I am totally with the idea of distributing the know-how of facilitation.
But the proposed plan of there being a meta-facilitator guiding the
facilitators of each section didn't come to pass, and the meeting was drawn
out by dint there not being expected limits on discussion topics.
Good moderators in general set expectations for a discussion by declaring
how many minutes should be spent on it, and by qualifying what counts as
"in scope" for the meeting and what should be moved to another time.
Tonight there were lots of topics on the meeting agenda, but that wasn't
what drew it out to 10:15pm. What drew it out was the combination of:
* lack of time limits on discussions
* lack of sense of scope on discussions
* unwillingness to create "pointers" to extra-meeting discussions, email,
You have to do these things, and you can't guilt people into attendance
when they tune out and attend to other things because they have no sense of
the progression of things.
And I'm going to restate a previous point I've made about bureaucracy.
There's this tendency to privilege the discussion of
rules/regulations/policies above everything else when it comes to general
When I say "privilege" I mean "give more time and leeway to".
You have to resist this urge. Discussion of policy isn't fundamentally any
more important than discussion of culture, or events, or fiscal solvency,
etc. It's all *equally important*... by which I mean like Five Minutes
important. Because if you multiply out all the subpoints in each section
of any given agenda by 5 minutes, you easily get an hour or more.
Naomi Theora Most