Over 140 years ago, Captain Henry Martyn Robert wrote the first edition of what has come to be known as “Robert’s Rules of Order” (the Rules). The first edition was 176 pages and intended to be an easy guide for meeting-goers. The most recent edition, with 140 years of updates and additions, is over 698 pages.

The Rules

The Rules

Our Modified Consensus Model

Robert’s Rules is quite useful for large governing bodies but unnecessarily cumbersome for boards of smaller organizations like Studio Two Three. Proper adherence to the Rules often requires a parliamentarian and use of the Rules can silence voices who haven’t read and memorized all 698 pages.

Studio Two Three values the input of all of our board members. We believe board meetings should be a place of fruitful discussion where all voices are heard and discussion flows freely.

There is no law requiring that nonprofit organizations use Robert’s Rules of Order. Likewise, our bylaws do not require use of the Rules.

Our board has adopted a modified consensus model for board meetings. This enables everyone to contribute meaningfully, interact as normal human beings and make sure that no one’s voice is silenced.


  1. Someone presents an idea. It may be a formal proposal, but most of the time it's just an idea, not yet fully formed.

  2. The idea is passed around and the pros and cons are discussed.
    As a result of the discussion—the more input, the better—the idea is often modified.

  3. If a general agreement seems to be emerging (this is where good listening and facilitation skills are helpful), you can test for consensus by restating the latest version of the idea or proposal to see if everybody agrees.

  4. If anyone dissents, you return to the discussion to see if you can modify the idea further to make it acceptable to everyone.

  5. If the board is unable to create a compromise that will satisfy a dissenter, a majority vote may be called as a last resort.


We are actively looking for a few engaged board members to join the Studio Two Three board this year. We ask you to give time, talent and treasure - share your time, your expertise and make a significant personal financial contribution to the studio. In exchange, we will connect you with a growing creative community, professional development opportunities that are gasp FUN - and the joy of making a real impact in our community. If this sounds like you, please send me an email at ashley@studiotwothree.org so we can talk more!