Yesterday we discussed the necessity of a minimum standard of participation in all effective activist movements and organizations. That post did unfortunately have to emphasise “sticks” over “carrots”, because it was about ensuring that we have “No Passengers” at the core of ZS. Of course that does not mean that we prefer punitive approaches to motivation… in fact we vastly prefer approaches that encourage creativity, open information sharing, voluntarism, personal fulfillment, compassion, and joy. There will be myriad projects, initiatives and systems to pursue such higher ideals as ZS develops.
Often, however, an effective organization must be ready to act like a well-oiled machine, which means ensuring reliable responses when they are necessary. One approach to that is of course automation, which we should employ where possible. When dealing with humans and other complex sapient entities, however, motivation depends on consistent rules correlated with reliable outcomes. Expectation of positive outcomes can be a powerful motivator, but if they are not available or sufficient to ensure necessary action then the last resort must be to point out that if someone will not act to help ensure ZS’ existence, then by definition they are not a ZS member.
Let’s revisit that last statement, to be sure it is understood:
Zero State is often spoken of as an Alternate Reality Game – i.e. a framework for participation in which creativity is unleashed, disbelief and cultural constraints suspended – but within that framework, on its own terms, the Zero State is utterly serious. When we say we are working to build a Social Futurist State, we mean it. We are working to build a nation for the highest evolutionary forms of humanity emerging from our convergence with advancing technologies. If you are not committed to that goal, if you will not act in a consequential manner when ZS needs you to, then you have chosen to leave ZS. If you cannot act that is a different matter entirely, but we would expect you to have a very good reason for taking that position, and for you to explain what that reason is.
The ZS “Action Alert” System
Effective organizations have clear goals, and make it as easy as possible for their members to do what is necessary. Alert systems are often extremely effective, especially when the members have a clear expectation of what they can and should do with those alerts. A good example is the NRA, which as explained in this video (comedy news, strong language) sends alerts to its members telling them when to go to City Hall and vote against any changes to pro-NRA gun laws.
Zero State will now be instituting its own general purpose alert system (“Action Alerts”), effective immediately. The alerts are calls to action which contain explanations of what is expected of all ZS members over a certain period from the alert’s release. Alerts will be published in this blog (and automatically sent out over Twitter and other platforms). All ZSers are expected to remain apprised of alerts where possible, and to act on them when received, as a fundamental pillar of their commitment to the coming Zero State.
Each alert will clearly and concisely state what is required of those ZSers who receive the message. The magnitude of the request will be commensurate with the level of alert, as will the expected response time and the consequences of non-response.
ZS Action Alerts fall into three categories, as follows:
- Red alerts are extremely urgent and critical
- Required response may require exceptional activity
- Response is expected at the first opportunity
- Non-response is likely to have severe consequences*
*”Severe consequences” is of course not a threat, but an outcome assessment. For example, if group action is required at Red Alert level and the call is not heeded, some major opportunity will have been missed. If the Red Alert is a civil defence alert for ZSers, then ignoring it becomes a matter of exposure to personal risk, and so on.
- Yellow alerts are urgent and important
- Required response is significant to demanding
- Response is expected within 24 hours
- Non-response will incur an Audit and possible removal from ZS
- Green alerts are of high interest across the entirety of ZS
- Required response is minimal and/or routine
- Response is expected within 72 hours
- Non-response will be noted by the ZS member’s House