Can We Live Without Hierarchy?
From: Judith Bush (
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2015 07:48:59 -0700 (PDT)
Stephanie wrote: 
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.

A few years ago, some residents at Cobb Hill Cohousing in Hartland, VT noticed 
(well, were bugged by) things that were falling through the cracks, needing 
attention, etc.  A three person Community Business Team (CBT) was proposed and 
established. It is not a new committee per their preference, but a team of 
people willing to meet, draw the community's attention to something that needs 
to be done, and - most important - suggesting the right pathway to accomplish 
it.  CBT does not take on the work. Note: despite the term "business", this is 
not the Finance/Legal Committee of the community.
 The CBT has been very effective, not through wielding power but by exercising 
the power of noticing and bringing things to the attention of the community.  
It has been a great addition to the committee structures  and working norms 
already in place at Cobb Hill.

Judith Bush

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