Monday, August 25, 2008

This Page Intentionally Left Blank

Sometimes I get formal material in the mail purporting to give me information I need to make some complicated decision like how to vote my six shares of a stock. As I slog through mind numbing financial/legalese I come to a mostly blank page with this right in the middle ...

This page intentionally left blank.

And my head reels. This page isn't blank at all—There's a sentence right in the middle of it! Another example of how we drive ourselves batty. A better way?:

On this page?
Just three lines.
Now, go on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Double Yes, Part II

After writing my first blog on the double yes syndrome (July 6) I have begun to notice it's effects on other areas. One is pooled money: when a group has contributed dues/taxes, etc. into a common pool, the fiduciary managers of that pool of cash act in ways collectively (which means by vote or consensus of the separate individual leadership group) that most of them would not behave privately. Often this means spending the groups money at a higher level than they would with their own funds.

Another instance of the double yes (DYes) is when a decision is made by a group. In Single Yes (SYes) micro-cultures the members participating in the discussion put their best thoughts out ahead of the decision. They attend to the accepted process and work within it. This is the intent of Roberts Rules of Order and other parliamentary systems.

But watch with the DYes: the group decides, and then continues to hash out the decision! Say a condo meets at its annual meeting and decides that a longer ladder for accessing its flat roof would be wise. All quickly agree. One of the members, not necessarily on the board, continues with the research of the ladder and locates a modern ladder that could serve. Suddenly there's a flurry of concerns about unauthorized access. In DYes micro-cultures that is perfectly acceptable and not a cause of friction or notice even. For those raised with a single yes this is troubling as it shows once again that a decision in DYes culture is the START of discussion, while a decision in SYes cultures ENDS discussion and starts action.