“As I’ve learned by studying and supporting the efforts of Enspiral, a group of New Zealand collective enterprises, solidarity is not the result of world-changingly good ideas; rather, it is the cause. There’s no paucity of solutions to our collective woes: from permaculture and the commons to consensus building and platform cooperatives. What we too often lack are the communities of people to organize and apply these solutions in the real world, from the bottom up. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
For the past few months I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose.
Like many people I’ve been inspired by Frederic Laloux’s work on next-stage organisations. ‘Evolutionary purpose’, along with self-management and ‘wholeness’, is one of the three big elements of next-stage organisations. Purpose is:
a powerful drive to do work that has meaning and purpose. The concept of ‘being the best’ becomes a hollow aim unless the organization is doing something worthy of the energy, talents and creativity of the people who work there.
I help run a meetup called Reinventing Work: Bristol. We agreed early on that we didn’t want this meetup to become a talking shop. But we did feel we needed to start by defining what we were meeting up for. So we decided to spend our first couple of sessions defining our group’s purpose. These are my thoughts on that process.