Book Review: Management 3.0

Management 3.0


Jurgen Appello

My Rating

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"Looking at line-management through systems thinking goggles."

Management 3.0 is not a new management methodology that dictates precisely how you should manage people. It doesn't prescribe a specific daily agenda, in fact, rarely does it talk in absolutes. Jurgen is proposing Management 3.0 as a new mindset to managing agile teams built on a foundation of systems thinking and complexity sciences.

Jurgen does an impressive job of covering many topics and introducing many theories and techniques from a variety of sources, often contrasting alternative viewpoints on a topic and adding his own. For example, the section on authority and maturity levels in chapter 7 helped me to create a far richer and more structured mental model of the topic of empowering autonomous teams.

Jurgen also does a superb job of explaining many concepts in the simplest possible terms. For example, the way he explains the difference between self-organising and self-directed in clear terms is highly admirable. 

The least enjoyable aspect of this book was the style. There is too much fluff that should have been cut. A bit of personality is fine, but this book is like having direct access to someone's unfiltered thoughts at times. I enjoyed reading many of his personal stories, but there are a too many along with half-hearted attempts at humour. It's a shame, because this is a book that needs to be read multiple times, and I would be more inclined to if I didn't have to endure the superfluous commentary.

Despite my little nit-picks, I would still highly recommend this book. It's firmly planted in Theory Y territory. It is not like a lot of modern management literature that dresses up Theory X as servant leadership, advocating managers treat their employees like little children who need nurturing. Management 3.0 is management for adults who want to treat their subordinates as adults. 

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My Books

Designing Autonomous Teams and Services
Patterns, Principles and Practices of Domain-Driven Design