Pioneers! The journey to a Self-Organizing Enterprise

  • energized.org via holacracy implementatie naar een self-organizing enterprise in nederland

At Energized.org we believe in purpose-driven organizations. Therefore, we assist them with implementing Holacracy. But we want more. Much more. We see Holacracy as the beginning of a journey. Not the destination. We want to clear the way for other organizations in society.

The first step is to be self-organizing with Holacracy

Holacracy is the most complete and ready-to-use operational system for self-organization for us. Energized.org started Holacracy from the beginning. Therefore we are a step ahead of a company that is completely self-organizing but is still working in a traditional hierarchical structure.

Experimenting and pioneering in our own organization

With Holacracy you become self-organizing, but there is not a specific place with a ruleset for the people in the organization. Also, the legal anchorage of the organization is not holacratic either. Each organization is free to deal with the human side of working as they want. We want to take it one step further.

The purpose of Energized.org is ‘Work. Liberated.’. We believe Holacracy is the right tool to achieve this new way of working. We believe so passionately in the freedom to work that we also want to go all in ourselves. We want our purpose to be completely intertwined with every fiber of the organization.

The last reorganization of Energized.org

We are fans of working with Holacracy but we – and our customers – miss two aspects that are not covered in Holacracy: the human side and the legal structure.

The human side of work

With Holacracy there is a lot of clarity about the way you work in an organization. Holacracy has four ‘spaces’: the organization, role space, personal space and tribe space. For the roles, personal space and tribe are no rules. In an organization you’re working with all kinds of people, everyone with their own values, characteristics and preferences. So, questions start to arise. Such as “How do you create an environment where everyone can feel safe enough to be themselves fully?”. And “How do you deal with interpersonal tensions?”. In the current situation every holacratic organization can find the best solutions as they want it.

The legal structure of the organization

Koen Bunders and Diederick Janse are the founders of Energized.org. The legal form that they chose at the establishment, a VOF (general partnership), is a very common legal form in the Netherlands. But the VOF structure does not feel good for Diederick and Koen. Because they are the owners automatically the system creates a hierarchy where they are the ‘bosses’. That does not suit them as people, but also not Holacracy.

We work with eight people at Energized.org nowadays. If profits are being made they can only be divided equally if the owners initiate it. But everyone contributes to those profits and also takes risks. Therefore, we have begun our own recent reorganization. Not in the way of working, but in the way our organization has a place in society.

Finding the right structure is not only done by the owners of the VOF, but by all partners. For this project we have asked a third party. Encode.org is an organization set up by Tom Thomison who was also co-founder HolacracyOne (the parent company of Holacracy). The people of Encode.org focus entirely on the missing links in Holacracy. Tom Thomison is going to talk to all partners to investigate what their wants and needs are. Then he will talk to lawyers who have knowledge of the Dutch legal forms to see what our most ideal legal form will look like.

Journey to a Self-Organizing Enterprise

Our goal is to shape an organism that has the organization as one part not being the whole. This self-organizing organism is called Self-Organizing Enterprise (SOE). Encode.org identifies three units that overlap each other:

  • The company (the legal system)
  • The organization (where the work is done)
  • The association (where everything revolves around the people, relationships, shared interests)
for purpose enterprise self organizing

We’re just getting started

With Holacracy we work on our purpose. Now we do business and live according to our purpose. A need that many of our clients also express. We have just embarked on this adventure. We’re ready for the next level!

We will keep you informed on our developments. Do you have experience with these aspects of self-organizing work or do you have questions, feel free to mail paula@energized.org.