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Restructuring Our Organization to Accomplish Our Mission

What could a structure make possible for accomplishing an organization’s social change mission?

In 2015, Creating the Future’s community began exploring that question, investigating what it might look like if Creating the Future’s organizational structure was an active participant in accomplishing our mission.

The discussion arose from months of realizing the influence of structure on the following systems:

  • Decision-making and leadership
  • Coordination of activities and relationships
  • People-infrastructure – support for bringing out the best in people
  • Stuff-infrastructure – everything from administrative support to website support, from resources (including but not limited to money) to regulatory compliance
  • Connecting, engaging, inviting, welcoming, network weaving

Using Catalytic Thinking, these discussions began with the question of what we wanted a structure to accomplish, and then backed out the pre-conditions for success.

What could a structure make possible for accomplishing Creating the Future’s mission?

Our board and community members talked about the need for

  • A structure that will create and hold the space for the viral spread of ideas and approaches that bring out the best in people
  • A structure that will create and hold the space for activities to accomplish that mission, and the people talking action.
  • A structure that will actively model our values in action, as defined by the Pollyanna Principles and put into action through the practices of Catalytic Thinking.

Our research into this subject has included a review of the current thinking in organizational structure - the Holacracy model, the Beta Codex model, the Reinventing Organizations work of Frederic Laloux, and the immense depth of resources at the P2P Foundation. Conversations with people who were actively restructuring their own work were shared with our community as well – a conversation with Jeanne Bell of CompassPoint and with Chloe Waretini from Enspiral.

We shared our evolving thinking with the audience at Stanford Social Innovation Review, in an article titled Building Movements, Not Organizations.

Our board and community discussed these issues in November and December of 2015 (You can find summaries of those discussions plus links to listen to the actual discussions at this post). In January 2016 they voted to begin the process of restructuring, to align our structure with accomplishing our mission.

During the first half of 2016, the board has continued discussing issues related to the restructuring (you can follow the discussions with this category link for Organizational Structure at our blog.) We anticipate having the restructuring process completed by early 2017, as we begin scaling our efforts to accomplish our mission by 2026.

We invite you to participate in these conversations and to learn alongside us on that journey. All meetings are announced at our blog here.