Common purpose organisations are collectives of individuals, come together to achieve a particular purpose that accords with the purpose of fulfilment without harm.
Financial success is not the purpose, but a by-product of the organisation’s success in realising human potential and achieving its particular purpose.
It is essential to trust, distribution, fairness, and productivity that all organisations distribute responsibility, open up information systems, and democratise collective decision-making.
The common purpose organisation lowers the risk of trying new things, of new ideas, of realising human potential, and assists in the coordination of human endeavour to a purpose that accords with and furthers the common purpose.
Common purpose organisations distribute the costs of failure and the profits of success. At all times human potential is realised, whether new ways of doing things are financial failures or large or small financial successes.
To direct assets and effort toward the realisation of human potential organisations should:
- Share an organisational purpose in accordance with the purpose of fulfilment without harm.
- Decentralise local decisions and distribute responsibility.
- Democratise collective decisions.
- Open and pool information so all people are informed.
- Structure for co-ordination and communication.
- Elect organisers.
- Ensure no harm and equal respect.
- Deal fairly in ideas (so all earn from contributions).
- Have liable contributor-members.
- Maintain flexibility in all roles.
- Share earnings.
These organisations must internalise equal respect for all members. Organisations in which people retain the right to their ideas and deal with each other fairly enable the greatest realisation of human potential.
The best means to achieving an organisation’s particular purpose, in line with the common purpose, is through enabling individuals to do things in better ways when they see better ways of doing things.
An organisation’s particular purpose could be phrased: ‘This organisation furthers human fulfilment without harm through improving (for example) transportation (or computation, communications, banking, retail, investment, entertainment, et cetera).
People partner in these organisations to realise their own potential, but also to increase opportunities for all to do so. This is their purpose: increasing opportunity for all to realise potential through the products they produce from diverse, individual contributions. Their products enable fulfilment through their development and their use.
People may join multiple organisations according to what they can contribute. Organisations should be open and flexible to attract and retain as much talent as possible.
Harmony is important in organisations to encourage shared ideas and informed agreement. Harmony is not contrary to diversity if the principle of no harm (with its accompanying consideration, but not servility, to others) is maintained.
Central planning is a characteristic of communist and capitalist organisation. These organisations:
- Do not recognise the purpose of fulfilment.
- Centralise local decisions and restrict responsibility.
- Dictate collective decisions.
- Close and silo information so no-one is well informed.
- Structure for control.
- Appoint controllers.
- Harm and demand unequal respect.
- Confiscate ideas (so people lose from contributions).
- Have unliable owners.
- Contract employees subservient to employers.
- Maintain no flexibility for difference.
- Divide earnings according to position.
Common purpose organisations respect the rights of people, because the people in them respect the rights of others. When an organisation’s rules conflict with fulfilment without harm (and contradict the rights that emerge from this) they are flawed, and must be amended.
Common purpose organisations are not socialist organisations or capitalist organisations. They are a form for an era where the fulfilment of human potential is the principle purpose.
[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]