Team Membership [was Does your community clean all the common areas yourselves? - cautionary tale
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2018 11:28:32 -0700 (PDT)
> On Oct 4, 2018, at 9:56 AM, Alan O'Hashi via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at] 
>> wrote:

> Since the "work" now is sitting in meetings, there tends to be static 
> membership on teams without much rotation and thus, no room for new members.

A few years ago one of our members suggested that we do a random assignment to 
teams — shake them up and bring new perspectives. At the time I thought she was 
crazy and had no idea how much information is stored in the team members' heads 
or how hard it was to learn everything the team knew —what had or hadn’t worked 
and why, when this was done or that, what went wrong when we forgot to do this, 
etc.? Who do you call for this?

But for some teams — not my own of course — I thought it would be a good idea. 
Like attracts like, and the purpose of the team comes to be defined by the 
abilities and interests of its members, not the needs or wants of the 
community. Team members, reasonably, would say that sounds good but none of us 
wants to do it.

I became an advocate of at least randomly assigning new members and ones who 
were not currently active to a team. Give them their choice if they have one 
but then assign.

Then we began getting many new members, and the new members have been more 
engaged than those who left. Some very engaged members left also, but the 
energy of the new people is pretty astounding. 
 They also brought new perspectives from their various career and personal 

Best of all, I’ve learned that one new person on a team and in a community can 
entirely change points of view in specific areas. Sometimes they have new 
knowledge that fills a gap or fixes a problem, other times because they bring 
new energy. And each new person has a grace period of about a year when they 
can do no wrong. (Except putting the dishes in the kitchen in the wrong place.)

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.