Sunday, February 12, 2006

Facilitated conversations ==> concordance

Concordance means making easy conversations
First, what do I mean by concordance? With concordance (Dutch: concordantie) I mean working in harmony or harmonious co-operation. Like the British-French aeroplane 'Concorde'. I've started to use this word, because I developed a small dislike with consensus. I noticed that I didn't like, even didn't need and later on, didn't want consensus in a group or team. Somehow people think that you have to agree with each others to obtain a common result. I think consensus is not needed and might - on the long run - even be harmful for the result, because it tends to destroy diversity. And, Ashby's Law of the prerequisite variety (more ...) , you need diversity to able to steer, to manage, to act in complex environments.

So, people are all different and we need these differences in a team, if we're going to acheive any goals in a complex environment. We only need to # agree to disagree but disagree to part # (10cc, The Things We Do For Love). In my experience, when you start out on insisting on agreement (on goals or means), you either don't move at all (no agreement on goals) or, you move in circles (no agreement on means): a lot of commotion (! sic) without any progress. Everyone takes on a position, and - Lucifer Principle - the position with the most power wins and gets most of the votes. Or, - democrazy - the other way around. Consensus becomes a force that will drive the group apart, creating heretics and schismatics. The group will be running very hard, but make no progress. It is a closed system, attaining equilibrium, at the expense of chaos. Chaotic inaction follows structure.

But what if there is no consensus? When the differences in opinion are exchanged, people may notice there are some things they all agree upon. When people know of each others opinions, know where they agree and where they don't agree, they usually can decide to make a move none the less. Then a group can be on its way and develop a goal while being on the move. Improvement is only the intelligent goal. There might not be a lot of common goals, but there will be a lot of progress. True, open, democracy needs an acceptance of different opinions. An open system, using chaos for structures to emerge. Structured action follows chaos.


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