XI – Thou shall not interfere! People want, are able to and should manage themselves.

Everything we have been discussing for over a dozen of years of various conferences on human resource management is nowadays becoming a reality:

  • a clear, coherent and internalized mission and a vision created in cooperation with employees,

  • specific, measurable and attainable goals, not connected with the remuneration, introduced in collaboration with the interested party,

  • regular and transparent communication regarding the ongoing issues and what is going to happen within the company,

  • „servant” leader that much more resembles a gardener who devotedly supports the plants’ growth, supplies them with essential fertilizer and takes care of the external conditions, rather than a typical supervisor, whose main work tool is his pointing finger.

All of these, if I may boldly say so, are nowadays a necessity (rather than a choice) for those companies, who want to keep their presence on the market regulated by what McKinsey called in the previous century “The War for Talent” – a fight over those skills that can provide the customer with the best quality of service.

Searching in history

The first structured forms of management such as „command and control” emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Back then, Frederick Winslow Taylor (the creator of Taylorism) wrote “Shop Management” and “The principles of Scientific Management”, where he introduced the idea of a maximum intensification of work with the most effective use of time and other resources.  He also introduced a work-time system based on stopwatch measurements which were directly connected to the employee’s remuneration. At the same time, Henry Ford (the founder of the Ford Motor Company) introduced an assembly line and a three-shift work day.

The management ideas of those days are known as Management 1.0 and are characterized by “squeezing as much as possible out of people with the lowest possible cost”. People are aware that they are constantly under scrutiny, and the best of them (i.e. those who are most effective when it comes to speed and quality of work) are rewarded. It is widely believed that people are at their best when they compete with each other, not work together.

In the 70s perception of management started to change. The organizational structures were more hierarchized than ever before, but the man started to be viewed as an important resource, or even an asset. The term “employee” gained on significance, although the „bait-and-switch” management techniques were still prevailing.

„Management 2.0: the term ‘employee’ gained on significance, although the ‘bait-and-switch’ management techniques were still prevailing.”

In the following years, more and more attention was given to introducing improvements into organizations by engaging motivated employees.  Unfortunately, despite the growing awareness of the factors influencing the worker’s engagement level, the managers back then weren’t able to give life to the idea of managing the system around the people, instead of directly managing people, who in suitable conditions would have been able to successfully manage themselves on their own. Instead, the “One to One” meetings (that had become a thing somewhere around that time) were used for outlining individual rather than team goals, gathering updates or reviewing the progress of achieving the objective – which only reinforced the standard relationship between the employer and employees. It didn’t have a positive effect on the worker’s feeling of having an influence on the organization or his loyalty towards the company.

Even though systems of management through goals or those based on feedback were already popular back then, they gave managers a bigger influence on the employee’s work and wider access to information regarding subordinate’s actions, thus confirming that a manager was someone more significant than an average worker.

We could say that the organizations characterized by the concept of Management 2.0 know what they should be doing, but because they are stuck in hierarchical structures, they are not able to realize their own goals and declarations.

„organizations characterized by the concept of Management 2.0 know what they should be doing, but because they are stuck in hierarchical structure, they are not able to realize their own goals and declarations.”

According to Rajesh C, the author of an article titled „Management 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0”[1] published in AgileConnexions, the difference between versions 1.0 and 2.0 is that Manager 1.0 has no idea what to do and, in consequence, does a terrible job, while Manager 2.0 has that knowledge, but does not use proper methods.

Nowadays, traditional management is less and less effective. It never was, really, but now, in the times described widely as „VUCA” (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity)[2] we either start thinking and acting according to the needs and challenges of our reality or we will surely perish in the vortex of change, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of our surroundings.

The concept of Management 3.0. isn’t particularly new or visionary. Respect for another man, humility and common sense – those are the values that should be represented by a modern leader, and according to Management 3.0, all members of an organization are leaders, depending on the situation.

„according to Management 3.0, all members of an organization are leaders, depending on the situation.”

Being a leader means managing a system in which people function and shaping it in such a way that it makes the job of individual teams easier, rather than more difficult. The leader is a so-called “servant leader”, who co-establishes a clear concept and precise goals with his team and then removes any obstacles that may stand between his employees and achieving said common goals. The leader is a coach who is certain that the people he supports have the potential to solve any incoming problems. The teams are authorized to self-manage themselves, i.e. make their own decisions within a defined scope, while the organization of work and its system gives people satisfaction, happiness even, which has a direct influence on business results.  

Culture and values

When speaking about Management 3.0, one must mention Jurge Appelo, the author of the concept, who in his book “Management 3.0”[1] says that in many companies the biggest obstacle between them and an agile and business-effective realization of customer’s values are the management systems themselves.

According to him, culture and values are what makes an organization thrive. And the values crucial for a modern employee are, among others, feelings of belonging, impact, freedom, autonomy, safety, sharing a common goal, being appreciated, as well as being given an opportunity to realize one’s passions and use one’s talents. But the key value, without which there’s no possibility of self-management, is trust. When talking about a team, trust (and, in consequence,  empowerment), is not a zero and one system, but an incremental delegation of specific authority in order to operate in accordance with the idea of universal responsibility and decentralized control.

A leader trusts his people when he works with a competent team of motivated workers who are committed to realization of a common goal. The people trust a leader without an oversized EGO, who is authentic and transparent; who listens and is open for ideas and different points of view;  a leader who co-creates the vision and defines concrete goals with his team, and then supports it with proper tools, giving a constant opportunity to learn and disposing of any systemic elements that might prevent the team from achieving said goals. In order to build trust, it is essential for a leader to admit to any mistakes made by him or the organization. He should support development through practice and experiments, as well as encourage people to draw conclusions from their failures. In turn, people will trust each other if everyone of them proves to possess the aforementioned traits in the time of need. After all, as we have already stated it – we are all leaders.

„the key value, without which there’s no possibility of self-management, is trust

Management 3.0 is a certain characteristic way of thinking about a person’s place in organization, about her influence on the process of maximization of value for the end customer. The tool shop offers many suggestions how to realize the aforementioned ideas; still, it’s a framework that every organization should fulfill on its own. If I had to capture the whole theme in one main rule, I would say: RESPECT yourself and your co-workers. The rest will follow.

About the Author: Kamila Rogowska

Kamila Rogowska

Kamila is the Head of HR in the Polish branch of Cybercom. She has several years of experience as an HR business partner, passionate Mentor and Coach. Working in a variety of environments for companies such as Sonoco, Ericpol Telcom or Infosys, continuous development and a hunger for knowledge – that’s how you can describe Kamila’s experience.

A certified sociologist specializing in Human Resources Management, she also completed post-graduate studies in Labor Law and Management at ICAN Academy. Kamila proudly holds the Professional Agile Leader certificate. Working with people who create unconventional technological solutions requires also an innovative approach in the field of HR.

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2019-08-20T08:19:10+00:00February 19th, 2019|articles|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. […] the innovative approach in an organization is Management 3.0. As I wrote in the previous article (“XI – Thou shall not interfere! People want, are able to and should manage themselves”) (6) in Management 3.0 we are all leaders in specific circumstances.  A Leader, who in this […]

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