Super Chickens

This is sort of a Franken-post that has been only crudely stitched together.
There is no telling what sort of creature I will have created until it is finished.
Such is the fate of midweek posts, long on perspiration, but short on inspiration.

Blue Animal Bowl, Ulrica Hydman-Vallien, 1978

Blue Animal Bowl, Ulrica Hydman-Vallien, 1978

We were driving to the Shaw Art Fair on Sunday and NPR’s “TED Radio Hour” was on. Margaret Heffernan was giving her talk, Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work. She begins her talk by recounting the work of Purdue researcher, William Muir, and his productivity study using chickens. He chose chickens, because it is easy to measure their productivity, you just count the eggs. Muir ran two flocks, one a control flock and the other a flock of super chickens, selected for their superior egg laying capabilities. He ran each flock separately and after six generations, the control flock of regular chickens was doing fine. It had even increased its productivity by 10%, while the flock of super chickens was down to just three survivors, the rest had been pecked to death. Heffernan then draws out the analogies between Muir’s super chickens and our modern human life, where high performers are raised up and rewarded above the rest of us. She concludes that such a model is not as productive as a more collaborative one would be.

I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road,
without having their motives questioned.

2 thoughts on “Super Chickens

  1. I am very luckyto be part of a REAL Team at work, true collaboration, eager to share with each other and whoever may contact us for assistance. Our boss has informed us that as a team, we (small group of less than 20) had managed in one year to accomplish more than an entire department of hundreds (only a slight exaggeration). So, YAY FOR TEAMWORK!!

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