Management 3.0

A few months back into 2008, Australia-based freelance writer Sue Bushell published an article about the need for a new type of management in today's web 2.0 business world.

As one of the voices that Sue included in this piece, I said, Forget Management 2.0. We are actually on the precipice of Management 3.0.

Management 1.0 was Taylorism Management, which focused on efficiency. It was about increasing productivity.

Management 2.0 was Participative Management which accompanied the quality movement and focused on process improvement. It was about satisfying customers.

Now we are entering a new era of management, Management 3.0.

Management 3.0 is about engaging and unleashing people.

As I have said before, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in organizations worldwide:

~ from focus on weaknesses to focus on strengths

~ from appraisal to appreciation

~ from “our way or the highway” to flexibility

~ from “one size fits all” to customization

~ from “command and control” to coach and engage

Management 3.0 recognizes that the aims of the earlier eras --increasing productivity and satisfying customers-- are still relevant, but are achieved by hiring the best and trusting that they will do what the organization needs to have done.

Call it the talent management movement, or the positive workplace movement, or the employee engagement movement, or the strengths-based movement, or the appreciative inquiry movement, or whatever. It is happening.

And it is a very good thing, destined to awaken joy, meaning and commitment in the workplace.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, January 11, 2009



Your post has stirred some thoughts I would like to share. I recently read Art Kleiner's updated "The Age of Heretics." He does an outstanding job of capturing this movement to what you describe as Management 3.0. What struck me is how slow the progression has been (like the Texas two step: two steps forward, one step back).

One obstacle to progress that Art points out is that the "numbers culture" is deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of most managers. They are less sensitive to the emotional factors that affect employee engagement. Although they give lip service to valuing people, they don't really believe that making the workplace more conducive to human needs will have a positive effect on performance.

Another obstacle that Art's book identifies is the lack of cooperation among the OD community. Our human tendency to idolize an idea, especially if it is our own, works against us. All of our ideas and thinking will be required to effect lasting change because no one point of view, model or mindset will connect with everyone.

We need more people like you, Terry, who selflessly promote the work of others along with contributing their own ideas and opinions. I've started hosting a webcast channel on to raise awareness of others' work (and to help keep me in the marketplace of ideas about leadership and employee engagement).

These are some of the issues on my mind in this new year. All the best to you for the year ahead.

Terrence Seamon said…
Thanks for the comment.

Yes, the "numbers culture" is alive and well, unfortunately. Look at all the downsizing going on.

That's why it's so important for voices such as Charles Handy, Judith Bardwick, David Zinger, and yours, to be heard.

I agree that Kleiner's book is a must-read for anyone in this space.

Best of luck with the Bright Talk channel!


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