Guilds, Guilds, Guilds

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Problem

Guilds address the following problems:

  • 1. Cold Start for workers
  • 2. Expertise and Competency expectation/standardization (Reputation/Trust)
  • 3. Voice for workers (grievence and programatic) (Balance of Power)
  • 4. Universal pricing
  • 5. Upward mobility/skills aquisition
  • 6. Improve communication amongst workers


Guild Structure

History
Guilds have a long history in the pre-digital world as skilled craftsmen organized to protect and preserve a way of life, a craft/trade. With such a concentration of skills, Guilds held considerable negotiationing power in engaging with employers brought uniform quality to craftwork while protecting skilled tradesmen, improved or at least standardized wages and instituted robust training and apprentice programs that ensured quality and helped with cold start challenges. These conditions normalized relations between workers and employers by establishing and introducing standards, expectations and beaurocracy into economic transactions. Employers came to trust guilds as experts in their chosen field and workers found value in their annual dues.

As Trust and Power collide over issues of accountability, responsibility and competency, digital communities must address the basic premise of expertise and how that is defined. In a pre-digital world the acceptance of expertise was shaped by, but not limited to educational pedigree, pre-ordained social status, cloistered/rural communities, etc. But, as universal education (and grade inflation J), post war social mobility and improved transportation systems radically changed our world, so did our idea of the expert. In a digital world in which we have access to more information than ever before, Experience and Experiences format a new social contract; especially when anonymity is factored into the assessment.

In a digital world, standards, the fundamental building blocks of a community can be captured, measured and used for the forces of collective good (Not the facebook kind J) to establish the definition of expertise, beyond reputation and perception. Once expertise/competency has been devined (as a quality quotient?) by converting actions, anecdotes and behaviors into quantitive metrics Balance, Symmetry, and Harmony, the natural state of efficient systems can be achieved. Just because an idea is old, doesn't mean it cannot be innovative....Hence, the digital Guild.

Application
By introducing Guilds into Daemo, workers through the tenants of collective action, get a powerful voice in the transaction. Leveraging a cohesive membership group to define wages, standards and expectations in the digital world are no different than their antiquian brethren. For Guilds to do so, they establish criteria for entry, embody an ethic of expertise and create and reinforce the bonds of trust by delivering on their claims. Guilds must internally self regulate or risk losing prestige, standing, reputation. Yet, Requestors also benefit in that instead of having to trust (and go through the vetting process individually) they can place it with an organization, as inclusion in a guild requires entrance exams, apprenticeships or other processes that establish competency and expertise be it transactional and/or subject matter oriented. They can have a single point of contact which can lead to repetitive interaction which has comforting as well as transactional benefits (familiarity), be able to establish expectation as to time and quality.
Structure
  • Leadership
  • Apprenticeship
  • rank and file
  • committees (Grievence/Pricing/Training/Vision&Development)

Needs Addressed by a Guild Structure

  • Workers need to feel they are being fairly compensated for their work.
  • Workers need to feel like they are treated fairly and respectfully, and have a voice in the platform
  • Workers need to be able to expose their skills so they can get work they are qualified for and advance their skills
  • Requesters need to be able to trust the results they get
  • Requesters need to have workers who have the appropriate skills and demographics do their tasks

Solutions

  • 1. Establish a Culture of Skill. Organizations are moving from low cost to high skill labor
  • 2. Leverage ground truths to serve as a universal skills baseline...Consistency and predictability (Reliable)
  • 3. Guilds Scale and are reliable
  • 4. Trust and Power dynamic
  • 5. Flat organizations work, because they are comprised of like minded folks, that share a similar mental model of 'reasonable"
  • 6. By establishing Norms...can create a matrix association of skills to wage.
  • 7. These norms can also provide the foundation for pricing engine.
  • 8. economies of scale and relationship with MOOCs
  • 9. Create a certification process. (Digital and non Digital)
  • 10. Collaboration and Collective Intelligence

Guilds help manage workers at scale, which on a global level is important. It also helps focus activity and bring a singular voice and a universal standard to grievence management, skills development, wage negotiation, cold start of newbies, etc. Opportunity for entrpraneurs

Questions

Where does the evolution of Guilds go? Develop into Unions, Co-ops or evolve into companies? Can Guilds go out into the market and secure business...yes? At what point does a guild get too big...is there a tipping point when the community fractures because (Divergence of interests, agendas, politics)? How does the crowd absorb competing guilds Can they structure in a way to provide benefits?

  • @trygveson