|Leadership & Consensus Decision-Making||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Stephenie Frederick (sjoyfredgmail.com)|
|Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2015 08:19:28 -0700 (PDT)|
Our HOA has tried to operate with a committees & board-consensus approach. It has not worked out entirely satisfactorily because too many matters have been overlooked. I believe the reason is as follows: Consensus is not a form of governance. It is only a process for making decisions about something. If there is no one to introduce that something into the consensus process, the group does not arrive at consensus for or against it. For the group, the issue doesn't exist. A cohousing community that relies only on consensus and committees can end up NOT accomplishing critical actions such as evaluating the physical plant, minding insurance issues to protect the cohousing population, establishing a dues collection policy, requiring contracts and supervision when hiring firms to work on site, periodically issuing a financial statement, etc. These are difficult matters that the committees may never bring to the board; the issues remain invisible — until a major incident occurs. I believe that a community that relies on consensus decision-making can benefit from having a person or persons *(a leader) *who is responsible for bringing up the essential issues. This person or persons need not play a « command & control » role. He/she/they can be organizers who make sure that the decision-making community attends to the invisible but vital matters that enable the community to function without major mishap. I’m all for a democratically elected and recallable leader who plays an executive role and is responsible for injecting the critical issues into the consensus process. The non-critical issues will make it into the process via the committees. Stephenie Frederick La Querencia-Fresno Cohousing, Fresno, California
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