“It’s life. Life is bigger than you, if you can imagine that. Life isn’t something that you possess; it’s something that you take part in, and you witness.” Louis C.K.
At the close of 2013 I made the choice to invest in Meeco, an exciting for-purpose technology start-up. Meeco is a new and easy way to manage your digital life and claim personal sovereignty….but more on Meeco later.
For some time it has frustrated me that both my own Enterprise, Present Group and the School Volunteer Program, another Enterprise where I serve as Non Executive Director are termed ‘For Profit’ and ‘Not For Profit’ respectively, when both are first and foremost ‘For Purpose’!
However this ‘old money thinking’ is being replaced with movements such as Conscious Capitalism, where ‘For Purpose’ in the form of ‘higher purpose’ is one of four key tenants of the movement along with Stakeholder Orientation, Conscious Leadership and Conscious Culture. http://www.consciouscapitalism.org.au/conscious-capitalism/
At a recent Conscious Capitalism gathering of advocates, Jo Hunter of Pollen Strategy very succinctly captured the shift in consciousness that has emerged in recent years. Jo is very much ‘For Purpose’. Her work supports the holarchy of economy, society and ecology (environment), which must become integral if we are to sustain our selves and future generations to come.
New Money Thinking: Unified Consciousness as Holarchy.
Old Money Thinking : Combined Consciousness as Heterarchy
Jo definitely walks her talk by deciding what is ‘enough’ for her chosen lifestyle and any excess is paid forward to causes close to her heart. Even more compelling is her appreciation that a ‘For Purpose’ consciousness removes the notion of competition and replaces it with a more fulfilling promise of cooperation.
Jo offers to teach anyone interested in learning her consulting offerings. As a result, if they then perform and deliver her services effectively, even to the point of eclipsing her business, she considers this simply an opportunity to witness her purpose unfolding at an enhanced rate.
In my view, this purposeful insight is inspiring and makes the old money belief in ‘For Profit’ and competition sound almost medieval in comparison to a marketplace of cooperation.
Albert Einstein once said “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
This quote frames the concepts of heterarchy and holarchy, which are emerging as key concepts in this era of a new consciousness. However, to understand the significance of holarchy let’s first explore historarchy and hierarchy and the resulting consequences.
Historarchy: Separated in Both Time and Space.
Historarchical structures appear in organisations fundamentally lacking in trust. The power resides in the subjective perspective of an autocratic leader. Individuals are rendered dependent since the power to decide resides with the leader or boss. Often this impairs an organisation’s ability to function and not surprisingly results are poor for society.
Hierarchy: Separate in Space NOT Time.
With the introduction of trust rules can be externalised, objectivity is possible and hierarchies form; operating independently of the leader. However if the trust is conditional then individuals behave in accordance with the rules. Written instructions in the form of procedures to follow and proformas to complete become the order of the day.
This is more effective than a historarchy in that separate teams can now operate simultaneously, subject to conformance. Hierarchical cultures are by necessity bureaucratic. They function well in a steady state but are slow to respond to opportunities and challenges or change in general. They also lack humanity and so sap the soul, hence their societal contributions are average at best.
Heterarchy: Combined in Space and Time.
When trust is offered, individuals have the opportunity to change the rules based on the authority of their role. If individuals act for the greater good of the whole – as apposed to their own interests – then an interdependent culture will begin to emerge.
This offers a competitive advantage, since agile teams can continue to combine and align to meet challenges and opportunities. Such cultures are by necessity proactive and can make societal contributions deemed to be in the best interest of a wider group.
Holarchy: Unified in Time and Space
And when we finally arrive at trust at all levels, animated with a unifying imperative – we have holarchy. This shared and unified purpose leads to a full release of discretionary effort and commitment to the cause like no other.
Holarchy embraces all that has gone before it and is something else in and of it’s own creation. Such a culture is generative and will innovate towards greatness. This approach may well change the world for the better in the process.
Each of the stages in raising consciousness retains the properties of those before but with the addition of some more functional complexity and so this process can be considered envolutionary.
Creating a holarchy of insight
Consider this spectrum:
• Autocratic historarchy……the ruler rules
• Bureaucratic hierarchy….the rules rule
• Democratic heterarchy….consent rules
• Meritocratic holarchy…….commitment rules.
It is worth noting that the last stage of envolution from a democratic heterarchy to a meritocratic holarchy will mean that something is left behind; the new vantage point that Einstein describes provides the understanding of what element no longer serves the new order.
For example when consent has becomes the highest form of consciousness for individuals operating democratically, then we come to understand that good is indeed the enemy of great. For conventional wisdom held by the majority may well vote down the exceptional wisdom held by a committed minority? This thinking is the threshold that must be crossed to move to unification which results in holarchy and manifests as meritocracy.
Autocrats and meritocrats may look the same from the outside as they both appear to act seemingly without concern for rules or consent. However, it is worth understanding the relationship between the first level of autocracy and the fourth level of meritocracy as the difference is vital. Autocrats solely serve their own agenda while a meritocrat has a vital understanding that service is to a collective good.
This relationship can be seen in the third century ‘Axiom of Maria’ which is a precept: “One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth.” Marie-Louise von Franz built on this insight through her collaborative work with Carl Jung and offered the alternate version; “Out of the one comes two, out of two comes three, and from the third comes the one as the fourth.
At Present Group we are evolving a quadruple bottom line as a way of moving towards a meritocratic culture. Our holarchy approach starts when we ask ask our people to focus their efforts across planet, people, purpose and profit. It starts by individuals mindfully considering these questions.
- Planet: How can I make a real difference?
- People: How do I contribute to true fellowship?
- Purpose: How can I experience meaningful success?
- Profit: How do I co-create abundance for all?
This brings me full circle to my last post on ‘The Fourth Order Effect’ – which explored why personal sovereignty is emerging as the crucial unifier in the envolution of the internet.
At the time I omitted to mention the Meta Tags of heart, soul, mind & body that have permeated our work on the Meta Model from the beginning but they are extremely important when it comes to personal sovereignty.
For example if personal sovereignty (heart) is the Internets Forth Order Effect unifying the other three of Send (body), Search (mind) and Social (soul).
These insights led us to explore for-purpose ventures in the technology sector. We see technology having a profound positive as well as negative impact on society. We were also looking for the right opportunity to be venture custodians rather than venture capitalists by paying forward support to help fund and support another enterprise in the joint venture space that would compliment our own aspirations.
Following the Snowden revelations we had become increasingly aware of the surveillance economy. Over 80% of our on-line activity is tracked and sold by data brokers and third parties, often without our consent or knowledge.
Furthermore, today’s dominance of social networking enterprises aggregating and selling our personal data, feels like we are having our souls stolen and sold back to our bodies via IPO’s.
So we started to research the personal data sovereignty movement. We where interested to see who has the heart and commitment toward a meritocracy that will champion our personal sovereignty? Who is thinking of the generations ahead? Who is focused on disrupting enterprise through innovation? Who is imagining new business models together with new ways to create value?
We found all this and more with Katryna Dow, and the company is Meeco. I would describe Katryna as a boundary rider. Her unique perspective gets personal sovereignty at a cellular level. Imagine as she does, the role of our generation to be real and symbolic guardians in the digital era. How our actions will pay forward sovereignty and freedom for generations to come.
Katryna and the team at Meeco have devised and built a simple and elegant way to gain control of your digital life and make the things you do on-line safer and easier. “It’s your life. It’s your data. You own it”.
We are proud to be a Joint Venture Partner of such an auspicious purpose. We are inspired by our shared values, which from Meeco’s perspective can now be carried into the digital world.
- Planet: Removing cost, waste and minimizing data pollution
- People: Helping people gain control and sovereignty over what is theirs
- Purpose: Creating shared value, which benefits society
- Profit: Enabling people to become the beneficiaries of what is theirs.
Through Meeco we were also introduced to the great work of Respect Network. I recently had the privilege to meet Drummond Reed the Co-founder and CEO. For the past decade Drummond and his team have been co-creating with their foundation partners a positive alternative to the current data eco-system.
The five Respect Network Principles of Promise, Permission, Protection, Portability and Proof speak to the emergence of new people centric terms and conditions; terms which put privacy and respect at the heart of every exchange.
We believe the Respect Network will enable the shift and Meeco will allow us to engage in ways that create value real value for our families and ourselves.
Meeco and Respect Network give us a voice to ask for a return to privacy and the right to transact on our terms. They are contributing to a growing community where integrity and respect are the cornerstones of new ways to create and exchange value. We invite you to join us in this exciting quest.
This article was written by Brian Grimmer CEO of Present Group, with insights and understandings derived from extensive cooperation with Peter Midgley, CXO of Present Group, on the Meta Model for Process. The term ‘Historarchy’ is a new term that has emerged while developing the Meta Model for Process.