I recently enjoyed a chat with Doug Kirkpatrick, one of the advocates of self-management, and I had a great meeting with Harvard Business Review author Ed Batista, who is working on a book about self-coaching.

The words that such authors and experts use fascinate me. As a complexity thinker, I am already well aware of the concept of self-organization. And in the last year or so, I’ve had more than a few discussions with people about the topics of self-development and self-education.

This made me think.

The most frequently asked questions in business are all about changing other people. And management, coaching, organization, development and education are, by default, things we do unto others. The prefix self appears to be the special case.


“Be the change you wish you see” is a famous quote, usually attributed to Gandhi. Gandhi felt the need to emphasize that changes in the world must start with ourselves. It seems he also noticed that most people mainly seek to change others.

Perhaps this is one reason why I’ve never been very interested in doing any coaching or consulting. As I always say, I have too many problems of my own, so I don’t have time to deal with those of others.

However, I love to write and speak about my problems and how I’ve tried to solve them. And with our company Happy Melly, my team and I seek to be the change that we wish to see in others. What we do is mainly self-management, self-coaching, and self-development. The result is a never-ending stream of experiments that, hopefully, are an inspiration to many. So they can change themselves too.

photo (c) 2008, Philo Nordlund, Creative Commons 2.0

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