Lets make Melly Shum Happy!

By Anton Rossouw.

I met Melly Shum some years back, around 1991 as far I can remember, on a cold, damp and windy morning in the industrial city of Rotterdam.

I came around the corner of Witte de Withstraat into Boomgaardstraat, and almost walked into her. When I glanced at her she responded with a faint smile a bit like a modern day Mona Lisa, and a friendly one at that. She was sitting seemingly comfortable and confident at where she works, one hand familiarly rested on an accountants calculator.

A neat and organised workplace, lack of clutter, with professionalism and poise.

  • Who was she?
  • And what kind of job does she do?
  • What inspires her?
  • What does she aspire to?
  • What is her future?
  • What does she want to achieve? 

Then a feeling of dread flowed over me-because I glanced to the right of her and noticed that She Hates Her Job ! What a shame, what a waste! She probably spends at least 8 hours of her work day, week by week and year in year out hating every hour. My only hope for her is that the hours she spends away from work at least she loves.

I met Melly Schum in an artwork by Ken Lum. It looks like your typical advertising poster – just more striking because there is no glitz or glamour.


Sculpture International Rotterdam - photography: Toni Burgering

Sculpture International Rotterdam - photography: Toni Burgering

Maybe Ken Lum as artist, which I believe has astute observation powers and compassion for humankind, was commenting on the industrialisation and de-humanisation of our institutions and organisations, and used this striking advertising imagery to tell us the story of the modern workplace.

That is the story of dominant power creating cultural deserts of machine-like workplaces with soft organic living beings substituting oil, steel, heat and steam. Machines can be built, tuned, manipulated, and broken and discarded when they have served their purpose. What resonates is that the many metaphors of business today reminds of optimised machine like efficiency from the Industrial age and the world wars where machines were used to affect massive destructive power.

Well humans aren’t machine parts, they are complex organisms with emotions, consciousness, self awareness and longing for better futures. I went away with a sense of frustration, thinking about how the "system" can be changed, and if we realistically can have energised, enthusiastic, inspired and happy people in workplaces. People that love their jobs. People that work in places where Profits are not put before People.

Jurgen Appelo, a leading thinker in complexity and business dynamics also met Melly Schum, and decided to do something about it. He created a movement for change, a network of energetic, like-minded but diverse business people across the world that together work towards changing the world of work for the better.

Jurgen called this the Happy Melly Network.

We are proud to be part of the Happy Melly network. We believe that it is good business to have happy people work in our companies. We believe that the workplace of the future will not be described as machines, but as living organisms where value is constantly created by people that like what they do.

We will work hard to create healthy sustainable business ecosystems that will bring about the necessary change. We will help, and in turn be helped by inspired executives and managers in forward thinking organisations to ensure that all those Malcomes and Mellys everywhere love their jobs. We love this job, and its good business!

The Power of Management 3.0

By Anton Rossouw.

Management 3.0 is a revolutionary enterprise transformation approach that converts managers from a traditional simple command and control style of management to Agile Management. This transformation is driven by establishing a deep understanding of complexity theory and providing people with multiple tools and insights to effectively work in complex contexts and situations, and respond to them in agile ways.

Management 3.0 originated from the brilliant mind of Jurgen Appelo, a complexity thinker, who captured it in the form of a book and as training. Detailed information about the book and the training can be found at www.management30.com      

It presents many practical, integrated and understandable explanations of theories with exercises that opens up our minds in a playful way to embrace uncertainty and complexity, therefore creating in us a better understanding and analysis of complex situations so that better plans and decisions can be made to develop better solutions and create better outcomes for our organisations.

Management 3.0 leaders and practitioners become agile and adaptive, and more resilient, innovative and creative. It shifts the view and mindset away from that of wrestling with problems to identifying, grasping and enabling opportunities.

It changes the way that we view our projects and work by bringing together a range of the latest leading theories and practices from complexity science, chaos theory, evolution and adaptation, to show us a more natural way to get work done. It explains why and how the new Agile leadership approaches work better to getting things done than traditional ways. It is the new and more productive approach to getting more work done in a more effective way.

When the Management 3.0 Agile techniques and tools are applied, it makes teams more coherent, enables self-organisation to happen and team members feel more motivated to take ownership of their work and problem solving challenges. The Management 3.0 approach provides high levels of clarity on topics important for high performance organisations such as:

  • Why everything is not simple.

  • What complexity, complicatedness and simplicity is.

  • What complexity thinking is and how do we do it.

  • How Agile product development works.

  • Understanding traditional management.

  • Moving on to better management models.

  • How to energise people.

  • How to make self organisation happen.

  • How to empower high performance teams.

  • How to lead and manage at the same time.

  • How to align constraints.

  • Understanding formal and informal structures.

  • How to embrace change and opportunity.

  • How to really improve things.

  • How to become more resilient.

  • Agile rules to manage complex projects.