Re: process people and product people
From: Laura Fitch (
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 07:51:52 -0700 (PDT)
My suggestion which is good for forming and built communities:
Commit to well-designed yearly retreats that have a big chunk of time
dedicated to both process and product - and food, and fun!  It is a "shot in
the arm" for our community "Pioneer Valley Cohousing" and makes the rest of
the year run smoothly because of the "trust" and "connection" that this
yearly event reinforces.

Laura Fitch, AIA, LEED AP
Kraus-Fitch Architects, Inc.
110 Pulpit Hill Rd.
Amherst, MA  01002

lfitch [at]

-----Original Message-----
From: Lynn Nadeau / Maraiah [mailto:welcome [at]] 
Sent: Saturday, May 22, 2010 12:19 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ process people and product people

The question was asked of how to deal with the chasm between those who  
just want to jump up and DO things, and those who want to PROCESS  
about the best way to do, whether to do, when to do, etc etc.

Based on 20 years experience here at RoseWind, Port Townsend WA, some  
things help:
a) Decide what can be delegated, without process. If the irrigation  
system needs fixing, Grounds team can deal with it, and spend money up  
to what's in the Grounds budget for repairs and maintenance. Finance  
will decide on what CDs to invest in, and just report it to us. Figure  
out things that the doers can just do. Work parties, too. Spell out  
the mandate of each committee. Empower individuals and sub groups to  
act, when possible.

b) Keep getting better at processing proposals. Use discussion circles  
to give input to proponents of a proposal, to listen well and hear how  
people thing and feel about the issue, prior to bringing it to a  
business meeting to seek approval. Find a system that works and get  
tough about sticking to it. Things like identifying goals and concerns  
before putting forth strategies for solutions. When it's efficient, it  
feels better.

c) Periodically do an exercise with some sort of personality typing.  
Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, etc. Acknowledge that there ARE different  
types, and most importantly, that every type does a service for the  
group. At one retreat we grouped ourselves by types (enneagram, in  
that case). First we were asked to identify which OTHER group made us  
nuts: we were quick to agree! We Ones, say, were all impatient with  
the Threes (or whatever the group was) and we could report why. But  
then, the leader told us to list what we APPRECIATED about that Other  
group, and then we shared with the whole group. That was very  
important. We had the ("chainsaw-running") spontaneous doers saying,  
"I never have to think about things like the liability implications of  
an action, because I know the ______s will think of it and address  
it." And the process folks expressed appreciation to those who  
translated ideas into tangible accomplishments. It was a big AHA for  
quite a few people, as group after group acknowledged the value of  
their opposites.

Maraiah Lynn Nadeau
in awe of peonies and giant red poppies in my yard
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