From: The Decision-Making Task Force report, UCV’s Redevelopment Exploration 2016 –2020:
A Review of the Process with Lessons for the Future
LEADERSHIP AND THE PLANNING PROCESS
- Is there agreement on the problem we are trying to solve: the key decision we are asking?
- Is there widespread discussion and agreement from the outset about the values and principles guiding the planning process, consistent with our UU principles and our Covenant of Healthy Relations?
- Has there been a process to develop a clear vision and goals for the project?
- Is the project consistent with the vision (and mission, if applicable) of UCV? Does the planning include considering the impacts for the more distant future, i.e., 10, 20, 30 years down the road?
- If some goals seem to conflict with one another, has there been a process to elicit common goals and/or prioritize the goals (e.g., Convergent Facilitation, sociocracy)?
- In a prolonged process, is there an opportunity to revisit these values and principles to remind the membership?
- Is there broad agreement that the outcome of the decision-making process will be accepted, knowing that it will be arrived at for the greatest community benefit?
- Does the planning/leadership group have clear terms of reference from the outset?
- Are the project scope and parameters, including constraints and projected costs, defined and clear to all?
- If there is disagreement about the goals and constraints, is there a system for participatory decision-making such as Convergent Facilitation or sociocracy? Is there conscious awareness and agreement in the community about how these decisions are made?
- Are there clear go/no go parameters that all understand?
- Is it understood by all that the scope and parameters will be revised only for very compelling reasons such as a big change in conditions, with widespread buy-in for the changes?
- Are there clear timelines and contingencies for not meeting those timelines?
- If the timeline is extended, is this a conscious choice that is transparently justified?
- Has a protocol been established for naming, dating and filing documents to facilitate retrieval?
- Is there an overarching body (board, delegated individuals and teams) providing consistent oversight andsupport for the decision-making process, with continuity throughout the project?
- Is a leadership/planning team assigned to any projects and decisions that are complex and/or that potentially involve divergent positions?
- Is there a mechanism to check in with the project leaders to see what support they need?
- Are the leaders of the process and the other leaders involved equipped to lead a robust participatory decision-making process?
- Is there clarity about
- roles and responsibilities, such as who makes decisions on what aspects of the process (e.g., committee, delegated overarching body, board or congregation)?
- whether the minister will provide leadership and support for the decision-making process?
- expectations of congregation members?
- Are definitions and steps of the process clearly documented and accessible by the general membership, with the input of experts (inhouse or external) included?
- Is there general agreement that once approval for a next step has been granted by the congregation, and dissent has been addressed as far as possible, all while following the Covenant of Healthy Relations, the leadership team of the project may proceed without revisiting the addressed concerns — and if necessary, a facilitated process be undertaken to explore continued dissension?
For prolonged projects, is there a process to rotate leads or co-leads periodically (e.g., two people leading the process and then two people on the steering committee observing and learning in order to take over after an agreed term)?
Is there a reassessment of UCV’s capacity (human resources, finances, time, expertise) at every key decision point?
- If a decision is to be made by majority vote, is the voting threshold for congregational votes clear from the outset (e.g., simple majority, two-thirds, etc.) and is this consistent with UCV’s bylaws?
- When voting on a project, is it clear what the alternative is (status quo or something else)?
- Are mechanisms other than majority approval in place for decisions along the way, such as Convergent Facilitation, sociocracy, and “gradients of agreement”?
- If a final vote is undertaken, for efficiency, have written questions and oral answers been considered for the vote-related discussions?
- Is a vote wise and useful at the endpoint of this project? Have alternatives been considered?