Tag Archives: purpose

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.

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!