I am going to start this blog post by positing a moral dilemma:
Which is good and which is evil: minimum wage minimum work or always give 100% best effort?
Let us argue for minimum wage, minimum work. This philosophy is easily visible in commissioned sales. For example, I worked at JC Penney as a shoe salesman in my younger years. I literally was paid a base salary, minimum wage, plus commission. The more shoes I sold the more money I made. If I sold no shoes I literally made minimum wage. This is the business owners perspective of minimum wage, minimum work.
From the worker's perspective workers get paid for productivity. When you first hire onto your very first job in life you will be at the bottom of the pay grade in general because you have low productivity, meaning you are inexperienced and inefficient. As you gain experience then you gain productivity and you will qualify for a raise. Workers also oft times get asked to take on new management roles, new responsibility but with no raise. Workers resent this, morally, because more responsibility should mean more pay.
Now let us argue for giving your all, giving 100%. Always put your best foot forward. This is not a statement about pay but a statement about self-esteem. If you are not giving your all then you are only disrespecting yourself and being immoral with yourself. There is another competition based, dog-eat-dog argument for best effort: may the best person win. The winners get paid the best, get promoted and move up in the world. Losers don't. Sports!
What happens when you mix these two code of ethics, these two moral positions? The minimum wage folks will resent the 100% folks because taking on additional responsibility or being twice as productive sets a new standard for the same pay. The 100% effort folks will resent the minimum wage folks because you can't get ahead by staying even.
Should you take on new responsibilities for no pay? Does that reflect poorly on everyone else or just make you look good? Are you just a brown noser, kissing ass if you take on too much work?
Which morality should you have? Bosses and businesses owners are notorious for being Scrooge-like evil in trying to exploit workers for no pay, no benefits for their own largesse. This implies 100% effort folks are contributing to evil by driving a wedge between standards of fair pay and fair benefits for some defined amount of work. On the other hand, defined fairness of pay and amount of work stifles the 100% effort folks and are contributing to evil by limiting peoples potential.
Recently we are faced with this moral dilemma every day in the news in the US. Should we increase minimum wage to a living wage based upon some nebulous notion of fairness? Should we eliminate minimum wage altogether and let best efforts decide?
The reason we cannot answer this question on the whole is on the whole we want a single answer. Demanding a single moral is evil. The only reason we can argue a single moral personally is that we are one person. Projecting that onto the masses is arrogant. The Irreni World Scale solution is the moral good: choose both. This dilemma exposes why the golden rule is so evil. Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you means you get to apply your moral standard as if it is the only moral standard. That is evil. The new standard for good and evil is the information rule: doing unto others as they are, not as you are.
But when? When should wage standards be applied like with Labor Unions and when should unfettered best effort be applied like with commission sales?
That, my friends, is what Irreni is all about. Irreni is about answering these moral questions on a case-by-case basis using science and experimentation given the circumstances.
One insight into this dilemma is to recognize we must include the fact that life is a feedback loop. In some very real sense life is only the feedback itself. Wall Street glommed onto this fact that perception is reality by only giving 99% buy recommendations after the dot.com bust in 2000. If perception is reality for our moral dilemma then if we collectively argue for wage standards then wage standards become the moral. If we collectively argue for best effort wages then best effort wages become the norm. This explains why today the liberals and conservatives are engaged in a perpetual tug-of-war over who can out-shout the other so as to win the perception war and reality. The moral standard will be whatever we convince ourselves it will be.
But life is not just a feedback loop. Some people thrive in a competitive environment and some people thrive in a habitual environment. Seems counter-moral to throw either personality type into the wrong moral bin.
From the ground up the moral answer to the dilemma posited is to assess each and every one of us for our innate competitive nature and ability. Likewise, from the top down we also assess each industry for inherent competitive nature and responsibilities. An Irreni approach is to run experiments trying to mix-and-match standard wages and best effort wages to people so as to optimize quality of human life for all interests; individual and business.
The Irreni approach means we need to embrace moral relativity. This means we need to reject once and for all a single moral standard for everyone. We need to reject the notion that if one person makes $15/hour for a job, so does everyone else. We need to reject the notion that dog-eat-dog competition in the market place is the only healthy market place. Perhaps instead of saying occupations such as sales are only commissioned based then we allow every occupation for people to choose commission or wage standard?
We need to morally allow people their differences in nature. My nature is best effort. Oft times the wage standard folks have resented me in my past for "showing them up". I understand their perspective because to them I'm trying to raise the work standard for the same amount of pay. Also I agree that businesses should be paying for additional responsibility because in fact business decision makers setting pay rates justify all their own high wages, perks and privileges solely upon a quaint idea of merit and responsibility. In this sense best effort folks such as myself are not fair to wage standard folks. But a zebra is not going to change its stripes and I'm not going to quit taking initiative. What to do?
Another insight as to what to do let us consider gay marriage. Gay marriage is setting a new moral landscape. That landscape is we need to recognize that organically people have very different natures. This is true when it comes to work ethics and most aspects of life. Irreni World Scale is going to ask you to embrace these differences not as deficiencies for being different, but moral advantages for being different. The moral advantage is that people of different moral character who will do things you are not inclined and therefore present you with a vicarious free-will opportunity to do things on your behalf. What risk taker doesn't need the reliable routiner and what reliable routiner doesn't need a risk taker? Leaders and followers.
There is an adage that every good leader must be a good follower. Sorry, that is just not true because people have different organic natures. In my industry most leaders are abrasive personalities such as Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs and the list goes on-and-on. All aholes. Aholes don't make good followers. What is true is that we all need to recognize our mutual moral benefit of acknowledging and promoting people commensurate to their characters. Fairness historically has meant treating everyone the same under the golden rule. Fairness today means treating everyone differently as to their nature using the information rule. Gay marriage is leading the way.
Irreni World Scale represents the ongoing experimentation needed to mix-and-match our various ever changing natures with both survival and quality-of-life work so as to optimize both. It will be a blooming, bloody sausage making mess but it will be the best mess of treating everyone as important and to their nature. A single moral standard for seven billion people is evil. Let us embrace moral diversity and erase moral adhesion to a single norm from our ethos.
And finally one last note about moral relativity. There are some stripes we will never change in our lives but there are many stripes we will. This means the process of identifying any given person's stripes will be a constant evaluation and a constant realignment throughout any given person's life.
Scale your empathy, scale the world!
Find your tribe!
Be sexy people!
The future is coming!
Innovate at a rapid pace!
Slow speed ahead!
Well come! and well met!