The Naked Espresso Digital Nomad Café: A Management 3.0 Case Study

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by Management 3.0 Facilitator, Marko van Gaans

At every Management 3.0 Foundation workshop I facilitate, at one point or another, someone will ask, “Are there any case studies on this topic?” And my answer will ineffably be: “Not really.”

The reason for this is that, although there’s a lot of research and other material available, Management 3.0 isn’t a fixed framework like Scrum or Six Sigma and so you can’t just copy-paste it into an organization and religiously follow the rules. Instead, Management 3.0 is more like an ongoing discussion on how to improve management, so organizations that implement the practices tend to pick and choose the ones most suitable for them.

Bosch Power Tools, for example, has used Kudo Cards and Delegation Poker to improve their corporate culture and the event management giant Eventbrite has experimented with moving motivators. In Italy, Agile Coach Valerio Alba has successfully introduced delegation boards and celebration grids at Vodafone. Great examples, but can we say they are Management 3.0 organizations? Not really.

The rationale, I think, people have for wanting to read a case study is that it can be hard to visualize the practices in action. The general feedback on workshop activities is almost always positive, but many attendees can’t quite get their heads around on how to successfully implement the practices they’ve learned into their own organizations.

As I felt uncomfortable not being able to steer my workshop attendees towards a thorough case study, I decided to write my own….

The case of the Naked Espresso Digital Nomad Café

Naked Espresso provides comprehensive insight into Management 3.0 practices in action, at a busy coffeehouse. Throughout the book I follow the owners and staff of the café on their (sometimes difficult) journey to implement Management 3.0 practices into their business.

The book is written in line with the six organizational points of view Management 3.0 focusses on:

  1. Energize People
  2. Develop Competence
  3. Grow Structure
  4. Empower Teams
  5. Align Constraints
  6. Improve Everything

Each of the case study chapters contains a bit of Management 3.0 theory, intermixed with practical case study examples and snippets of interviews with the people involved. To give more context to the case study and to provide some actionable takeaways, I’ve added some additional information and divided the book into three distinctive parts:

Part #1: The Versioning Backstory, is a comprehensive overview of management theory throughout the ages, from Sun Tzu (The Art of War) to Management 3.0. This is followed by an introduction to complexity thinking, which is an integral part of Management 3.0 and, in my opinion, a valuable prologue to the case study that follows it.

Part #2: Contains the meat of the book, the actual case study which showcases the following Management 3.0 practices in action: Salary Formula, Merit Money, Personal Maps, Moving Motivators, Kudo Cards/Wall, Competence Matrix, Creative Team Roles, Delegation Boards/Poker, Ikigai Diagrams and many, many more.

Part #3: To conclude is a retrospective in which I look back on the case study by means of an After-Action Review, an introduction to the Celebration Grid and a 12-steps ‘playbook’ to help the reader implement Management 3.0 practices into their own organization.

Well, there you have it. To be able to answer the question: “Are there any case studies on this topic?” with a resounding: “Yes, there is,” I’ve written a case study I would want to read myself.

I invite you to follow the owners and staff of the Naked Espresso Digital Nomad Café in bustling Hong Kong, on their journey as well. If you’d like to continue the conversation get in touch with Marko here.

Photo credit Jess Eddy via Unsplash

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