Re: Questions on teams and team leads
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 11:44:49 -0800 (PST)

On Nov 10, 2009, at 9:31 AM, Jude Foster wrote:

What about burn-out and frustration?

I think it may be time for cohousing to look at the concept of total self-management added to doing everything ourselves. I think we can manage very well but not manage and do. Burn-out is major.

The problems I feel we have is not so much inside the teams but across teams -- needing things done that fall within the purview of another team but that team doesn't want to do it. No action in the part of either team.

Leaderless teams have never been proven to even exist. There is always covert leader who never takes full responsibility. Or two or three who struggle for control.

What works best for us is when one person takes on a project or ongoing task and sees it through start to finish. But we have fewer and fewer of those people. It's too much work to both bring everyone else on board AND do the work. And we have an aging population. People at 70 are not willing to do the work they were willing to do at 60. The twenty somethings are now approaching 40 and burdened with family and career responsibilities.

It takes a long time for new people to meld, even if they are very active.

One alternative might be sociocratic governance.

The sociocratic/dynamic governance structure is a hierarchy but without the "power over" connotations of an autocratic hierarchy. Each team includes 2 members of it's sub-teams, and the general coordinating team is composed of two people from each team plus a General Manager. Each of these groups functions by consensus. Since they are overlapping, no team or person can proceed with out the consent of the other.

When there are problems at the team level, they are referred to the Coordinating Team for resolution. This helps rise above personalities and to view the issues in the context of the needs of the community.

If the General Circle cannot resolve the issue, it goes to the board. From there it either goes to the whole community or to outside experts.

Sharon Villines
Coauthor with John Buck of
"We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy"
A Guide to Sociocratic Principles and Methods
ISBN: 9780979282706

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