Tag Archives: purpose

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.

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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?

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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?

Attracting people to join your project, startup or organisation

(Diesen Artikel gibt es auch auf deutsch.)

People are what makes a project come alive.

On our journey so far, we have seen three pathways through which people become interested in joining our team:

1. A compelling Purpose

Our company’s purpose is explicit: “Purposeful Organisations in which people love to work.”

When the organisation’s purpose is clear and compelling, it acts as an attractor: Even with an unclear product offering, people show up and say: “hey, this is interesting! What do you do? How can I contribute?”

These people will sometimes join independent of the currently available “jobs”. They are not picky about what exactly they will be doing, as long as it contributes to a meaningful cause.

When invited, these people will often bring in their personal special skills and creativity, which can lead to new directions, innovation in the products, and… interesting tensions. :)

2. Interesting Work

What is the actual work that needs to be done? What is the job?

Some people are drawn to specific types of work, specific activities  and want to develop professionally in these. Some of our current and former team members found us through this: they noticed some of our role role descriptions or job offerings and applied towards these. Continue reading Attracting people to join your project, startup or organisation

Purposeful Organisations in which people love to work.

150113-CompanyPurposeChangeWe changed our company purpose at our partner meeting in Utrecht on January 13th: “People thriving in collaboration” became “Purposeful Organisations in which people love to work.”

We emphasize “organisations” now. This comes from a better understanding of what our work of the last months has been about: we are interested in _organisations_: structures that are transpersonal, sustainable over a long time, in changing circumstances.

Organisations amplify the powers of the individual and provide an interface for the outside world. They are hubs – points of connection – and fields – spaces from which new directions can emerge.

_People_ are key to this: they make the effort that is necessary to sustain organisations.

Why do we, humans, care about organisations? Why make the effort to build, or work in them?

  1. Because work can be meaningful. (Purpose, Meaning.)
  2. Because work can be satisfying. (Effectiveness. Efficiency. Input-Output. Results.)
  3. Because work can be joyful. (Enjoyment. Process.)

Continue reading Purposeful Organisations in which people love to work.

People thriving

An interesting quote jumped out at me from Brian Robertson’s article on the History of Holacracy®:

“build the healthiest possible system where people thrive.”

Reimo Sandau, who I met in the afternoon, emphasized the word choice to me: “thrive”.

We have been struggling to clearly capture our company purpose in words for quite some time. “Structure & Process” is WHAT we build, WHAT we deliver. But WHY do we do it? What is the _purpose_ of building structures & processes? What are we really working for or towards? WHY is this work important?

Yesterday, we captured this formally in our company purpose for the first time: “Effective collaboration through clear structure and process” became: People thriving in collaboration, through clear structure & process”. 

It is longer and maybe not as smooth, but it is a start to put at the centre of our purpose the core of what this really is about: People. “Thriving.” Living, learning and growing as they work together. Being fully alive.

thrive
intransitive verb \ˈthrīv\

: to grow or develop successfully : to flourish or succeed

This may evolve into “people and organisations thriving” if we consider organisations to have a life of their own, but this will be up to a future governance meeting to decide. :)

Joyful work. Meaningful conversations. Clarity of purpose.

If you’d like to join us, there is plenty of work to be done! We are grateful for new collaborators and for opportunities to apply our skills – helping people thrive in collaboration. Let us know if you see any potential in your environment!

Have a great summer.

On wording Purpose

Effective collaboration needs Purpose. Often, it is helpful to make the purpose explicit: to give words to what the group or organisation aims to achieve.

What are good ways to word purpose?

I like purposes that are worded as an outcome and a process at the same time:

  • “exquisite organisation” (HolacracyOne)
  • “Effective collaboration through meaningful conversations and clear structure” (us, Röll & Korvenmaa)

These  point at a desired future state and at a process of getting there. Or of never getting there, but  infinitely trying. They can be understood as a practise.

Getting started

At the beginning, ANY purpose that a group agrees on can work. It doesn’t need to be great or perfect, good enough to get started is, well, good enough to get started.

Nenásilná komunikace, who worked with us to set up initial structure and group work processes, started with spread NVC in the Czech Republic. This is narrow and relatively vague, but was sufficient to kick things off.

Brian Robertson tells the story of how HolacracyOne started out with a lame Spread Holacracy – also: good enough to start. It can change.

The abstract and the specific

You may find that the initial purpose points at something  specific (“spread Non-Violent Communication”), whereas the organisation is actually about something larger, which it cannot express  at this time.

I recommend to look for something that’s big enough to be inspirational, but focussed enough to be practical and not overwhelming.

  • “To catalyse a community of interest, practice and expertise in Holacracy, in the UK and Ireland.”  is what Agile Organisation currently uses. This may not be massively inspirational, but is very clear and practical.

If in doubt, start with the specific, and then evolve. Use simple words, and keep it short.

Over to you

What are your organisations’ purposes? What do you like about them? How have they evolved? Please share your story!

(This post evolved from an online-conversation with Karolina Iwa of Track2Facilitation. Thank you for triggering it!)

For more links on Purpose, see our Tumblelog!