Breaking Robert's Rules of Order

June 2, 2008

It's time to break the rules. Consider this new way to run your meetings, build consensus, and get results.

Every day, groups of all kinds attempt to reach agreement using Robert's Rules of Order. These arcane rituals—otherwise known as parliamentary procedure—usually produce a victorious majority and a dissatisfied minority that can't wait to bring issues up again until it gets what it wants. Indeed, decisions made by "majority rule" are inherently unstable and usually produce far less satisfying results than if everyone had worked together. 

You can tell if your group uses Robert's Rules when its meetings sound like this:

"Your motion doesn't have a second!"
"A prior motion has precedent!"
"But we have a two-thirds majority!"

In this podcast, CBI founder Lawrence Susskind introduces the alternative he presents in his book, Breaking Robert's Rules. Susskind summarizes the problems with Robert's Rules; why an alternative — the Consensus-Building Approach — is more effective and enjoyable; and how groups can transition to this more natural process of group problem-solving and decision-making.

CBI has developed a companion one-day Breaking Robert’s Rules training, which uses interactive presentations and hands-on exercises to:

  • Provide a more effective process for group decision-making.
  • Identify lessons and explore key principles of the consensus building approach.
  • Offer strategies for dealing with possible organizational barriers to using the consensus building approach.
  • Practice using the consensus building approach in realistic decision-making scenarios.


Purchase Breaking Robert's Rules at, or contact Oxford University Press.
To bring the one-day Breaking Robert's Rules training to your group, please contact XXXX .

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