Who leads an anarchy? LO29243

From: Jan Lelie (janlelie@wxs.nl)
Date: 09/27/02

Replying to LO29226 --

Dear Alan, co-reader,

The other day i was interviewed on the do and don't of a meeting. I
heard myself say that there are basically three ways of conducting a

1. Chairman-mode or power/force: telling what the problem is and selling
the solution
2. Expert-mode or doctor/recipee: making an analysis and venturing options
3. Participation mode or problem/resolution: exchanging views on the
issue and working out solutions.

Experience - or common sense - will show you what to do when. In an
organisation, to be efficient, mode 1 is used. To be effective, use mode
2. When the needs of the organisation requires commitment, creativity use
mode 3. The results from mode 3 can be improved by meetings of type 2 and
implementation using type 1 meetings. This is how the confusion started.
The Etiquette should precribe that you never confuse these modes: so do
not hire an expert when you want to tell the meeting what to do, nor use
participation when you have been cooking the books with the experts.

Also people tend to confuse participation with democratic decision making.
Democratic decision making usually uses majority votes ON SOLUTIONS.
Participation, in my view, relies on creating consensus on the ISSUE first
and the common solution will emerge. Most meetings have not been designed
to generate problem consensus first and therefore run into trouble on
implementing a solution.

Besides having a meeting, remember that inorderly action is preferable to
orderly inaction.

Kind regards,

Jan Lelie

Alan Cotterell wrote:

>Jan, A few years ago I saw a little handbook titled 'The Rules of
>Etiquette'. It was probably published pre WW1. The book described the
>way meetings should be run. It seemed intended to be directed at club
>meetings, however it also applies to business meetings. The intended
>outcome seemed to be to ensure that meetings were run on a democratic


Jan Lelie <janlelie@wxs.nl>

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