Re: Backup procedure for decisions
From: Tree Bressen (
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 21:45:02 -0700 (PDT)

Diane wrote:
 Consensus works very well for simple
decisions or for decisions in which you have a lot of time to craft a
proposal. It works horribly for decisions like "What twenty-five items
shall we cut out of the budget?" or "Which shall be our primary goal:
affordability, handicapped accessibilty, diversity, sustainability, or
preserving open space?"

Personally i think it's fine to include other tools within a basic consensus decision expectation . . . i don't even really think of it as a departure from the method. So for instance, i might suggest that a group use a ranked ballot to figure out what 25 items to cut, then pass the final budget by consensus. I think consensus is as much about atmosphere (creating a culture that values all the wisdom in the group, strives for win-win solutions as much as possible, and so on) as about official structures. I've seen groups supposedly run by consensus use straw polls in a way that clearly gave a sense of winners and losers, and i've seen groups governed on paper by majority vote use fantastically inclusive consensus process that really addressed concerns and got everyone on board before a decision was passed.




Tree Bressen
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Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 484-1156
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