Common purpose organisations are collectives of individuals, come together to achieve a particular purpose that accords with the common 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. Every organisation has a particular purpose that accords with the common purpose of fulfilment and the principle of no harm.
It is essential to trust, distribution, fairness, and productivity through realising human potential, 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 particular purpose that accords with and furthers the common purpose.
These 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 collective assets and human effort toward the realisation of human potential through best individual contributions organisations should:
- Share an organisational purpose in accordance with the purpose of fulfilment
- Decentralise local decisions, distribute responsibility
- Democratise collective decisions
- Open and pool information so everyone can inform and be informed
- Structure for co-ordination and communication
- Elect organisers
- Ensure no harm and equal respect
- Deal fairly in ideas (so people earn from contributions)
- Have liable contributor-members
- Maintain flexibility in all roles
- Share earnings
All 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 of fulfilment, is through enabling individuals to do things in better ways when they see better ways of doing things (which enables individuals to fulfil their potential).
An organisation’s particular purpose should be phrased: ‘This organisation furthers the common purpose of fulfilment through improving…[ ]…fill in with organisation’s particular area, for example, transport, computation, communications, banking, retail, investment, entertainment, and others… in accordance with the principle of no harm.’
We partner in these organisations to realise our potential and increase opportunities for all to realise it. This is also their purpose, increasing opportunity for all to realise potential through the products they produce from diverse, individual contributions. Their products enable the fulfilment of our potential through the process of their production and in their use.
We may join in multiple organisations depending on what we can contribute to each. There should be no exclusivity and complete flexibility for difference.
Harmony is important in organisation. Shared ideas, easy agreement. But harmony is not contrary to diversity if the principle of no harm (with its accompanying consideration, but not servility, to others) is understood.
[Excerpt from The Common Purpose Manifesto]