The next step towards our everyone organization
Once upon a time there was a group of Rookie Minds… and one day they started building a new kind of organization. Why? To break with the bureaucratic hierarchy and make people the heart and soul of everything we do. In short: an organization of everyone, for everyone. We were those Rookie Minds, and up to this day we are still building that everyone organization. Every day.
Last year we took the next step. Since then, there has been no distinction anymore between the people who own the company and those who do the hard work. We all became 100% owners of The Rookie Minds.
An everyone organization
Before we start talking about shared ownership, let’s take a step back. The Rookie Minds as an everyone organization, what does that mean? Literally translated, we want to be an organization that belongs to all of us and feels like such. From the very beginning, we have been working step by step to make The Rookie Minds more and more ‘ours’. After all, we started to make people the heart and soul of everything we do. A case of ‘practice what you preach’.
How do we do that? For us, an everyone organization is based on three pillars: a shared belief, a we-organized structure and collective ownership.
A shared belief and we-organized
Our shared belief is about what brought us together. We believe that real vibrancy comes when we keep looking at the world through the eyes of a Rookie. It is this optimistic and open-minded mindset, from which we have started to build and enabled everyone to contribute passionately to it.
Based on this shared conviction, we started to tinker with the structure. We call ourselves “We-organized”. We ensure that the people – and not the structures, processes, or methods – are central. We opted for a holocratic way of working, in which we removed bureaucracy and management bottlenecks, in which we are all equal, we take responsibility and make our own decisions. Everything is aimed at stimulating creativity, initiative, and agility. Maximizing everyone’s contribution and performance.
And then we were ready for the next step. Not only to work together in and on the organization, but also to literally run the company together. For us, that means that we are joint owners of the company. After all, when we work on something together, we all want to reap the benefits.
The challenge we faced was to realize the participation in a simple and dynamic way. Simple, in the sense that within our current private limited company structure, we wanted to avoid the continuous trip to the notary, including the associated costs. Dynamic, so that we can always redistribute ownership the moment people join us or have decided to go another way. After all, in our case, the organization belongs to those who contribute to it.
Transferring economic ownership
In the end, we found the solution in transferring only the economic rights*. We have fully automated this process via a digital platform. The essence of the system is that the beneficial ownership of the shares is cut into digital pieces and these “tokens” are digitally tradable. All it takes is a push of one button. Everyone within The Rookie Minds now owns one token, by which we have shared co-ownership equally. With all these token holders, we periodically meet as in an AGM and make all important decisions together. With each one having an equal vote. Are we doing well? Then we share the profits. Are we in trouble? Then we look for a solution together. Just as you do when you all own the company.
In short, The Rookie Minds is a story about a different way of organizing. About another way of working. About a different way of thinking. With the sharing of economic ownership, we have taken another step in the creation of our “everyone organization.” Co-ownership is now deeply rooted in our organizational design. This is how we stimulate the collective entrepreneurial spirit and reap the benefits together.
* Dummy explanation for non-lawyers: shares can be divided into legal ownership and economic ownership. Anyone who is the legal owner of a BV is registered as a shareholder via the notary. Anyone who is only an economic owner is not registered as a shareholder but does participate in the profit and in the event of a sale.
A must-read book in relation to this blog: Slicing Pie by Mike Moyer.