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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Death By Committee

We Democrats love our committees. In fact, we some of the time love them too much. It is necessary to have a number of standing committees to carry out basic functions of the DEC no doubt. In fact, there are a number of committees that are mandated to be in existence by state bylaws (Affirmative Action Committee, for example) and DEC bylaws.

However, not every problem needs a committee, and having too many committees end up stifling innovation, ideas, and potential new leadership.

When DECs are organized and reshuffled around at the beginning of every new leadership team, the structure that is developed should take care of basic tasks and provide for new ideas and innovation. The key here is only having committees that are doing something beneficial for the DEC and helping it progress. If there's a committee where there is all talk and no action, if it only seems to be an echo chamber, or the personal lobbying group of a particular member - its time to bring out the axe.

Its also important that committees don't turn into this, as told by BMW:

Or this

Here are some tips to make existing committees better, particularly if you're in charge of one (via Fundraising Success magazine):

1. Limit your comments. Hold your tongue and suggest changes only when you are squarely within your expertise and you have facts to back you up.

2. Work to enlighten fellow committee members. Bring in documentation from the experts. Build the case for fact-based judgment over opinion-based judgment.

3. Advocate restraint. You might be able to impact your committee’s culture and make it less destructive. Your fellow members likely are open to becoming a different kind of group for the good of your organization.

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