Organizing : Central Council

The Central Council is the governing body of the Corvallis Swing Dance Society.

The council is comprised of 7 to 9 "at large" members of the Corvallis swing community -- people who love swing dancing and have contributed positively to the scene for a year or more. Members of the council are equals, in all matters related to the Corvallis Swing Dance Society; all members represent Corvallis Swing to the broader community.

Mode of operations

The Central Council keeps a todo list at Circle Blvd, which works like so:
  1. Any member of the council may add an action item to the list.
  2. The head of the council examines the story list, asks questions about the items, updates them so that any member of the council can take on the action, and prioritizes the new item in the existing queue of things to do.
  3. When a council member wants to do something, she looks at the queue of things to do and picks one near the top.

Weekly meeting

The Central Council meets weekly. Each member concisely answers the following questions:
  1. What did I do last week?
  2. What are my three goals for this week?

After this quick roundtable, open discussion follows. People hang out, share stories, drink wine, et cetera.

It's important to:
  1. Encourage equal ownership by all council members.
  2. Don't waste time during the question roundtable.

Monthly meeting

Once per month, the head of the council presents what was accomplished, and where we're heading for the next month.

Formal positions

All formal positions rotate among members of the council. Terms shouldn't last much longer than an OSU term, and can be as short as a month.

The head of the council does the following:
  • Prioritizes the council's todo list.
  • Organizes the monthly "what did we do" meeting.

The assistant of the council does the following:
  • Helps other members of the council meet their commitments, gets things done.
  • Keeps things on track.
  • Keeps an eye out on how to improve the infrastructure of the group.

The council burnout does the following:
  • Takes a break from organizing. Seriously, do something else for a while.
  • The burnout is not responsible for anything, especially commitment.

Formal position cycle order

As per tradition, the next council head is chosen by the sitting council head, in any manner he or she wishes. The head of the council then becomes the assistant to the council. The assistant then becomes the council burnout. The burnout becomes a regular member.

Council term limits

Membership in the council lasts basically as long as you want. If you get tired, take a term off -- just give the rest of the group as much notice as you can. We ask for commitment on a term by term basis. In other words, if you get tired halfway through the term, try to stick it out, and take a break next term or become an honorary burnout.

Further reading

The council borrows its way of operating from the scrum methodology. Replace "head of the council" with "product owner" and "assistant of the council" with "scrum master," and you have a basic scrum team.

For example, the roundtable / circle is referred to as a 'daily scrum' by the rest of the world; if you use the Internet, you can find thoughts like this to gain a more robust understanding of the methods: