Open governance framework: build an open entreprise as we build open source software ;-)

[After the first two days of the European Organization Design Forum, I wanted to share an analogy with you, and maybe another perspective on our organization / governance design process. In preparation for the deceleration week. Ping @lin_d_hop and @Selmo ]

We want to build a liquid organization, agile, based on contributorship.
An open entreprise that anyone can contribute to.
An open entreprise to take care of the “commons” we are building, together, with all those who want to put their energies and skills in.
Let’s build our organization as we build an open source software. An organization with permeable boundaries, which is more a network of entities and people than a formal legal entity. A community.
We need to find a framework to enable our collective intelligence to work ON our organization. Not only IN our organization.
Like we choose a framework to develop an open source software. A framework to develop an open entreprise.
Of course that framework has to be adaptative, so that we can twick it over time, and make our own framework from it.
There are two ways about how to choose a framework:

  • start with an existing framework that resonates, that is consistent with our set of values and what we expect from our governance model. Different organizations have deployed different frameworks, that have pros and cons, and defend different values.
  • or build our own from scratch if no one existing fits us.
    We need to define collectively what are the criteria for choosing, and decide collectively.

Existing frameworks:
There are lots of “frameworks”. Some are very defined and precise. Some are more informal and we need to investigate to understand the underlying framework.
Here is a frist list of frameworks (to be completed and investigated during the deceleration week…). Please feel free to add others if you know some that could fit us.

  • Holacracy: not open source / costly to deploy properly, no free help from people / social technology organized around work, not people / a protocol to process tensions related to the work (not P2P tensions) / pretty rigid, but the process is made to permanent reshaping / based on roles to do the work that needs to be done to for the organization to express its purpose / Glassfrog software (licence)
    Here is the holacracy constitution (which is open source):

  • LiquidO (liquid organization): Open-source framework / We can be helped by people, possible cooperation on a H2020 project (research) / Very flexible and light, no roles definition, simply based on contributorship + membership (contributorship as an entrance step) / includes the emotional dimension (guts) / Can be twicked and forked /
    They are building an open source software to support the implementation of the framework but already use a simple set of tool (free or open source)
    Based on open-source, “open governance model”/lean & kanban / positive psychology
    The white paper:
    And interesting reflexions from the guy behind this framework: and

  • Enspiral: network of independant entreprises and ventures, who share a purpose to create social value / volunteer contributions to a common pot to finance missions & projects they decide / have developed a set of open-source tools (Loomio and co-budget), but not really explicit framework / possible support from coordinators & stewardship to ensure accountability

  • List to be continued…

Crafted framework:
The space is free :slight_smile: It may be harder to start from scratch and more time consuming… and maybe we need to train ourselves. But of course if no existing framework fits us we may need to do that.

When we have listed the different options it seems like a good practice to set up a time to decide (for example x weeks) in wich we will have a conversation, on Discourse and with dedicated HO. During that conversation, we need to:

  • Agree on our values. Our values are the boss of our community.
  • Define our criteria (Is it open source? Flexible and adaptative? Can people help us? Is it light? Not too time consuming for the people? Does it allow people to come in and out easily? > refer to @serenity input you have already done a lot on that.)
    And then choose our framework. And start iterating, at the pace we feel is right. It won’t be perfect, it’s just a start to enable us to shape the organization we thrive for.

All that will of course be discussed during the deceleration week, but I wanted to share that analogy / input from this conference I am attending… as food for thoughts for this collective process :slight_smile: There may be more added on the list in the coming days, still 2 days to go :wink: