On the perfect committee

A committee is best when people barely know it exists.
Not so good when people obey and acclaim it.
Worse when they despise it.

But of a good committee. who talks little,
when their work is done,
their aim fulfilled,

they (the people) will say: ‘We did it ourselves.’

Misquoted from Lao-tse (c. 565 B.C.)


  • As the T&C suggests, decisions should be made by the people who do the work
  • Committee meetings should be brief and virtual. Zoom’s 40-minute limit is useful
  • Discussions should be public and inclusive
  • Procedures and decisions need to be documented
  • Conflict resolution techniques should be supported

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