<div dir="ltr"><div>
















<p class="MsoNormal"><font face="Arial">This question on consensus. . . . the premise is a people and discourse†problem.†</font></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">†</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">I've read through a few
comparative studies on the subject, and it does seem to me that on all cases it
depends on the people involved.†</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">†</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">Please consider the
following, very applicable journal article:</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">†</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial"><a href="https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/33654/1/Jain_Ambika_201211_MA_thesis.pdf">https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/33654/1/Jain_Ambika_201211_MA_thesis.pdf</a></span></p>


<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">†</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">The biggest problems facing organizations similar to noisebridge (VNPOs)</span><span style="font-family:Arial">†are as follows:</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">†</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">1. Time</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">2. Homogeneity</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">3. Emotional intensity</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">4. Individual differences</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">5. Nondemocratic
individuals</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">6. Environmental
constraints</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">†</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">Now, even if one does add
a hierarchy to the situation, does that resolve these problems? I'm
reading possibly, where more that fifteen (15) they found that the
group would . . . "loose intimacy and would make informal decision making
difficult." However, they found that when in a collectivist
non-buearucratic governance style, larger groups seem to me more interested in
the organization than self interest. Which moots arguments that these
dissenters are acting in some sort of self interest. Which was the brunt of the articulation of why consensus kills community. What is clear is that w</span><span style="font-family:Arial">e are dealing with
emotionally charged individual differences here.†</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial"><br></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">However, the article found that even larger organizations, beyond the bright-line of being considered a small group, can overcome differences if they were to do the following:</span></p>


<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Arial">†</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family:Arial">"Implications for practice intended for
non-bureaucratic VNPOs</span></i><span style="font-family:Arial"></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><i><span style="font-family:Arial"><br></span></i></p>

<table class="" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" style="border-collapse:collapse">
 <tbody><tr>
  <td style="border:1pt solid black;padding:0.75pt">
  <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Challenge</span></b><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"></span></p>
  </td>
  <td style="border-style:solid solid solid none;border-top-color:black;border-right-color:black;border-bottom-color:black;border-top-width:1pt;border-right-width:1pt;border-bottom-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
  <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Recommendations</span></b><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"></span></p>
  </td>
 </tr>
 <tr>
  <td style="border-style:none solid solid;border-right-color:black;border-bottom-color:black;border-left-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-left-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
  <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Managing
  time</span></p>
  </td>
  <td style="border-style:none solid solid none;border-bottom-color:black;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-right-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
  <ul type="disc">
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">consider Iannello (1992) circular
       model (Figure 7)</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">distinguish routine from
       non-routine issues</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">entrust a group of members to
       make routine decisions on behalf of the organization † † and inform others</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">allow time to discuss
       controversial issues</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">create simple protocol, e.g.
       reply to email in 72 hours, flagging emails as urgent, setting specific
       timelines for tasks, phone colleagues if immediate responses are needed.</span></li>
  </ul>
  </td>
 </tr>
 <tr>
  <td style="border-style:none solid solid;border-right-color:black;border-bottom-color:black;border-left-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-left-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
  <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Managing
  homogeneity</span></p>
  </td>
  <td style="border-style:none solid solid none;border-bottom-color:black;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-right-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
  <ul type="disc">
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">accept the benefits of having
       homogeneity</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">build space for autonomy within
       the organization</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><b>create an environment where
       members feel safe and supported to express differences of opinion</b></span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">if possible, place few
       restrictions on new incoming members and reach out to populations your
       organization wants to include</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">at events, be welcoming to potential
       new members with sign-up lists and information/invitation cards</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><b>allow for some diversity to
       encourage innovation and creativity in thinking</b></span></li>
  </ul>
  </td>
 </tr>
 <tr>
  <td style="border-style:none solid solid;border-right-color:black;border-bottom-color:black;border-left-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-left-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
  <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Managing
  emotional intensity†</span></p>
  </td>
  <td style="border-style:none solid solid none;border-bottom-color:black;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-right-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
  <ul type="disc">
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">ensure all members agree with and
       understand the mission of the organization and how it will be carried
       out</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">allow the mission to guide
       decision making</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">get input from members
       individually when drafting proposals</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">describe and distribute
       controversial issues in a written form prior to a meeting to allow
       members to generate opinions</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><b>use diplomacy when speaking to
       other members especially on sensitive issues; assess when it is critical
       for you to refrain to add to a conversation</b></span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><b>postpone controversial decisions
       to allow time for members to digest the issues</b></span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">check-in with members regularly
       and especially after emotionally intense†</span><span style="font-family:Arial;font-size:10pt">situations</span></b></li></ul>
  <ul type="disc">
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">encourage members to resolve
       conflicts quickly</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">minimize any opportunity for
       members to execute a personal agenda by insisting on collaborative
       mission-based decision making</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">employ a mediator is necessary</span></li>
   <li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">offer gratitude if appropriate</span></li>
  </ul>
  </td>
 </tr>
</tbody></table>

<table class="" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" style="border-collapse:collapse"><tbody><tr><td style="border:1pt solid black;padding:0.75pt"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Managing
  nondemocratic individuals</span></p></td><td style="border-style:solid solid solid none;border-top-color:black;border-right-color:black;border-bottom-color:black;border-top-width:1pt;border-right-width:1pt;border-bottom-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
<ul type="disc"><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">use an informal interview process
       to gage whether a potential new member is a right fit for the
       organization</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">ensure new members are fully
       aware of the mission, rules if any, and governance style of the
       organization to set expectations</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">new members should agree to the
       decision making processes of the organization; consider asking new
       members to sign a pledge to follow desired protocol</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">create distinct roles and allow
       nondemocratic individuals to have autonomy over their own project to
       alleviate tension</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">†share leadership by rotating
       leadership-roles and roles of responsibility</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">ways to include a nondemocratic
       individual within the organization should be†</span><span style="font-family:Arial;font-size:10pt">discussed together with the individual in a
  non-threatening manner,†</span><span style="font-family:Arial;font-size:10pt">if a compromise is not possible,
       nondemocratic individuals who are disruptive and threatening the life of
       the organization should be discouraged from remaining with the
       organization</span></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="border-style:none solid solid;border-right-color:black;border-bottom-color:black;border-left-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-left-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Managing
  environmental constraints</span></p></td><td style="border-style:none solid solid none;border-bottom-color:black;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-right-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt"><ul type="disc"><li class="MsoNormal">
<span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><b>carefully examine the internal
       needs of the organization before any externally imposed conditions, i.e.
       ask what the organization needs before determining what the external
       environment requires it to have</b></span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">carefully gage the amount of
       legal recognition, professionalism, and external funding the
       organization requires</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">consider the need for liability
       insurance, bank account in the organizationís name, constitution and
       bylaws</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">consider the implications of
       accepting earmarked donations/grants</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">ensure there are sufficient
       volunteers and finances to manage the added legal responsibilities of
       having charitable status</span></li></ul></td></tr><tr><td style="border-style:none solid solid;border-right-color:black;border-bottom-color:black;border-left-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-left-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt">
<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Managing</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">individual
  differences</span></p></td><td style="border-style:none solid solid none;border-bottom-color:black;border-bottom-width:1pt;border-right-color:black;border-right-width:1pt;padding:0.75pt"><ul type="disc"><li class="MsoNormal">
<span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">assess the needs and pros/cons of
       having distinct roles for members</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">practice reflective leadership
       within the organization either informally or formally, where members
       reflect on their role and influence within the organization</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><b>members with pronounced influence
       should seek ways to minimize or disperse their influence</b></span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">if role distinction is necessary
       for practical purposes, stress members still work collaboratively as a
       collective. Attempt to create a culture where members remain on equal
       footing. Encourage transparency, information sharing, a climate of trust
       and acceptance, and environment of mutual support and facilitation.</span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><b>if possible, rotate roles so
       members learn and share different skills to avoid creating a hierarchy
       of knowledge</b></span></li><li class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">consider discounting the senior
       officer roles, i.e. president and vice-president, required for the
       application for charitable status</span></li></ul></td></tr></tbody></table>

</div><div></div><div class="gmail_extra">"</div><div class="gmail_extra"><br></div><div class="gmail_extra">Additional problems included the problem of consensus, however, <b style="text-decoration:underline">it was not at the top of the list. </b>Even though they seemed to be more "specific" to organizations like ours. Specificity to circumstance does not determine the impact problem. Again, you're dealing with a "people problem":†</div>
<div class="gmail_extra">
                
        
        
                <div class="" title="Page 88">
                        <div class="">
                                <div class="">
                                        <p><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">"However, <b>the research found other challenges which could inhibit non-bureaucratic governance
and are more specific to the circumstance of VNPO</b>s. These challenges include the lack of
succession planning, <b>minimal recruitment</b>, unreliable task completion, <b>minimal socialization with
the potential for disengagement</b>,<i> </i><b><i><u>a pronounced pressure to achieve consensus</u></i>, defining members
and member rights, and establishing a reporting structure</b>,<b> bylaws and constitution reflective of
their governance mode</b>l." (Pg. 81)</font></p>
                                </div>
                        </div>
                </div><div class="gmail_extra"><br></div><div class="gmail_extra">Maybe we are focusing on the wrong thing here. But, on face, if you do kill consensus, I can see the losers of the non-consensus framework leaving noisebridge out of frustration. The political argument is winers-win and losers-lose, and that may be the new framework if there is no consensus framework. Now that may spark some sort of "spatial innovation", like adding lockers, or kicking out all the sleepers, but it would indeed kill the community as it is.†</div>
<div class="gmail_extra"><br></div><div class="gmail_extra">There is a difference in world views.†</div><div class="gmail_extra"><br></div><br><div class="gmail_quote">On 19 December 2013 10:26, jim <span dir="ltr"><<a href="mailto:jim@well.com" target="_blank">jim@well.com</a>></span> wrote:<br>
<blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0.8ex;border-left-width:1px;border-left-color:rgb(204,204,204);border-left-style:solid;padding-left:1ex"><br>
Great points! Kudos!<br>
<div class=""><div class="h5"><br>
<br>
<br>
<br>
On Thu, 2013-12-19 at 08:56 -0800, bfb wrote:<br>
> Al and Madelynn,<br>
><br>
><br>
> Both in this thread and at the last meeting I have been overwhelmed<br>
> with the sense that this will never become a dialog. It feels like an<br>
> epic monolog that's bound to flame out.<br>
><br>
><br>
> But let' try anyway...<br>
><br>
><br>
> What I did say on Tuesday was that 1. I didn't know where to begin and<br>
> 2. Quoted the first line from <a href="http://noisebridge.net" target="_blank">noisebridge.net</a> "Noisebridge is an<br>
> infrastructure provider for technical-creative projects,<br>
> collaboratively run by our members." Which is to say, not only a space<br>
> where collaboration happens, but a space collaboratively run by our<br>
> members. Your proposal derides this statement in two ways. 1. Moving<br>
> to a majoritarian system creates less opportunity for collaboration on<br>
> decision making and 2. It hands over the process to a board of<br>
> directors from the hands of the membership.<br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
> -------- Original message --------<br>
> From: Al Sweigart<br>
> Date:12/18/2013 19:06 (GMT-08:00)<br>
> To: Rubin Abdi<br>
> Cc: noisebridge-discuss<br>
> Subject: Re: [Noisebridge-discuss] Keeping associate members in their<br>
> place<br>
><br>
> It's in the meeting<br>
> notes: <a href="https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Meeting_Notes_2013_12_17" target="_blank">https://noisebridge.net/wiki/Meeting_Notes_2013_12_17</a><br>
><br>
><br>
> Basically, Danny blocks because other people would block. Kevin blocks<br>
> because Noisebridge is a collaborative space and majority voting would<br>
> undo or impinge on that. I encourage them (or anyone else) to correct<br>
> this description, but it's what I came away from the meeting with.<br>
> (And, of course, if Danny and Kevin don't have time to reply to the<br>
> list, that doesn't mean they implicitly agree with my description.)<br>
><br>
><br>
> The "other people who would block" I can only take a guess at, and<br>
> half of them aren't even living in SF anymore. If I try to read<br>
> people's minds about this issue I'm going to fail; I'd rather have<br>
> them chime in on the mailing list or show up at a meeting if they have<br>
> strong feelings about this.<br>
><br>
><br>
> -Al<br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
> On Wed, Dec 18, 2013 at 6:49 PM, Rubin Abdi <<a href="mailto:rubin@starset.net">rubin@starset.net</a>> wrote:<br>
> † † † † Al Sweigart wrote, On 2013-12-18 18:44:<br>
> † † † † > The most common tactic in Noisebridge politics is to get<br>
> † † † † people to stop<br>
> † † † † > speaking up about issues.<br>
><br>
><br>
> † † † † Then that sounds like an entirely different issue that needs<br>
> † † † † attention.<br>
> † † † † Don't cut off the finger when all that is needed is a bandage.<br>
><br>
> † † † † If I were you I would call out those members.<br>
><br>
> † † † † --<br>
> † † † † Rubin<br>
> † † † † <a href="mailto:rubin@starset.net">rubin@starset.net</a><br>
><br>
><br>
><br>
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