6 Rules to a Collegially Disagreeable Culture

Collegially Disagreeable cultures rarely emerge spontaneously.  They require deliberate efforts to build and maintain. 

Egos, personal biases and blindnesses, ambitions, and clashing philosophies work against building cohesion. 
And peer pressure, ridicule, loss of status, strains on relationships, and fear of confrontation work against fostering dissent.


The following rules are meant to guide members of a group with a specific mandate (eg. task force, corporation. charity, legislature), particularly for those leading the group.  I have no insight into the rules that might be used to build a collegially disagreeable society, other than generalities like” “be kind”, “don’t take advantage of others”, “think of the larger picture”, “be honest”, “question your beliefs, you may be wrong”, “follow solid evidence”, “speak up when something wrong is happening”.

Disagreeableness Rule 1: The group and its members have a duty to provide oversight of and, where it deems appropriate, to disagree with those who are responsible for implementing its work.  In the case of Boards of Directors this means overseeing, challenging, and directing management on not only policy, but also the procedures and actions related to policies.

Collegiality Rule 1: No caucuses, in-groups, back-room deals, quid pro quo trades, hidden agendas, grudges, personal attacks.


Disagreeableness Rule 2:  All proposals must be both “option-rich” and “evidence-based”, and must be subject to scrutiny.

Collegiality Rule 2: Discussion is to focus solely on evidence of what is best for those the organization is meant to serve, those who provide those services, and for society as a whole, never on personalities or political pressure, personal interest, status, or the desire to win a debate.


Disagreeableness Rule 3: If a group’s member has an idea or evidence or concern, it is the member’s duty to raise it.

Collegiality Rule 3: Every member is to be given a fair chance to be heard and time for a consensus if their is one to emerge along with a process for acting in the lack of consensus that takes into account that there are consequences for both rushing and delaying an action,.