Happy Melly One

Who Are We and What do We Value?

Happy Melly One, the company behind Management 3.0 is a truly international, global and fully remote company. Founded by Jurgen Appelo we focus on helping organizations have better leaders and less managers.

Probably the most important thing about the way we operate as a team is that we don’t only practice what we preach, we embody it.

Our 9-person team is located around the world. We have no set working hours, unlimited vacation and no hierarchy. We are a self-organizing, self-managing group of people, who are passionate about what we do.

The way we work also means that we have to rely on a lot of tools. We are huge Slack users as well as Trello, iDoneThis and Zoom fans, the latter of which we use for face to face video chats at least once a week during our Friday meetings.

So why are we telling you all of this?

Because transparency is one of our strongest values. As a team and as a company, we like to be as open and honest as we can with each other, our shareholders, community members and everyone who believes in what Management 3.0 has to offer. As a result we believe in financial transparency publishing our revenue streams including our wins and losses. We’ve taped and aired some company uncomfortable conversations and always try to include all stakeholders in what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and where we’re going.

Our salaries are out in the open as well. Each month, every member chooses what commitment level they feel they can do based on how many days a week they can commit to. Only one team member works full time for the company, the rest are freelancers or entrepreneurs working with multiple clients. Our commitment levels scale from 20 percent up to 100 percent and so everyone chooses the level that fits their situation.

Salaries are calculated using a simple formula: (base salary) x (commitment level)%. We also do not distinguish the role you play, you don’t have to fit into a box. In fact, we create our own titles based on how we see ourselves

In addition to salaries, we use the merit money system in order to share and show our appreciation for our colleagues’ work. Peer-to-peer recognition is something Jurgen speaks about extensively as one of the best ways to foster motivation and properly reward teammates.

Each month we get 100 points to distribute among team members, via Bonus.ly. When the company makes a profit, points are converted to money, which is paid out during the year. Each month we roll the dice and if it lands on six we get lucky.

The unique part is that each time we give points to someone we have to connect it to one of our values. Our team has chosen ten values, which we feel are important to us including: Boldness, Kindness, Creativity, Flexibility, Patience, Spontaneity, Risk, Honesty, Trust, Fairness. These values are the backbone of who we are as a team and a constant reminder of what’s important to us when interacting with each other and stakeholders.

We’ll be using this page to keep you in the loop in terms of the latest Management 3.0 developments. If we change strategies, have a financial update, have to air any hard chats between colleagues, we’ll do it here and strive to keep you as informed as transparently as we can.

But, wait a minute: Why Happy Melly One?

Melly Shum hates her job

Almost 30 years ago Canadian born artist, Professor Ken Lum, featured a billboard in an exhibition in Rotterdam, Netherlands at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art.

The picture, a woman wearing a black sweater and big glasses sitting at her desk and staring softly into the camera beside the words: Melly Shum Hates her job has become one of the longest standing billboards in history. The photo struck such a chord with people that when the museum tried to take it down at the end of the show there was public outcry. The museum returned the billboard, which is still standing today and you can visit it on the corner of Boomgaardstraat and the Witte de Withstraat.

In an exclusive interview with Happy Melly in 2016, Professor Lum said the intense response to the picture made him realize that he had tapped into something. “I wanted to shake people up in terms of the question, if you have the privilege of moving on, why can’t you move on?” he said.

Fast forward 22 years to 2012, where after passing by the billboard on several occasions, entrepreneur, speaker and author, Jurgen Appelo started asking questions.

Why are there companies where people hate their jobs yet they won’t leave? What can we do to help transform those organizations?

He wanted to create a group dedicated to helping people be happy at work and thus, Happy Melly was born. An arm of Management 3.0, dedicated to making happiness at work the ‘norm’ and not the exception.

For more on the backstory behind Melly Shum, listen to our exclusive podcast with Professor Ken Lum.