One requirement of any organization is reliability. It’s particularly true of an organization aiming at stewardship.
- it is hard for the wider community to use a resource that isn't reliably available
- to preserve something over time, you must make sure there is always somebody available to maintain it
But groups are made of people, and people aren’t reliable. They forget, get bored, fall ill, leave.
So the challenge is: how can unreliable people make a reliable organization?
This isn’t a new problem. If you look at the big structures of society – corporations, governments, markets, armies – you’ll find they are all shaped around the need to be reliable.
They do it in 2 basic ways:
- Make people more reliable (e.g. through discipline or incentives)
- Make people interchangeable
Take an army, for example. Soldiers are trained into reliability (e.g. by following orders at all costs). Ranks and training are standardized, so that any individual can easily be replaced by another with the same skills and rank.
Or look at a factory. Workers are disiplined into arriving on time and working for 8 hours. And they are given standard jobs – if one worker doesn’t get out of bed, someone else will take over and the assembly line will continue.
Neither method works well for a group like Edgeryders. We (presumably?) don’t want to treat each other as interchangeable parts. We (mostly?) want to choose our own lives, not subject ourselves to the discipline of the drill-sergeant. So we need to find new methods, making reliable groups without turning ourselves into robots?
- how can we build reliable groups?
- which projects have managed it, and how?
- do we need reliability anyway?
- what methods could we adopt for edgeryders itself, or for our other projects?
Format: discussion group
Attendees: min 3. no maximum – we can break into smaller groups if more than ~8 take part
Equipment: just space and somewhere to sit
Date: 2014-10-24 09:30:00 - 2014-10-24 09:30:00, Europe/Brussels Time.