Excerpt of an article by our Dutch client Energized.org, featuring an interview with Tom Thomison of encode.org. Text by Paula Nordhauzen of Energized.org
In March 2017 it will be ten years since HolacracyOne started to spread the practice of Holacracy in the world. Working on a new operating system, organizations and the people in it are no longer limited to the employee-employer relationship that HolacracyOne co-founder Thomas Thomison set out to make obsolete. After ten years of maturing the holacratic practice he is now ready to take the next step with his new organization encode.org.
Encode.org started a new wave in the world of organizations that goes beyond employment and aligns the people structure and the legal structure of an organization with the heart of it: doing purposeful work powered by a Holacracy operating system.
Combining the Organization (structuring the work for a certain purpose), it’s Association (the people structure) and the Company (the legal structure) they initially created the “Self-Organizing Enterprise”. Meanwhile they already arrived at another name for this construct: the “For-Purpose Enterprise”. The wrestling with the terminology shows the dynamical evolution that is going on right now. In the middle of the Self-Organizing Enterprise is the Purpose Agent. The Purpose Agent is always part of the three containers, so via his or her financial shares , a long term legal relationship and also by being part of the Association, the collective of individual Purpose Agents sharing the same purpose.
With Energized.org we also started this journey to adjust our legal structure and create a For-Purpose Enterprise. The kind of entity described above is so new that we feel like we’re sowing on fertile land but don’t know what result we will harvest exactly. This is very exciting and we’re really looking forward to the result.
To get a clearer picture of what our organization will look like in a couple of months we talked to Thomas Thomison who supports Energized.org on this journey to become fully Self-Organizing (or living, earning and working for-purpose).
Being fully self-organized as an individual
In the middle of the For-Purpose entity is the Purpose Agent. We asked Thomas Thomison what this kind of individual is like. “A Purpose Agent is something different than an employee. Even different than an enlightened employee working for an enlightened organization. When we have a Self-Organizing Enterprise that is structured legally and organizationally for purpose, then that means our relationship to that thing changes and instead of being employees or subcontractors we actually become independent agents of purpose. We become self-organized ourselves choosing where to spend our time energy and talent towards purposes that we care about. As an individual I want to be attracted by a purpose greater than myself. I want to help bring that purpose in the world. And that’s what a Purpose Agent is.”
Continue reading the rest of the interview here:
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WORKSHOPS: Building the For-Purpose Enterprise
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