Corporate freedom and responsibility

Guest contribution by | 21.08.2023

Welcome to the new era of corporate governance

Imagine you are running a company in which each employee is basically free to manage independently and work on his or her own account. Everyone is less dependent on the income in your company. They come because they want to. How would it be if employees came to work for you not so much because of the paycheck, but because they are really interested in what they are doing?

  • How would that change your role as an entrepreneur?
  • How would that affect the dynamics of your business?

Imagine if you could create an environment where every employee has the freedom to think and act creatively instead of having to accept instructions from above. Welcome to the world of existonomy.

Autonomy instead of hierarchy

In an autonomy-based corporate structure, the traditional hierarchy of authority and control would have a hard time. Instead of waiting for instructions, employees can do their own thing. This may sound like a nightmare to you at first. You imagine that in an unruly chicken coop, everyone is greedy for their own advantages. The danger certainly exists. But it also promotes the very qualities that companies today often complain are lacking. Imagine if each of your employees took the initiative, developed creative solutions and acted on their own responsibility. And they bring this energy to the street in a cooperative way. What kind of inspiring environment would that create?

In this scenario, too, there are rewards and punishments. But unlike today, it doesn’t come from leadership. It comes directly from the customers, the market. That means the market determines the value of work performance, not an elaborate salary system. That would reduce the machinery of the systems we use today to agree on incomes by orders of magnitude. It would also mean that the gains from productivity would have to be distributed more fairly from the outset. People would experience their effectiveness directly. It would be a radical change from the traditional corporate model of dependent employment. It could create a much fairer and motivating work environment.

Instead of focusing on managerial control and subsequent, yet always somehow personal, reward or punishment, the emphasis is on responsibility and self-determination. Of course, this changes your role as an entrepreneur, as a leader: you become an enabler, a facilitator. You support your employees in developing their abilities. For the good of the common company. Instead of giving instructions, you provide resources, remove impediments and create a space in which all participants can realise their full potential.

Changing the corporate culture

This new way of organising work differently could trigger a profound change in corporate culture. Employees who freely and independently choose to engage with your company are more likely to be motivated, committed and productive. They generate innovative ideas and approaches that would struggle to take hold in a classically controlled environment. If everyone involved works together for the good of the company, this is a gigantic competitive advantage. Because companies that employ materially freer people give them the space to bring in competencies that are not found on any job description.

A good example of this is Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia with his Management by Absence. This has led to a thoroughly sustainable company that sets standards in its market. Imagine what could happen if everyone in your company had the freedom to pursue and implement his and her own ideas for the good of the company.

Companies that master this kind of freedom and autonomy become more attractive to talent. In a world where the “gig economy” and self-employment are gaining ground, such companies have a competitive advantage. One that works beyond employer branding and co-working space ambience. They outperform because they offer the freedom and flexibility without losing sight of the value to the community.

Existonomy: A solution to global challenges?

However, the idea of existonomy goes beyond the corporate world. It is a call to all of us to redesign our economy and focus on what really matters: (‘surviving’) life itself.

In an Existonomy, we would no longer direct our resources and labour in the wrong direction. Instead of producing products that benefit us in the short term and harm us in the long term, we could focus our efforts on solving the pressing problems of our time: Climate change, pollution, social inequality and more. We could make good money doing good.

Existonomy does not demand change right now. It opens up spaces in today’s economy for a future-proof economy. So those who want to turn the big wheel right now can do so just as well as those who want to achieve it with small steps.

Existonomy is more than an economic theory. It is an idea of how to get to a world where we can do our part to leave a better world for our descendants than we found it. It is an idea worth pursuing and has the potential to fundamentally change the way we do business.


How do you like this alternative approach to a different way of doing business and a different way of running a successful corporation? A way that focuses on the autonomy, creativity and personal responsibility of the employees, while traditional hierarchical structures and control mechanisms take a back seat. The vision is to create a work environment in which each employee acts out of intrinsic interest, develops innovative ideas and takes responsibility for the company’s well-being.

Existonomy turns conventional reward and punishment systems on their head by leaving the evaluation of work performance directly to the market. This leads to a fairer distribution of profits and a direct link between individual effectiveness and reward. This new kind of corporate culture requires a fundamental change in the role of managers: instead of giving instructions, they become enablers, creating the space for individual development and removing obstacles.

  • It is time to celebrate life.
  • It is time for you and your employees to enjoy going to work.
  • It is time to give our economy an orientation that ensures that all life is well.
  • It is time to embrace freedom and autonomy and unleash the full potential of each and every individual in your organisation.
  • It is time to embrace change and create a better, fairer and more sustainable future for all.
  • It is time for existonomy.



Do you also feel that saving the world in our spare time is not enough? Do you think the time is ripe for change? Then take a look at the Manifesto for Existonomy.

The Manifest for Existonomy

If you like the post or want to discuss it, feel free to share it with your network.

Gebhard Borck has published three more articles in the t2informatik Blog:

t2informatik Blog: Balm for the soul of business

Balm for the soul of business

t2informatik Blog: New Work or Zombie Apocalypse

New Work or Zombie Apocalypse

t2informatik Blog: Why agile when there is antifragile?

Why agile when there is antifragile?

Gebhard Borck

Gebhard Borck

Gebhard Borck set out two decades ago to find a fair business management. On his way he discovered that it was probably still to be developed. Since then he has dedicated his work to this task. Together with changing customers and daring colleagues, the company catalysis developed from this. A practicable alternative to the existing business administration. The most exciting thing is: with it your company will run in many contexts, be it in lived capitalism, in de-growth or in a circular economy, like on the donut. One thing is the same in all variations: the focus on existential balance as the central measure of success. In his current book “Die selbstwirksame Organisation” (The Self-Effective organisation), the transformation catalyst describes how you can successfully play the operating catalysis in your company.