The Power of Working Communities: Challenging the Traditional View of Organisations
Some critics argue that an organisation is nothing more than a group of individuals sharing a brand name and a bank account. They argue that an organisation is a nonexistent entity, a construct used to extract resources, shirk personal responsibility, and benefit a few at the expense of many. At A Fairer Society, we respectfully disagree. We believe that an organisation is far more than its constituent parts – it is a complex, living entity that forms from the web of relationships among its members.
What is a Working Community?
An organisation is best understood as a working community. Within this community, relationships interconnect to create a meaningful, distinctive entity – one that individuals can identify with and feel a part of. Depending on the nature of these relationships and the dynamics within the community, it can be a thriving, healthy entity or a toxic, dysfunctional one.
The Commons: More Than Shared Resources
In this working community, the shared resources, or “commons,” aren’t just the tangible assets like a bank account or a brand name. The commons also encompass values, goals, shared responsibilities, and the collective actions that shape the community’s character and operations.
Organisations: Catalysts for Positive Change or Exploitation?
To truly appreciate the dynamics of this working community, consider the infamous case of Enron. Here, a singular focus on extracting maximum profits led to a highly exploitative relationship with the commons, which became the defining characteristic of their community. But organisations can also embody values of fairness, cooperation, and mutual benefit. It’s about how we relate to the commons – whether we choose to exploit or collaborate.
Beyond Shared Accounts and Brand Names
Being part of an organisation implies more than a common name and a shared account. It also involves shared values, decisions, and relationships. Organisations, contrary to the belief of some, do exist and can be powerful catalysts for positive change. When harnessed right, they offer a framework for collaboration, collective decision-making, and the pursuit of shared goals.
Towards a Fairer Society: Our Advocacy
However, the potential for exploitation does exist. That’s why at A Fairer Society, we advocate for a more equitable, inclusive, and ethical approach to organisational membership and management. We recognise the power of organisations as vehicles for positive social impact when they foster environments of respect, shared responsibility, and fair resource distribution.
Conclusion: Changing the Narrative Around Organisations
So, let’s change the narrative around organisations. They are not just illusions constructed to evade responsibility or extract resources. Instead, organisations are tangible entities emerging from the web of relationships and shared resources within a working community. Acknowledging their existence allows us to explore the dynamics that shape them and work towards creating a fairer, more inclusive society.
As we continue this journey towards fostering a fairer society, we welcome you to join our dialogue on the nature and purpose of organisations. Let’s work together to build more inclusive, ethical, and productive working communities.
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Co Founder of A Fairer Society. Peter has a vision of living in a fairer society, where there's plenty to go around, where everyone has a voice in the issues that affect them, and where humans thrive togther.