The intention of our People Agreement is to make explicit the differing levels of involvement, commitment and power that people can have with respect to Greaterthan (GT) and articulate how people can move between those levels. Since it’s first version, this agreement has gone through various significant iterations, which will likely continue as the organization and its members develop.
This agreement has been designed to recognize and accommodate for different types and levels of involvement, contribution and commitment. It aims to enable people to scale their involvement and commitment up and down in a dynamic, organic way, to adapt to different professional priorities and life phases. The intention behind this is for GT to be an organisation that people align themselves with for the long term - evolving their relationship with it over time as both they and GT change.
There are three explicit levels of involvement in GT: “Partners”, “Associates” and “Explorers”. An explicit commitment to Greaterthan as a whole (outside individual projects) takes place when stepping across the threshold from Explorer into “Membership”. Greaterthan Members, constituted of Associates and Partners, are collectively responsible for stewarding and developing Greaterthan. The Partners additionally hold the accountabilities of keeping our strategic focus and ensuring coherence between our activities and long-term vision.
To understand these levels better, let’s look at how each relates to Greaterthan:
Partners: ‘Greaterthan is my professional home, or, if this is not the case yet, I am actively working towards it.’ The majority of their work is in and through GT. Equal shareholders in GTs UK "mother" company, Greaterthan Collective Ltd (1 share per person).
Associates: ‘Greaterthan is one of the places for my professional activity, or, if this is not the case yet, this is something I am actively working towards.’
Explorers: ‘Greaterthan is a professional network I am part of and want to explore getting more involved in’. In many cases, GT members are already doing a project with potential explorers, or are interested in doing work together in the future.
None of these levels have a nominal limit to how many people can be in them -- but to ensure our system is healthy, it’s important that they maintain a certain proportionality. We must also note that there is a very broad range of ways in which someone can be an associate. We have decided to embrace this ambiguity and therefore focus our energy on regularly making associates and partners specific commitments explicit, rather than creating very rigid expectations (see below).
The functions of GT Members (as a whole): The Greaterthan Members are collectively responsible for stewarding and developing the Greaterthan commons so that we can work towards our collective purpose. This involves three key aspects:
- Ensuring that GT has thriving business activity (a healthy pipeline of projects, healthy money flow, proactive business development)
- Ensuring that GT’s financial commons are managed wisely and together.
- Ensuring that GT as an organisation evolves and is cared for in line with the needs of our purpose and people in GT (including that people are cared for and supported).
The ways in which these are addressed are determined by the members and are likely to change over time.
After latest 12 months from joining, explorers are asked to make explicit in what kind of role they wish to stay an Explorer, or otherwise step out (Examples: connector between GT and another community; connector between topics; for people who are junior professionals, the “learner/apprentice”). This role is then updated every 12 months. There are no other specific rights or obligations other than to adhere to our values & show good conduct. This is a springboard for involvement in projects, new initiatives, etc.
Here are examples of what types of contributions the commitment statement can refer to, which are important for developing and maintaining GT as a thriving business:
- Bringing in projects (leads, sales)
- Developing new GT products and services
- Working on the organization, for example participation in heart beat teams, care work
- Building thought leadership and recognition of GT
Current experiment is of Accountability "Bubbles"
- Groups of at least 3
- Meet at least every 6 weeks (can be more if desired)
- Reflect, review and update accountability statements
- Optional, but encouraged: can also be used as a peer support or personal/professional development triad, to help check in on how everyone is doing and make sure key needs are not falling through the cracks.
- Can be independently invited by any member
- Invite follows the advice process, with a small extra:
- Posting in the slack channel ‘inviting-explorers', where members post the name of the person they want to invite in with a 3 day ‘advise process’ so that anyone with concerns can get in touch. They also need to @mention anyone they think/know also knows the new invite.
- If a person feels unsure whether it’s ok or not to invite someone, they can put up an optional temperature check on loomio.
- The person who invites them in has the responsibility to ensure they are correctly onboarded. Once an explorer is ready to be invited, please follow the steps in this explorer onboarding guide to do so.
Process for stepping into membership (note; this is always as an Associate as a first step):
- A prospective new member can either be:
- Proposed by an existing member (associate or partner), OR
- Proactively requested by an explorer (with the support of an existing member who will put forward their proposal)
- Minimum criteria for inviting a new member (to be applied and checked by members):
- Existing and established working relationships with several members
- Observed commitment to contributing to the development of Greaterthan as a shared, commons-based business and brand.
- Prospective member to answer the following questions (to be included in the Loomio proposal)
- Why is stepping into membership important to you?
- What and how would you like to contribute to the Greaterthan commons?
- What and how would you like to receive from the Greaterthan commons?
- What else would you like members to know?
- Agreed by consensus of GT members on Loomio.
- Invited by any partner OR through proactive request by associate
- Agreed by consensus of Partners and with advice from Associates.
Partners have been an associate for at least 1 year.
Explorers can choose to leave at any time, by informing the person who invited them, or any other GT member. The member who is informed is responsible for the offboarding. We hold an opt-in once a year, where each explorer is asked to update their "role / posture" as an explorer, to check if they are still engaged. At this point, they may choose to step out.
- Associates can opt out any time, but it is considered adequate to give at least 3 months notice. Every September, there is also an “opt-in” ritual, as a natural opportunity for members to change their role in GT.
- If they are working on an ongoing project, it is considered adequate to give due notice of the intention to leave
Partners can resign or change their status to member at any time, (but if the circumstances allow) it is considered adequate to give notice of at least 3 months.
- When a partners leaves, a closing meeting is held in person with at least 75% of all partners, to:
- hold a dialog and reflection circle about their time at Greaterthan
- discuss and agree on fair terms of leaving that take into account personal investments made in the business. Such terms could be: allowing the person to participate in decision-making on how annual surplus is spent for a set amount of years; a capped return on future surplus generated, etc.
- This meeting is to be held as early as possible, but latest within one year after the person’s intention to leave has been expressed
- After this meeting has taken place, that person’s shares are sold back to Greaterthan for £0.01 per share
Any member can call an emergency meeting pursuant to unacceptable behavior of an ecosystem member, associate or partner which may lead to their removal.
Compliance and legal responsibility is held by a “Minimum Viable Board”, composed of two partners and (optionally) one external person or associate.
The MVB will:
- ensure that Greaterthan Collective Ltd is fully compliant with United Kingdom laws and regulations, and its company constitution
- maintain an overview of current finances, long term financial view, and adequate reserves
Any associate or partner can initiate a conversation at any time to discuss directorship with the members, and may nominate a director (including themselves). The final decision about directorship is made by partners.
The current MVB has 4 members:
- Francesca Pick (partner)
- Susan Basterfield (partner)
- J.D. Nasaw (associate)
- Patrick Andrews (external)
Last modified 1mo ago