The world deals with innumerable challenges we need to find solutions to and we cannot wait for governments or corporations to address these challenges. We believe that collaboration is key to innovate and that by working in swarms of motivated people, we will outnumber any large organizational or governmental body, making it possible to find solutions to these challenges. Co-creation is an essential part of this, by creating ownership people become enthusiastic and motivated. With a good idea and motivation, you should be able to put your plans into action. To get the ball to roll much faster, we however first need to be able to organize these swarms. How often have you heard the buzzwords of Self realization and Flexible work environments, or Making a living of the work you do? We want to make all of this happen but have run into quite some challenges this year, leading to a big learning curve and insights we would like to share with you.

Bee Collective is purpose driven and believes in the power of the crowd to make a positive change in the world. Access to multidisciplinary knowledge capital and talent is therefor needed and crowd sourcing a variety of skills and expertise within the swarm can be made possible by organizing in a flexible way. Online tools are however needed to connect in swarms of people from different disciplines, that can choose their own projects to work on, based on what they want to. Within our swarm, individuals are encouraged for example to make decisions on their own and have decision power, therefore we are structured in a non hierarchical way.  We mainly work remotely and it was a challenge to get the whole team engaged with some new technologies for example. Even more challenging however, was changing the culture of how things are done. Within the core team of Bee Collective Holland Hive, we therefore practiced with different ways of self-management:

The platform Part-Up makes it possible for anyone to join a project that corresponds with their values and that he or she can contribute to. Making it possible to develop different qualities and pursue professional growth. Runners that have an idea on how to solve a problem can find team members within the Bee Collective Tribe or swarm on Part-Up and can start working as a Pop Up Company (PUC).  We integrated ideas from Holacracy to facilitate developments in the team structure and have used the Glass Frog platform to make this transparent and to inform each other and experienced very effective meetings due to this.

Holocracy makes it possible for each person in the team to influence governance and offers guidelines to outline the rules by which roles are assigned and on the boundaries the roles should have. People can design their own roles by matching their individual capabilities with the goals of the organization. It possible to have multiple roles in various teams and with the Glass Frog platform in “circles,” so called building blocks, individual roles are defined based on the work that needs to be accomplished. Circle member can propose changes which are adopted unless another member objects that the circle might be harmed by this. This makes it possible to experiment with new roles and easier to adapt to new situations and innovate faster.

Information on who holds which role and who is responsible for which part of the job is made accessible to everyone in the organization. Temporary (for-profit) projects, PUC´s, can be started—with a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-framed goal, based on these circles (also called tribes). Platform tools like GlassFrog make it possible to make interactions transparent, have desired outcomes clearly defined, which we call these milestones, and make sure things are decided on together. When the work is done milestones can be changed, copied or removed when the problem is solved.

This year, we aim to come together with more people, online and offline, with shared responsibilities, making it possible for connections to take place that co-create innovative solutions and business plans.  
We are curious to hear what makes you heart beat faster? Would you like to pursue a multitude of interests and contribute to solving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?  Become part of our community of doers that is waiting to help you get started and access the tools to build new business models that change the world positively.

By Sara Stevenson

You can start your own Pop Up Company on Wednesday evening the 18th of January. This day the 2nd edition of Beecoming Your Collective will take place in the new Impact Hub. If you know someone else who would like to set up a Pop Up Company, they can also subscribe here. We ask of Runners to send us a video message upfront in which they present their idea, so we can promote this and attract people who want to join their teams!

See you soon!

Warm greetings, the Bee Collective Hive