Thursday, December 7, 2006

Wait. What Are We Talking About Here?

I spent the last few days at a strategic retreat of the board of the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC). It was an intense few days.

This morning we were talking about whether or not we had reached "consensus" on something. Uncertain about that, Cy Smith asked me to look up the word.

A Google search (definition: consensus) produced a variety of definitions, from "agreement in the judgment or opinion reached by a group as a whole" to "general agreement : UNANIMITY" (suggesting unanimous agreement).

Then we found a site with instructions on reaching consensus. It started with an exercise in which you have "each person write his or her own definition of consensus."

Uh oh.

To cap it off, we found a page on "Consensus for Small Groups." Here's the start of Section 2:
Definitions of consensus
There is no one widely accepted definition.....
So, in other words, there is no consensus on "consensus?"

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