Management 3.0 Is a Way of Work

Is it a method? Is it a framework?

No, it’s… what actually?

In two previous posts I claimed that Management 1.0 is doing the wrong thing, while Management 2.0 is doing the right thing wrong. Now you probably expect me to say, “Management 3.0 is doing the right thing”.

But what is the “right thing”?

A Way of Life

Some of my friends prefer organic food over factory food.

I respect their opinion that eating organic food is for them the right thing to do. Choosing organic food over mass-produced food is not a method. It’s not a framework. It’s not a religion. It’s a way of life. It’s what my friends believe is right.

Doing “the right thing” means acting in a way that is consistent with a core belief.

My core belief is that organizations are complex adaptive systems, and that managers must care for the system, instead of bossing people around. Others have phrased it differently:

Organizations are learning networks of diverse people creating value. […] The role of leaders includes stewardship of the living rather than management of the machine.

I cannot prove any of this. But I believe this to be true.

A Way of Work

This means I think…

  1. Keeping workers happy is a main responsibility of managers, otherwise the organization fails to generate value.
  2. Managers should manage the system so that it maximizes value across all stakeholders, otherwise the organization becomes dysfunctional.
  3. Managers should continuously improve the system so that it keeps changing, or else death will surely follow.

There are many ways to do this.

Everyone can come up with useful practices that satisfy these criteria. Management 3.0 is not defined by practices, such as the delegation levels, moving motivators, or the change management questions. These models and exercises are just examples of things you can do to become a healthier organization. Just like drinking ecological coffee, and not eating junk food, are merely examples of becoming a more “organic-minded” person.

Eating organic food is not a framework, and not a method. It is a way of life.

Management 3.0 is not a framework, and not a method. It is a way of work.

And yes, I believe Management 3.0 is a “right thing” to do.

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  • kathy

    Yes, it’ s a way of work.

  • LauraLMH

    I talk to many managers who are so laser focused on making sure their people (resources) are working, they forget that what you describe above is the job description for management! Trust that you hired good people. Set them free. Focus on continuous improvement. At the outset, managers are excited to hear about freeing up their time for more productive activities than badgering their employees for better task estimation, but it is such ingrained behavior, the risk for slipping back to the micro-management safety zone is high. Agile coaches need to be mindful of that risk and give ScrumMasters some skills to stand up for their teams.
    Keep fighting the good fight. Great blog.

  • aggressive saver

    the problem where i work is that we have too many people that think they are managing the team. we hire great people, most of the people who are doing the managing need to get out of the way and let the team work!

  • Christine Orta

    Christine Orta

    I am so grateful for your article. Will read on…

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