Plan of Action [was Participation Agreement]
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 09:26:25 -0700 (PDT)

On Jun 20, 2007, at 11:41 AM, Dave and Diane wrote:

Wow! "Plan of Action!" Now THAT'S a horse of a different color! Tell me more! How did this "open agenda" meeting get on the agenda? Is it something you do every so often or did someone push to get this idea on the runway? Is there a plan to review the results of the "plan of action" to make sure things get done? Inquiring minds want to know!

I just happened to be in a Board Meeting for another issue as the board was deciding to cancel a membership meeting because no team had asked for time on the agenda. (Our board does not usually bring items forward.)

I objected to canceling the meeting because we had a ton of things to discuss -- lots of issues that people were concerned about or that were unfinished from previous agendas. Last year the board cancelled several meetings and I didn't want to go down that road again.

What happens in our process (in my opinion) is that issues get sent back to teams to be resolved or for a new proposal but the teams don't really know what to do or a key person leaves the country and the item falls off their agenda. No action. It sits there. Some issues do just disappear but most resurface again and again.

My argument is that we need discussion on issues we don't know how to resolve -- we can't wait until we have a proposed resolution before we can have a discussion. The community has repeatedly asked for open discussions in meetings but it never seems to happen. The last one (only half a meeting) was several years ago.

So the president put out the proposal for an open meeting -- agenda items to be determined in the meeting by those present. We found a facilitator. And we had the meeting.

I can't tell you how much more relaxed the meeting was. People were talking about what they wanted to talk about and made very good suggestions and agreements for next steps. There was no tension. Because no one was "in charge" of the discussion, we were more able to discuss.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing

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