Re: Creative Consensus Solutions
From: Wayne Tyson (
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2011 12:27:50 -0800 (PST)
Hi y'all:

By definition, you must look outside of consensus for a creative "solution" 
that did not "exist" prior to the consensus process (e.g., manipulation through 
(friendly) persuasion or intimidation or authority. More than that, you must be 
dedicated to a continuous process of questioning of all assumptions. 

Many people do not like this, and will object, because they seek power, and 
this process frustrates the concentration of power--it is more "powerful" than 
authority because it is flexible, resilient, adaptive. It embraces change 
rather than resists it. That's why peaceful resistance disarms the armed. 

The root of this cultural phenomenon is egocentrism, a characteristic which 
once was recognized for its corrosive effect upon social cohesion and was 
isolated or modulated by social mores. It may have peaked in the recent "me" 
generation although evidence of its persistence is glaringly present in media, 
and it is increasingly "uncool" amongst the twenty- and thirty-somethings whom 
I know. 

Consensus may certainly be a useful, even necessary or vital bridge upon which 
to transition to an Age of Reconciliation from the Age of Exploitation, so it 
is natural and encouraging to see a question of this level of intellectual 
integration arise. To "answer" it requires a confession of ignorance; I hereby 

One possible way of keeping the door open for creative solutions might be to 
"require" that all consensus statements include all alternative points, ideas, 
analyses, etc. That could be a fairly simple starting point, especially when 
looking back after a period of consensus-statement testing in action. 

But the most important mental state of all might be something like "The 
suspension of judgment is the highest exercise in intellectual discipline." 
--Raymond Gilmore


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ann Zabaldo" <ZABALDO [at] EARTHLINK.NET>
To: "Cohousing-L Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2011 8:20 AM
Subject: [C-L]_ Creative Consensus Solutions

> Hi all -- 
> Can you recount an issue/situation that any group you belong to used 
> consensus to achieve a creative solution to what looked like a deadlocked 
> black or white choice?  That is, by staying in the consensus process you were 
> able to achieve a solution that did not exist prior?
> I'm looking for examples of using consensus that resulted in the surfacing of 
> a creative third or fourth choice.
> Many thanks!
> Best --
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church VA
> 703 663 3911
> _________________________________________________________________
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