Roles: spread, rotating or fixed
From: Wim De Saegher (
Date: Sun, 5 Feb 2017 06:56:23 -0800 (PST)
Hello cohousers,

what is your experience with filling certain roles?

Our monthly meetings always have a president and a note taker.
When the project started, both roles were "rotating": every month a
different member filled in and did things as best as they could.
We used a spreadsheet so people could "switch" amongst themselves, for
example when a certain date was not convenient.
Participation was encouraged (and by default, your name was on the list) but
people who really thought themselves unfit for a role could opt-out. Not
everyone likes taking notes at the speed of a meeting. 

While the rotation has its benefits, after a while we also discovered some
drawbacks: some people loved to assume the role, others dreaded it. Some
produced high quality work, others work was found lacking. 

For a "site construction overview meeting", we established the same two
roles, but appointed a fixed person to fill the role. Big advantage was that
the person got really good at it, quality was high. Drawbacks were the high
workload put on one person, and it became harder to replace the person when
they were absent (e.g. in case of illness). 

For a "bulk buying group", we're now considering spreading the work and have
everyone perform a part of it. Coordination might become more difficult -
we'll see.  

What are your experiences with roles, and what advantages or drawbacks have
you identified? 

Greetings from Belgium!

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