 3 days in advance of the
2. Post notes about what they decided
3. Ask for input when needed.  This last item is a judgement call. Most
teams ask for input probably more than they need to. Typically a team
looking for input will solict feedback via email, or at a large group
monthly meeting.

Any community member can take the four I's  (Ideas, Input, Issues, I
statements) to any team meeting. 

In this way, most of our decisions are made in teams. This did not happen
overnight, it took us awhile to get a feel for what is a team level
decision. Often the board and facilitator teams gatekeep this by adjusting
the large group agenda. On rare occaisions, a team makes a decision that
gets a lot of comments or other feedback and then it gets punted to the
larger group meeting. This happens rarely though, most teams figure out how
to communicate and network their work in the community such that the engaged
people know what is up.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Community
Snohomish, WA

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