major21-generic-85wx60h-thumb.png We know an awful lot about the awful performance of most committees. And yet they remain our go-to method of organizing for collaborative intelligence. As Bill McKay said, "there has got to be a better way!" And there is. Here we introduce the A.R.E. iterative collaboration technique.


  1. Group is convened with an initial problem statement
  2. Initial discussion explores the problem and refines the statement
  3. Toss around ideas in a non-committal, free from criticism manner.
  4. Individuals or pairs are assigned, perhaps randomly.
  5. N1 weeks available to generate a comprehensive solution sketch
  6. Presentation meeting. One pager circulated beforehand. Each idea presented in structured N minute talk followed by round the room comments and feedback, all of which must be "iteration forward."
  7. After N2 weeks of work on refining the idea so as to best win the groups' support, presentations are repeated. Participants then do ranked-choice voting on the proposals and the top few are handed off to a dictator for reconciliation/combination/optimization.
  8. Upon return to the group, if some fixed majority does not like it we go back to earlier step in the process and try again.

NOTE: no one is guaranteed that just because they put a lot of time in on something it will be adopted. The best idea for the institution will be adopted and we need to hear a wide variety of THOUGHT-THROUGH ideas not just little pet sentiments tossed out along the way.