Re: What Is Process?
From: Coleen O'Connell (
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013 11:40:36 -0800 (PST)
At Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage, we need to make a decision about taking
down a tree.  We all love the tree, and we intended to keep it, but our
site plan didn't plan well for it and it ended up in the construction zone,
has been compromised, and now a house is about to be built within its
dripline.  But still some want to save it.   We met last weekend to come up
with the Process for making the decision.  We spent half an hour hammering
out the process, so that we can actually make the decision from following
that process.  So yes, I think there is a distinction between process and
decision making.  The process used in a meeting has many outcomes:
 information sharing, polling, reporting, decision making.  The same
process can bring you to all of these or different processes might be used
depending on the outcome.  We determined what felt like a fair process to
use to come to the decision.

There is a difference between process and decision making.  The latter is
just one outcome of a process.

On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 8:43 PM, Sharon Villines
<sharon [at]>wrote:

> On Jan 14, 2013, at 5:40 PM, Don Benson <benson6451 [at]> wrote:
> > Again it appears to me that you are wanting to collapse the discussion
> of process to a particular type of event (decision making) and group
> (community) to the gathering or meeting of the group for the purposes of
> making a decision.
> I asking a specific question based on a perception by one of our members
> that there is a difference between "process" and "decision-making" in
> cohousing membership meetings. Is this a distinction that makes sense to
> others.
> In discussing the fate of our kiosk, the facilitator asked if people had
> any suggestions about what process might help us make this decision. The
> response from one person was "this isn't a process, It's a decision."
> Does anyone understand that distinction? (I don't.)
> This is an on the ground in a meeting -- how do we proceed question.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines, Historic Takoma Park, Washington DC
> "Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard
> Endenburg
> _________________________________________________________________
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Coleen O'Connell
Ecological Teaching and Learning MS Program
Lesley University
oconnell [at]
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