I was confused during the last class. I did not know whether the exercise was to plan for a community like Miami or to overcome the challenge of organizing a group of people like our 6180 class. I am not ironically saying this, I was confused. So, I used my confusion to learn about me. Why I am uncomfortable with this mess? Why I need structure? Reflecting on that, I conclude people need structure. Organization coordinates action to achieve goals. Without goals, organizations have not sense to exist. If I belong to an organization, I do because I share common goals with other members of the organization. To share common goals I need first to know the goals. That is a basic condition for a free choice. But, which was my organization in last class? The 6180 course? The operations team? The whole class? Are the goals of these different organizations the same? I need to know the goals of the organization before to decide if I want to belong there.
The organizational leader has the responsibility of establishing the mission and the goals of the organization. If there is not leader, then there is symmetry of power between the participants. If there is not symmetry of power, then the leader has to give the guideline to operate. This means to set up the goals of the organization. Who is responsible for establish the goals of the organization that we were creating at the 6180 class? Instructors? Me? team leaders? Do I have to flow and just learn from the chaos? Do I have to intent to control the destiny of my team? Do I have to intent to organize the class project? Perhaps it is what the instructors are expecting for. I did not know. I was confused and trying to learn from my confusion.
I tried to explain to myself why the confusion. I identified several fallacies, sort of contradictions during the course of the lecture. The disclosure of these contradictions helped me to pacify my anguish. I realize that many of my anguish were produced because I was living on the illusion of having the power to achieve a consensus. I thought the class was free to decide the project. However, it was not true. That it is not possible because this is a course not a group of friend. And the professor has an agenda for this class. For instance, what If we (the class) define a project whose goal is to bring relaxation to the 6180 students? I mean, what if we create a project where part of the outcomes is to reduce the stress of 6180 students by reducing the amount assignments. Probably, we cannot implement that project because it does not agree the expectation of the professor. Therefore, there is not freedom to define the domain of our project because the professor has always the control of the system. I was confused because I did not know whether the dynamic of the activities considered the professor could lose the control of the system. I don’t think so. Any organizations, goals, or outcomes produced by the systems/teams created inside the 6180 course have to agree the agenda of the professor.
From the last class I learned about asymmetries of power within organizations. To pursue consensus among individuals must exist symmetries of power among who participate in the creation of the consensus. Otherwise, the weak are manipulated by the powerful. The search of consensus without symmetries of power is a strategy of imposing an agenda silencing potential adversaries. Facilitators of consensus have to be very sharp to identify this phenomenon because they usually are hired to create consensus around preexisting agendas. Often, the preexisting agendas belong to whom pay for your services. Misread the conditions for consensus might confuse the participants creating potential boycotts against the facilitator.