Do you feel demotivated when you have to go to work? Do you think of your salary when you say ‘yes’ to a request from your manager against better judgment? There is another way to work!

Imagine going to work with a clear goal in mind. A goal that you know what you contribute to. You are going to use your time, energy and talent for a goal that makes you happy. A goal that makes the world a better place.

Purpose = the boss

This is possible if the company is organized around a common goal – the purpose – that goes beyond the well-being (profit for example) of the organization. That’s what we call ‘self-organization’.

The coaches supprt organizations with self-organization, for example based on Holacracy (complete package of rules). In those organizations the purpose is the boss, the reason why you do your work. All decisions you take and all your actions contribute to that. That is motivating and very transparant.

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Examples of purpose-driven organizations

stijn nijhuis purpose driven organization holland

‘Our purpose “Removing distance in collaboration” is about our ambition to make collaboration as good or even better when using our remote solutions than being in the same room’ – Stijn Nijhuis, founder of Voiceworks.

At Voiceworks they have been spending a lot on time on developing their Holacracy practice. Recently the purpose was redefined. And now they want to capture the essence of the purpose in every fiber of the organization.

Anita Klaver (Lead Link Talent Lab at Voiceworks) about how the purpose is distributed. ‘We have translated our purpose to the General Company Circle, OKR’s and circle OKR’s. Also all employees have their own work goals and learning goals which relate to the purpose. That is what we started doing last year and we aim to become better in it!’

anita klaver voiceworks
ruben timmerman springest holacracy

Ruben Timmerman from Springest (the Dutch ‘Amazon’ of education) starts every talk and presentation with their purpose: ‘Helping people reach their full potential’. Inspired by his dad he came up with this purpose when he founded Springest.

You might get the impression that it is a good story that actually only lives with the founder. That’s why they did a research at Springest. And guess what? 9 out of 10 employees can quote the purpose with their eyes closed at any time of the day.

At Valsplat the founders are also the ones who came up with the purpose ‘Empower teams and organizations to humanize digital interactions.’.

Joris Leker: ‘We know it is possible to design and build digital products people love to use. It is just a matter of listing to their actual needs, and observing real people when they (try to) use your products and services. We help organizations discover and design the best possible products by bringing empathy to design.’

joris leker valsplat holacracy purpose driven organisation

We try to select people on the way they are attracted to our purpose. And we do coaching in the organization on developing a personal purpose.’

Self-organizing: organize for a common purpose

In this video Holacracy Coach Koen Bunders explains in Dutch what a purpose is, how you can distribute it in an organization and why it’s so comfortable to work for a purpose.

Subtitles in English available, click CC.

Purpose-driven organizations in traditional business segments, it ís possible!

So maybe you thought that organizing for purpose is only possible for new and young organizations. Well, you’re wrong. In construction businesses a lot of companies are very traditionally organized. This is the segment where PRO6managers works to spread the purpose ‘Building Better Together’.

harry op 't ende pro6managers holacratie organisatie

Harry op ‘t Ende likes to talk about it. ‘We want to improve goal-oriented working. Just like cooperation and business processes in the civil construction industry. We want to see that goal-oriented attitude in the entire organization. We also look at the personal development plans of all PRO6 people.’

Also at the factory POLST in Poland they are now working Holacracy-style. This is a production company that melts aluminum scrap for the Toyota factory in Poland. The purpose is therefore ‘Safely remelt aluminum for Toyota and for the world ‘.

‘Safety is always top of mind in this factory. You see it everywhere in our company. We have therefore won great prizes with our approach. Because it is so present on every square meter of the factory, everyone is automatically reminded of our purpose.’ says Mikolaj Szeptycki.

Mikolaj Szeptycki-polst-holacracy

As you can see from these examples, it is motivating and enlightening for everyone on the work floor to know what your work contributes to.

Do you also intend to express the contribution your organization makes to the world in your organization? Please contact us to see how you can do this best.


Paula Nordhauzen. Curious listener. Hot topics: sustainability and social impact. Various roles within Check them here

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