Tag Archives: purpose

New Purpose: “Organisations worth belonging to.”

Structure & Process operates with an explicit company purpose. We use words to invite clients and new members to our community and to guide ourselves in what we do.

We recently changed our purpose from “beautiful work to “Organisations worth belonging to.

Or, more verbose:

Beautiful work
on things that matter
in thriving collaborative communities.

Organisations worth belonging to. 

I shall explain why we made the change and it means to us.

“Beautiful work” was the condensed form of what we were about: work in all its forms, and a sense of beauty which went far beyond aesthetics, but included purposefulness, connectedness with other people, and sustainability.

However, I felt that we needed to move to a more concrete expression of what we are about and especially what we bring into the world. I realised that beyond “beauty”, we actually create something very tangible in Structure & Process and in our client organisations:

When we started Structure & Process seven years ago (in 2012), we had come to the realisation that that most existing organisations were simply not attractive to us:

  • Their purposes were often vague or non-existent, their behaviour sometimes openly evil
  • Their value systems rarely fit ours
  • Their social environments were unhealthy or uninspiring

We wanted to build something better: A company to belong to, in the best sense of the word. A purposeful organisation that one would be happy to work in. (“Purposeful organisations in which people love to work.” became our company purpose in 2015.)

Over the years, we realised how precious our time is: we need to make very conscious choices what to spend it on. This is one thing we emphasize in worth belonging to: Every person has a choice to make what to work on and who to engage with. It is a valuable choice. Which organisation is worth belonging to? Is yours?

With the new focus on organisations rather than work, we emphasize the tangible and a long-term intent: We are building something, not simply doing. We are building organisations, not just consulting.

This will give us a renewed focus on our own structures and systems, putting effort into making Structure & Process an organisation worth belonging to and a beautiful structure & community to do meaningful work in.

Essential Intent

Build and sustain a prototypical organisation

- that anyone can access 
- which people want to belong to
- where people can 
  - put in their best work
  - receive and give support
  - be inspired to better action
- that produces tangible outcomes of its purpose
A draft “Essential Intent” statement for Structure & Process (Juliane, March 2019)

We shall also look into our long-term relationships with clients, and into new forms of cooperating, e.g. as joint-ventures rather than within transactional consulting project relationships.

While we work on giving this shape, please already consider our invitation: You are welcome to join us, as a colleague or client, and work together with us building organisations worth belonging to. It could be yours. It could be ours. It could be a new one we start together. What would you like to work on?

We vow do to it beautifully and in line with our values.

Values of Structure & Process: 
Honesty
Authenticity
Clarity
Transparency
Accessibility
Intentionality / Purposefulness
Wisdom
Aesthetics
Inclusivity / Diversity
Sustainability
Ease / Balance
Right Effort
Effectiveness
Participation (Teilhabe)
Exchange
Support
A very rough draft of what might become Structure & Process’s “company values” (Juliane, March 2019)

We are organisation builders, coaches, consultants, process facilitators and human beings. If you would like to work together with us, please get in touch!

Links of the Month for February 2018

Some reading, curated from our link collection over the month of February:

  • In “Planned obsolescence”, Eugenio Molini speaks about working in such a way, that his client no longer needs his service. He then extends this perspective to his whole career, confronting the fears that come up with it.
  • Table of Contents of the IETF Paper on 'rough consensus'An IETF paper on “humming” (yes, seriously!) and “rough consensus”. I didn’t read the whole 19 pages in all their detail, but found the inspiration for group decision making process and culture well worth the look.
  • Do organisations, especially so-called “teal” ones, have a purpose of their own? And if they do – is it (purpose), and are they (these organisations), sustainable? Frederik Laloux discusses.

Beautiful Work.

How our Organisation’s Purpose guides what we do.

Structure & Process uses an explicit company purpose statement to guide its work. I recently wrote about encounters for meaningful collaboration – our company purpose until July 2017. I have also written about Purposeful Organisations in which people love to work in February 2015.

Over the years that Structure & Process has existed, our purpose has changed many times. We have moved between “large”, “high”, more abstract goals or visions, and more down-to-earth manifestations of what our company intends to bring into the world.

We are looking for words that inspire and guide us: They tell us what to put attention to and what to work on. They should also be inviting for others to engage with us. We are looking for a quality that “opens” – that invites new conversations about things that matter – and that “closes” – moves to action – at the same time.

Flipchart on 'beautiful work'
The first flipchart on which “beautiful work” appeared – June 2017

We phrase Purpose positively, as an outcome that we want to see in the world: At the same time, we acknowledge the flipside of every positive statement: A sentiment of pain or suffering, something that is “wrong” or less than ideal for us, and calls for improving, fixing, bettering.

Over two Partner Meetings this summer, we changed our company purpose again. It became, short and simple: “Beautiful Work.”

Our current company purpose: “Beautiful Work”

When we started out with Structure & Process in 2012, we noticed that many people around us were dissatisfied with their work: They disliked their work environments, their bosses, their coworkers or their staff. Some questioned the meaning of their work fundamentally, being disillusioned with capitalism and looking for more depth in their work.

Then I noticed that I was not happy myself: I loved my freedom and autonomy as a self-employed person, but missed the deep connectedness and shared meaning that I had experienced living as a Buddhist Monastic.

Herbstmorgen
One of the buildings of Won Kwan Sa International Zen Temple, where I spent two very good years between 2008 and 2010.

Continue reading Beautiful Work.

Encounters for meaningful collaboration (a few words on our organisation’s purpose)

I procrastinated publishing this post long enough that our organisation’s official purpose changed meanwhile. :-) I still find it valuable to share though, as it expresses a nuance on our work that I enjoy.
Even if as a company, we now speak more generally about “beautiful work” (another blogpost will follow), “encounters for meaningful collaboration” are still the heart of what we produce and what we thrive on. I offer this to you, for inspiration and connection! – Martina

We say: Encounters, as in: meeting of real people: Real humans meeting real humans. In all their complexity. With all the potential for change.

We say: “encounters” rather than “meetings”: Encounters are fierce, intensely personal, piercing. They might start subtly, but they carry immense strength. An encounter will change you, and may change your life.

We say: Collaboration, as in: working together to build something. Solving problems. Doing it together as opposed to doing it alone. With shared ownership and active engagement of all parties.
Collaboration may be structured or free-flowing. Rules and roles may appear, change, and dissolve. Collaboration can be clear and collaboration can be messy. Sometimes it is both at the same time.

We say: Meaningful, as in: with purpose. With depth. With intent.
Sinnvoll. Zweckgerichtet. Intentional. We invite depth, feeling, intentionality. We quest into intimate questions of what is important and what not. We care for the personal meaning in what may look to the outside as shared or even collective, large-scale work.  Life is short. What is meaningful to you?

Meaningful collaboration is not: random. “For fun”. An “experiment”. It is dedicated effort towards something significant. Fun and lightness come naturally to the process, but they are not goals in themselves. Enjoyment may be: Deep joy arises when meaning is apparent.

As an organisation, Structure & Process creates “encounters for meaningful collaboration”. In our work as a team, with our clients, in our client organisations. We invite you to join us: to co-create, to collaborate, and engage with the world’s, our communities’ and our shared personal challenges.

We are looking forward to meeting you.

Dream of writing a book? Join our inspiration session!

Earlier this year, Lara and I were part of co-creating a new book on healing psychological trauma (recently published in Dutch, English translation coming up).

What started with the dream of one person, became a reality through collaboration of a group that involved over 100 people.

The short version of the story? The one person having the dream was Ybe, traumatherapist and Lara’s mother. She started writing the book. Then Lara and Jill added illustrations and poetry. Then, Rob and 20 more people joined in organising a marketing and social media campaign. Finally, close to 150 crowdfunders made the first print of the book a reality!

For many people involved, this project shifted the perception of what is possible in book publishing. Continue reading Dream of writing a book? Join our inspiration session!

Successful Projects with Trello

At Structure & Process we value a good online infrastructure for collaboration. Since we often work together virtually, the online environment is important for us. We need good tools that help us get stuff done and are enjoyable to use at the same time.

We think we’ve got this figured out pretty well and we always like to share our practices. And so today we’ll show you how we use Trello as our main tool for online collaboration on projects and how it serves as our digital office.

The goal? To show you how to use Trello to make your project successful!

What is Trello?

Trello is an online tool, which you can use in your browser or as an app for mobile devices. It’s main purpose is organising information in a visual and flexible way. It can be used for organising stuff individually and organising work as a team or company. In this blogpost we’ll focus on using Trello for collaboration.

IMG_1616

What’s so great about it?

There are probably a few hundred applications and tools out there that can be used to organise and coordinate work. Here are some of the reasons why we are sticking to Trello:

It’s unlimited

Working with Trello is like having a huge office with a lot of walls, unlimited sticky notes, coloured pens, markers and everything else you need to create organised overviews.

Once your project or business gets bigger, moving to a new office is a lot of work. Opening a new board in Trello, however, is a breeze. As you grow, Trello can grow alongside of you.

Continue reading Successful Projects with Trello

Quotes of the Week (Week 47/2015)

This week, we offer you some quotes, curated from our link collection on Tumblr.

Seeing last week’s events, they take on a larger, deeper meaning for me. I always knew our work was relevant, but it may well be much more relevant than we thought.

Stay safe.

“Part of the problem seems to be that nobody these days is content to merely put their dent in the universe. No, they have to fucking own the universe. It’s not enough to be in the market, they have to dominate it. It’s not enough to serve customers, they have to capture them.” – RECONSIDER – Signal v. Noise

Continue reading Quotes of the Week (Week 47/2015)

What is the Purpose of Consulting?

According to ourselves, it’s now:

“Organisations thriving, people loving their work, world saved.”

The world probably needs no saving, but until we have that absolutely clear, we’ll go ahead with this. Good enough for now.

For our organisation to thrive and myself to love my work more (and, finally, to save the world), we need a new Consulting Assistant, as Angela is taking new ways (staying with the company, doing new things).

It will be hard to replace her, but maybe you can do it.

If you would like to work with us: that is: the team of Structure & Process, with Martina (who is our Head of Consulting, Founder, and writing this) and with our community – business partners, clients, friends who care about people thriving in collaboration – please get in touch: “Join Us!” has details about the role and requirements. Please also forward this to people if someone comes to mind!

Wie gewinne ich Menschen für mein Projekt, Vorhaben oder Startup?

(This article is a German translation of “Attracting people to join your project, startup or organisation”, published on the Structure & Process Blog on April 9th 2015)

Menschen bringen ein Projekt ans Leben.

Auf unserem Weg mit Structure & Process haben wir drei Wege entdeckt, über die sich Menschen unserem Team anschließen:

Continue reading Wie gewinne ich Menschen für mein Projekt, Vorhaben oder Startup?

What is Productivity?

bee

Do you have your own definitions for concepts or do you use whatever is in the dictionary?

I love having my own definitions. Depending on how you define something, you experience life differently.

Take success for example. What is success? There are infinite ways to define it. Examples are “earning a lot of money”, “having a lot of fun” or “being healthy”. Can you see how choosing one of these definitions over the other would shape the choices you make for yourself?

So it is for productivity.

Since one of the things I do is help people become more productive, I have been asking myself how to define this concept.

Continue reading What is Productivity?