Manage the System, not the People

Management 3.0 Module: Management & Leadership

We can only improve worker happiness when everyone feels responsible for management and when managers learn to manage the system instead of the people.

Watering Plant Illustration

Management 1.0:

Leaders assume that improvement of the whole requires monitoring, repairing, and replacing the parts.

Management 2.0:

Everyone recognizes that “people are the most valuable assets” and that managers have to become “servant leaders”. But, at the same time, managers prefer to stick to the hierarchy.

Management 3.0:

Some people think of an organization as a community or a city. In a community or city, everyone is (partly) responsible for contributing to its success and a few are responsible for the whole. (Learn more about Management 3.0 in general)

Most organizational change questions have the same form: “How can we change other people?” We get better, happier organizations by changing ourselves instead of others.

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Better management with fewer managers

Vegetables Illustration

Management of the work is a crucial activity, but this could be done with or without dedicated managers. In fact, a business can do a lot of management with almost no managers!

Most creative workers don’t realize that they are also responsible for management stuff. 

Management is too important to leave to the managers. And the only thing left to do for managers is to grow and nurture the whole system.

No matter whether there are managers or not, everyone should feel responsible for management.

Jurgen Appelo, Managing for Happiness
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Management and Leadership is one of the foundation modules of the Management 3.0 Foundation Workshop. Together with Complexity Thinking it is illustrated in Martie’s legs.