Essay by dewiwilksUniversity, Bachelor's October 2004

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Through attending different courses and meetings with work I have found that domineering people often seek to laugh at or discourage sticking to an agenda. This allows them to act without the group's consent but without having clearly violated any rule, or even to claim that they alone know the rules and have in fact followed them. Worse, they may force someone else to act according to their wishes, again claiming that the procedural code, which no one has ever seen, requires it.

More often, however, a lack of process or agenda allows self-appointed leaders to control the collective by attrition and default. The issues they don't favour are allowed to fall by the wayside, quietly. If anybody complains, these self-appointed leaders can simply say they haven't reached it yet, since they are running the organisation, they are swamped with work. Or, they can claim that that those matters that didn't get done simply didn't work out.

Whenever a small group has been allowed to take over, the remaining members are left to function only as worker bees. The ruling may seek to consolidate its power by fragmenting the organisation, so that no one knows what anybody else is doing except those at the top, who have to be consulted every time a step needs to be taken that could affect another subgroup or the broader infrastructure of the organisation.

In some cases, members who have been cut off from the leadership, which by rights everyone should participate in, may simply work independently on their own projects, using the group only for the resources it is able to offer. That too does not constitute operating by consensus.

Everyone should be informed about every aspect of the organisation's functioning and that each person have the...