What is Management 3.0?

Management 3.0 - Agile Gardening

What is Management 3.0 is all about? Jurgen Appelo explains the background in his videos and blog posts. Some years ago, he was working as a manager at an organisation that had just adopted agile practices. Most of these frameworks or methods do not define the role of a manager or something that has a similar job description. Hence, most managers are often surprised when they see that many of their previous tasks have become obsolete. So it is understandable when they have either reservations about the introduction of Agile or they try to reinforce their position in some way.

Hendrik Kniberg describes the manager’s job in aligning autonomy (page 67ff) – in short: create an environment where self-organisation can take place. SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) defines the role of Lean-Agile-Leaders even more precise. Also here it comes down to enabling agile teams. Similar Michael Spayd and Lyssa Adkins who have addressed this challenge in 2008 in a Scrum Alliance article.

To help managers find their role in agile organisations, Jurgen Appelo extensively studied literature, went into companies and collected their good practices. He adapted them to fit a broader audience, and subsequently tested and improved them. He describes his journey very vividly in his blog. He summarises the practices with lots of background information on the Management 3.0 web page and in his books.

In case you are wondering about the version number:

  • Appelo considers Management 1.0 as the classic form of management – it’s focussing on optimising the organisational system. Employees are just small cogs in the corporate machine.
  • In Management 2.0 managers the priority is the well-being of their employees – many good practices are in place; however, the hierarchy of managers is still present in this management approach.
  • Management 3.0 treats an organisation as a community with a purpose, a shared vision. I would consider it as a teal organisation, an “independent force with its own purpose”.

Jurgen defines Management 3.0 as “… a movement of innovation, leadership and management. Management 3.0 is redefining the definition of leadership with management as a group responsibility. It’s about working together to find the most efficient way for a business to achieve its goals while maintaining the happiness of workers as a priority.”

In this context: Leadership is defined as a role. Anyone can be or become a leader. Management is a job which involves leadership and governance. Another definition is that leaders have people following them and managers have people working for them. Everyone can be a leader, e.g. by treating others with respect, listen to other before talking, by showing integrity and more, or also by applying good practices at work – and others will follow them and become leaders themselves.

I like Jurgen’s metaphor of an agile manager as a gardener. The gardener takes care of the plants in his garden. So he builds a fence around the garden to protect them, he fertilises the soil, he waters the plants, he might separate some plants from others, and more. If he cares about his plants, they grow and prosper. If he forces them to grow, nothing will happen, and they might even fade and die.

I have used many of the Management 3.0 practices in the work environment. In this blog, I have put down my experiences with these practices and their adoptions.

Futher Readings

  • [amazon asin=0321712471&text=Management 3.0] by Jurgen Appelo
  • [amazon asin=1119268680&text=Managing for Happiness: Games, Tools, and Practices to Motivate Any Team] by Jurgen Appelo
  • [amazon asin=9081905112&text=How to Change the World: Change Management 3.0] by Jurgen Appelo

Title image is © Jurgen Appelo, Creative Commons 3.0 by http://www.management30.com/

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