T came home one day, very pleased with herself. She had attended one of those day-long seminars that sweep through organizations, both private and public, at regular intervals in order to leach some of the spare cash out of the system. She was particularly chuffed about a game they had played. In the exercise, members of a team collectively negotiated a response to a situation of some kind, and then individually passed on their response. No one in the team knew the individual decisions until they had all been made. The catch was that the points garnered to each member of the team varied with the number who chose a particular response. If all members chose response A, each received, say 40 points. If, however, one person chose response B, while everyone else chose A, that person gained 100 points, while everyone else gained only 10. If everyone chose B, however, each person got only 5 points. As T explained it, the aim of the exercise was for individual members to maximise their points. It was more elaborate than that, with points schedules for every possible result, but you get the picture, I hope. Continue reading “Shame”