Larry Jennings had a saying that "the dance belongs to the
organizers". By that he meant that it's the organizers who promote
their vision of what the dance should be about, and make decisions
accordingly. At the same time, the organizers are also custodians of
the dance, in that one hopes the dance to continue on when individual
organizers move on.
These events needn't be big time democracy-in-action events. If you
have people who are particularly motivated about some aspect of the
dance, then they should join the organizing group and commit to
following through. But having joined a smaller group, then when
decisions are made (preferably by consensus) but which aren't in
accord with an individual's ideas, people should trust the sense of
the group and carry on.
If I had to help to organize our dance by having open groups for
every meeting, and rehashing previous discussions/decisions etc., I'd
be inclined to walk away with frustration pretty quickly. We have a
monthly dance (3rd Saturdays), we try to meet every other month as a
group, and even then we spend 2 1/2 hrs working through out agenda.
Between this and the time spent acting on decisions, etc., that's
enough of a commitment for each of us. It's hard enough getting
people to do this work.
With email it is possible, in the event that a major decision is
impending, like moving to a new hall, to get the sense of the
community by putting the issue and considerations out there, and
letting people provide their input by reply. There was an excellent
suggestion a while back by someone who said that time should also be
found to do some discussion groups among the dancers, perhaps in
conjunction with a pre-dance potluck, to create a field for ideas,
etc. You want your communities ideas and sense of ownership, but it
need not rule every meeting.
I clearly vote for option A.
Lenox (MA) Contra Dance
On Mar 27, 2008, at 1:01 PM, jeffrey wrote:
i am now on a committee writing new bylaws for cbdc.
there seem to be two opposing views on decision making.
A. a board be elected and it be responsible for making decisions.
can ask for general dancer input, but only the board can vote and make
B. that all meetings be public meetings, and everyone at the
meeting gets to vote on the decision.
of course there are both tiny, medium, and large decisions to be
made in the
course of time, and no distinction was offered. just the desire
members (or perhaps, anyone that shows up) be allowed to make all
to me this obviates the whole point of a board: having a small
can retain focus, be responsible for decisions, be available for
decisions on short notice.
comments on the B approach? has anyone tried it? how did it go?
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