Over the past years we supported many organizations in implementing Holacracy. And we hope to be doing lots more in the years to come. It has been a great way of expressing our purpose ‘Work. Liberated.’ But we also noticed that something was missing. The organizations we were helping wanted more. And we wanted more too!
That’s why we started the process of becoming a For-Purpose Enterprise, grounding our self-managing way of working into a new and innovative legal structure, and giving more attention to how we show up as people. Our community of clients and partners is following our experiment closely, but it’s very much still in the pioneering phase. At the same time, we also wanted to take a close look at how we serve our clients..
Changing the strategy
During a strategy meeting we decided to expand our focus beyond implementing Holacracy. We defined our strategy as “Holistic self-management (on the Holacracy operating system), even over mechanical Holacracy implementations”.
We choose to look at self-management in a ‘holistic’ way. Because it’s not just about organizing the work with Holacracy. Working and living in an organization raise many other questions as well. Just think about personal skills and habits, about compensation, on- and off boarding, legal agreements and how you interact as colleagues. For us, all these things are connected. That’s why we want to support clients with coherent self-management, based on the Holacracy operating system (because it is still the best self-management framework that we know of).
Working for-purpose is at the heart of our work. Throughout the years we have often discussed our purpose, and sometimes evolved it. It was time for another evolution, from “Work. Liberated.” to “Unlock power for purpose.” Incidentally it was proposed out of governance, by Diederick Janse as Lead Link to the Company Circle. That’s how simple it can be to change the company’s purpose!
Diederick about the new purpose: “When we talk about ‘For-Purpose Organizations’, I would argue that the world doesn’t need more or even better purposes. What is lacking is the power and social technology to execute on those purposes. We’re relying on obsolete social technology (the management hierarchy) that locks power into the hands of the few, and in a way that wastes an enormous amount of energy on things that are not ‘for-purpose’ (politics, ego, perfectionism, profit, ambiguity, etc.).
The purpose is most often there, the power is there, but it isn’t getting unlocked and used for-purpose. That’s what I would argue ‘the world’ needs: social technology to better use what is largely already there.”