Making the hammocks goals and hive minds

We made it again!  For the 8th week running we have made our hammocks production goals.  Which have increased from 100 hammocks a week to this weeks level of 150 hammocks.  As i have blogged about before, our production goals matter because if we fail to make them, we have agreed to punish ourselves by increasing quota.  Now you might wonder, if you have the choice to reward yourselves for making goals or punish yourselves for not making them, why you would you choose to punish yourself.

It turns out, that we dont care about rewards very much and we do care about quota increasing, which is clearly a punishment.  Last year we tried a variety of “carrots” treats in the hammock shop, interesting events, being able to make hammocks forpersonal money and other incentives.  We did not make the hammocks we needed.  When we started punishing ourselves for not making hammocks, we got them done.

It is understandably called coercive by some members (tho not so much this year).  And it creates this interesting theoretical situation where if we consistently make the goal and we never end up increasing our quota (because we never fail), the punishment we have endured will be the threat of higher quota without the reality of it.

Wednesday is the last day of our week in which we can make the goal.  Today in the afternoon the hammock shop was hoping and we made over 1/3 of this weeks goal in the last day.  I was in the shop for most of the day, ost of the general managers mark off Wednesday as hammocks push day, to be sure to help whoever does come in to make the goal.  And as it became clear we were going to make the goal (which was only 18 hammocks after dinner) our team kept shrinking and shrinking.  We had over a dozen people in the shop before dinner.  By 10 PM when the last hammock rolled off the gigs and to the inspection stations, there were just 4 of us (tho Willow and Hawina stayed til 9:30, with Willow actually doing some work in the shop).

The day showed some classical cultural events (like people telling jokes and stories) and treats (Anat guest from Israel made cake and other deserts).  But there was this new push ups game which i did not quite understand where people had to suddenly stop doing what they were doing and do some number of push ups.  Story telling, performances, hot community political topics and more to come, in hopes we can draw people into the hammock shop and keep making these goals without our self imposed penalties.


About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

4 responses to “Making the hammocks goals and hive minds”

  1. Elph Morgan says :

    Interesting. In terms of the theoretical never using the punishment, that reminds me of an equation derived from Peter Block’s Stewardship book. It is simply that Power is to the inverse of Authority minus Frequency of Use. P=1/(A-F) So Power (of the punishment) is diminished if it is used a lot. And, one would assume, stays strong by seldom being exercised. Unlike the push-ups.

  2. paxus says :

    @Elph: So please you commented.

    I think there is a units problem in this equation, because these things are not quite similar to me. And perhaps to use Starhawks distinction, this is some flavour of “power over” as opposed to our cooperative power.

    I personally do not think we will make it thru the season without lapse of making the goal. And in one definition of better manager would be if i avoided putting the community thru this punishment, by organizing lots of events in the hx shop and dates for members, etc. i am choosing not to be that better manager.

    i find the push up thing weird. Harmless, but weird.

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