Management 3.0? Huh, what?

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Ralph… you are blogging, organizing workshop/trainings, attending MeetUps and you are often talking about Management 3.0, but I never heard of it! What is this Management 3.0? Why do you bother?” Well, in short: Management 3.0 is about engaging people, improving everything and delighting the customers.

logo-m3.0-new on white

Or, as I would explain it to my grandmother (who was born in 1921): it is about making sure that all team members care about what they do, that they try to make things better every day and that the customers are happy. The goal of a boss in all of this is just to make sure that in the end, the people can do this without his help. So he can go and play golf or something, or he can focus on new groups of people.

“OK… I now hear you think: why call it Management 3.0? Is there also a Management 1.0 or 4.0?”


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Yes there is also Management 1.0 and Management 2.0, but not officially. Although I don’t know whether people can officially register a management style, so perhaps yes it is officially. 🙂

Management 1.0 is about looking at people as if they are machines. As if they are cogs in a machine: and the machine is in a factory. This style of management was invented with the rise of the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, it is still applied by many companies. In my opinion, there was a time and place where it seemed a good idea, but it is totally not fit for modern professionals. It builds organizations where you probably don’t want to work. It separates decision making from execution.

“What about Management 2.0?”, you may then ask. Well, Management 2.0 is about understanding that people are the most valuable asset in your organization. Hierarchy, however, is still present in Management 2.0. A strong hierarchy is heavily being relied on and managers still manage individual team members instead of these professionals managing themselves. Most people have experiences with Management 2.0 organizations.

“And the next best thing will be Management 4.0?” Well, not that I know of… but it could be. However, if you implement Management 3.0 well, you will keep improving everything and you will end up in some state of Management 4.0 automatically.

Err, but why do we need Management 3.0? Understanding Management 3.0 and its practices can help you with challenges such as:

  • How can we motivate our workers?
  • How can we change the mindset of managers?
  • How can we get teams to take responsibility?
  • How can we develop people’s competencies?

Are you interested in a Management 3.0 Foundation Workshop? Click here for my next workshops!

But do we need managers anyway, with all these self-steering teams nowadays? Management 3.0 believes management is the responsibility of everyone. It is like software testing. You can hire specialized testers, or can ask the developers or business to test the software. It depends on your organization if you need dedicated testers. But in the end, everyone should feel responsible for testing. It is the same with management. Management is about energizing people, empowering teams, aligning constraints, developing competence, growing structure and keep improving everything. Depending on your organization you maybe need specialized people with a focus on management.

Clear, but why are you so enthusiastic about Management 3.0? For me Management 3.0 is all about making sure people work in an environment where they are happy. Where they can use all the experience and knowledge they have, where they have trust in each other and where managers don’t make life complicated. I believe the Management 3.0 approach can help in this. Furthermore, Management 3.0 is all about practical tools, tools and workouts that you can easily apply and really can make a difference. Not boring theory or models, but a pragmatic approach.

OK, so far you read about the most common questions. If you want to know more, just keep reading.

“OK Ralph, this is pretty clear now, so you invented this Management 3.0?”. NO! I did not invent Management 3.0. I am just really enthusiastic about it. Jurgen Appelo wrote the book Management 3.0. So all credits to Jurgen. He also wrote the little book How to Change the World, which describes a supermodel for change management. His most recent book is called #Workout, which offers you practical ideas to engage workers, improve work, and delight clients.


“OK I got it, so a Teal Organization is Management 3.0”. Oh right… Teal organizations. (Just between you and me… teal organizations will be the big thing in 2016). Frederic Laloux wrote the book Reinventing Organizations. In his book he describes a way to create a more powerful, more soulful, more meaningful way to work together. Teal organizations focus on its members’ abilities to self-organize and self-manage to achieve the purpose of the organization. Management 3.0 fits seamlessly in a Teal Organization. However, you can also build a Teal Organization without Management 3.0.


“I read some blogs about Management 3.0 and with all respect, I didn’t read anything new.” Could be, depends on which blogs you read ;). Some tools mentioned in Management 3.0 are combinations of existing tools, some practices have a different focus and some are definitely new. For example the Happiness Door is a combination of two existing approaches. Exploration Days are about 24 hours learning, not about delivering and the Delegation Board is something new.

“Sounds interesting, I want to learn more about it.” Great, there are many ways how can you learn more about Management 3.0.

Are you interested in a Management 3.0 Foundation Workshop? Click here for my next workshops!

I think 80% of the people still reading this blog can stop now and if you belong to the last 20% just keep reading please.

“I really really like it, can I become a facilitator?” Sure, there are two ways to become a Management 3.0 facilitator (at this moment!). Attend a training, you can find a training here. Get a Certificate of Practice and really prove you actually have applied Management 3.0 practices and also shared what you learned. There will be a third way in 2016, so read this page for the latest information.


“Happy Melly? I also heard something about Happy Melly, what is Happy Melly?” Happy Melly is not Management 3.0 nor vice versa. Happy Melly is a global network of businesses focusing on happiness at work. For me Happy Melly is all about making sure everyone has a happy workplace. Management 3.0, but for example also Lean Change Management and Collaboration Superpowers are brands of Happy Melly.

OK enough about “What is Management 3.0”. If you still have questions or if you want to learn more about Management 3.0? Feel free to contact me or search for a facilitator on the site of Management 3.0.

If you want to learn more about Management 3.0, feel free to reach out to me or attend a workshop.


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