Thursday, January 06, 2011

The perfect round table is not perfectly round.

Or, perhaps the table is round, but there must be one chair
that stands a wee bit higher.

It occurs to me that in any deliberative meeting, if the decision making is to move in timely fashion; there needs to be one person whose ultimate responsibility it is, to refocus the particpation.

You just cannot just do nothing,
you can't just allow deliberation to grind to a halt
while a member indulges their "right" to give yet another
personal anecdotal example in support of the most long
settled premise. And then another and another and another ...

The responsibility for facilitation by custom, falls more or less
randomly upon capable and less capable shoulders.
It could be argued that, chairmanship is afforded, at least
in part, according to skill as a facilitator, but there isn't a
preponderance of evidence to support that conjecture.

It is at least statistically possible that the person given the gavel, may also be the least capable of any of them, to pound it in the community best interests.

Why not hire facilitators who only agenda is to allow every stakeholder interest to participate meaningfully in a fair decision making process?

Politicians and public servants could facilitate their own meetings. On its face, it would provide considerable savings. The caveat of course, the self evident conflict of interest.

Why not allow public servants to ask for facilitation at any meeting where it is warranted? Why not let facilitation be declined by the unanimous consent of those present?

Facilitators must be impartially efficient and effective.
If facilitation does not improve deliberative decision making;
surely it is the facilitator and not facilitation, at fault.

Seems like a no-brainer.

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