How many teams do you have?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 10:07:33 -0700 (PDT)
Short Version: How many teams does your community have, what tasks do they do, and how well does it work?

Long Version:

We started out with 3 teams: Admin, Community Life, and Facilities, and a Board of 9 members.

If everyone was actually on a team, each team would have almost 20 members. But of 65 adult residents, less than 20 actually participate in team meetings -- although many more do some work and a few coordinate the work or other members.

Research has shown (I don't have the reference) that teams are most effective with 5-7 members. At least 5 provides the synergy for good problem solving. Over 7 means there is less room for people to participate.

In our community of 65 that would indicate closer to 8 teams. I think if we had this number, it would focus the teams' responsibilities more clearly. Some teams feel gridlocked with tasks that are too diverse to focus their efforts effectively.

In addition, more temporary task forces are being formed and asking to report to the Board rather than to Teams. The Teams are in general perfectly happy with this because they are overwhelmed anyway.

According to our decision-making policy, Teams report to the Membership, not the Board. Some believe Task Forces reporting to the Board gives the Board more influence than the membership intended for them to have.

A larger number of teams would mean we could have task defined teams. Maintenance & Minor Repairs. Building Systems and Structure. Landscaping. Celebrations and Social Events. Community Living and Policies. Facilitation & Conflict Resolution. Contracts and Records.

How many teams does your community have, what tasks do they do, and how well does it work?

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing,Washington DC

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