It’s time to get our shit together.

For years we’ve been hearing and reading about the future of work and organizations for the 21st century that are “future proof”, “resilient”, “human” — you name it. We’ve also seen a growing number of bold organizations and groups leading the way in this field.

Yet all around us we see our institutions, organizations, and governance failing us, often worsening the complex problems our world faces. Is the future of work just going to be another one of those management trends that ends up being nothing but a cosmetic makeover of business-as-usual?


Photo by H Heyerlein,

Reflections from the Practical Self Management Intensive, on Deliberate Development.

In the last few months, I have been reading and learning a lot about the impact of individual and collective trauma on our lives, and how we deal with it as a society. In these explorations, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying diving into books from great thinkers and practitioners such as Gabor Maté (When The Body Says No, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts), Tyson Yunkaporta (Sandtalk), and Esther Perel, who recently launched a second podcast about how we bring our relational habits to work. These topics sprang from my personal…

When developing collaborative decision-making and governance, we often get distracted with shiny tools, rather than developing culture and practices first.

Prompted by the topic of Week 2 of the Practical Self Management Intensive, “Deciding how to decide”, I would like to share a pattern that I have observed time and time again when it comes to collaborative decision-making and adopting new practices as work: too often, we start with the tool rather than the practice. Over the years, my colleagues and I have frequently received requests from organizations looking to change how they work that start with “Could you help us use tool xyz?”.

And just last week, it happened again, with my Practical Self Management cohort. We were asked…

Unsplash by Isaac Davis

A key characteristic of self-managing organizations is replacing job titles and descriptions with granular roles. Rather than having one fixed job description that comes as a “package” of tasks and responsibilities, working with roles is like having a dynamic portfolio of activities, responsibilities, and even identities at work.

The reason I am writing about this is because this is part of a reflection exercise on the Practical Self-Management Intensive Course, where the first week focuses on one of the foundational pillars of self-management, roles and social contracts. It is also always been one of the elements of self-management that I…

An introduction to Greaterthan’s 5-step guide to collaborative funding.

For any group or organization to be effective, it needs to be able to make decisions about how to allocate its resources. Especially for organizations aiming to be self-managing, participatory, or ‘teal’, collaborative decision-making models for allocating funds are not very developed yet. Tools such as Cobudget can make collaborative budgeting and funding process easier, but there is much more to successful budget allocation than using a tool!

To understand how to do collaborative financial decisions well, it is useful to look at some of the practices that have been developed…

Enspiral is a network of entrepreneurs and freelancers whose mission is to help more people work on stuff that matters. Since 2013, we have been practising collaborative funding to allocate collective funds through a participatory process. As the network’s needs and realities have changed over the years, this practice we call ‘cobudgeting’, has evolved alongside it.

This article gives an overview of how the Cobudget tool and practice are used in Enspiral today, and shares some lessons from our more recent experiments.

A quick history of Cobudget

The Cobudget software was born from the Enspiral Network itself, so I thought it would be worth sharing…

Reflections about a nascent movement, from Better Work Together

Photo by Ybrayym Esenov on Unsplash

Last March I was sitting at the dinner table in Wellington with Susan and Anthony, two fellow members of the New Zealand-based collective Enspiral. “We are starting a book project to share stories and learnings from 8 years of building Enspiral with the world,” they said. “Do you want to join as a co-author, along with 10 other members?”

As a more recent Enspiral member based in Europe, they asked me to write about the larger landscape I saw a network such as Enspiral being part of. I had gotten to know this space quite well and from a different…

Stats & insights from one year of private beta

For the last 12 months, the collaborative funding tool Cobudget has been in private beta. After one year of learning about who, why and how groups are engaging with the practice of Cobudgeting, here’s a snapshot of key usage stats.

To join our private beta, everyone interested was asked to respond to a brief survey about their organization and why they wanted to try collaborative funding.

303 people participated in the survey and joined our beta.*

>> See all Survey results

An experience with cobudgeting at the League of Intrapreneurs

This is part of a series of interviews with organizations that Greaterthan has been working with, to share their experiences with the practice of cobudgeting (collaborative funding).

The League of Intrapreneurs is a global learning community of “intrapreneurs” (entrepreneurs inside companies), who believe in creating change from within.

Last year, they ran their first round of Cobudgeting with a budget of 30.000€, to engage and empower their community of ambassadors around the world. …

A story about the power of invitations and welcomes, from the Happy Bern Lab

As I get off the plane from Barcelona, I once again marvel at the Zürich Airport. So clean and efficiently designed. Even though the Airport is one of the busiest ones in Europe you can be in and out of there in 20 min. I board the train to Bern, a place I have not been to yet, but have a feeling I will like. The city of Bern has been in my imagination for a while, because as a 10 year old, I had a…

Francesca Pick

Experimenting the future of organizations and collaborative governance @ Greaterthan, OuiShare & Enspiral. Co-founder OuiShareFest, steward of Cobudget.

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