[TheThinkTank] Robert's Rules of Order

Jean-François Caron jfcaron3 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 13 12:55:44 PDT 2019

The AMS Bike Co-op at UBC, while I was there, officially ran meetings by 
consensus but with Robert's Rules as fallback.  The chair of each 
committee was free to choose whatever structure.  We never actually 
ended up using formal Robert's Rules for any meeting I attended.

The Graduate Student Society at UBC did actually formally use Robert's 
Rules for their meetings and as Jeff wrote, it was impressive & 
effective when running properly.

In my mind it's a question of scope and conflict.  For small groups and 
groups which are generally in agreement already, Robert's Rules are not 
needed and people get lazy about following them.  For large groups or 
groups that have necessarily opposing factions (e.g. government), it's a 
decent system.


On 2019-09-13 3:03 p.m., Jeff Potter wrote:
> PS: RR is accepted by basically every kind of organization: financial, legal, govt. It has the values of respect, accountability and transparency built in. ...Though, as with anything, it can be gamed. But seeing people work who know the rules, the “language,” is like watching any elaborate game where everybody is using the same rules. It’s astounding how much complicated high level work can be accomplished (and recorded and made available and understandable to the public) using RR’s. I suspect there are billion$ projects being done, with a bunch of different stakeholders, using “simple” ONE HOUR meetings that function like well-honed social machines. …It’s a thrill when everyone involved is ready for a meeting and a meeting goes by the agenda. Pride… Jeff Potter
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