Re: Handling Power & Politics LO2004

Doug Blair (
Sat, 8 Jul 1995 22:51:04 -0700

Replying to LO1993 --

Replying to Ivan's comments in LO1993 ...

> I think that the most progressive (world-class?) organizations
>would tend to rely a lot more in some form of consensual-democratic type
>of relationship. If there is consensus on an issue, then everything is
>fine. WHen there is some kind of disagreement then the democratic process
>would take over.

The first word that jumps to mind is ... committee.

When I think of good decisions -- whether tough, visionary, high-risk,
high-impact, controversial, or whatever -- every example that comes to
mind was made by an individual. I just don't feel comfortable that a
decision by averages implies good judgement or results. There's something
about the traits of accountability, responsibility, and vision that stick
to individuals rather than groups.

Sure, input from balance discussions and various perspectives is required.
But the final decision? In retrospect, have many good decisions been made
by a group? (I'm referring to the democratic process in a group, not a
case where the leader takes the groups recommendation.)

>... In his video "Speed Is
>Life," Tom Peters shows the managers at CNN making important decisions in
>a hallway, authorizing cash expenditures of several hundred thousand
>dollars on the spot, etc.

Doesn't this contradict the consensus approach? Maybe even "political"? :)

On the lighter side, a neuron fired and this came to mind ...

I'm On A Committee:
Oh, give me your pity, I'm on a committee
Which means that from morning to night
We attend, and amend, and contend, and defend
Without a conclusion in sight.
We confer and concur, we defer and demur
And re-iterate all of our thoughts
We revise the agenda with frequent addenda
and consider a load of reports.
We compose and propose, we suppose and oppose
And the points of procedure are fun!
But though various notions are brought up as motions
there's terribly little gets done.
We resolve and absolve, but never dissolve
Since it's out of the question for us
What a shattering pity to end our committee
Where else could we make such a fuss?

(Printed by Standards Australia in the December 1993 issue of
Consensus. The author's name was not stated.)

Take care.
Doug Blair