Management 3.0 Workout: Trainer Interview - Craig Brown

Tabar pioneered Management 3.0 in Australia, first bringing its founder, Jurgen Appelo to Australia, in 2012.

For our upcoming Management 3.0 Workout course, we're taking the opportunity to speak with Craig Brown.  

Apart from expertise in the disciplines of management and project delivery, Craig has a deep understanding of the practical implementation of Agile and Lean methods. He is a leading thinker in the Agile community and as well as presenting to industry conferences in Australia and overseas, Craig organised the Melbourne LAST  (Lean, Agile, and Systems Thinking) conference in Melbourne.

Craig has delivered Enterprise Agile training programs to Tier 1 companies, and has trained numerous teams in Scrum basics as well as since 2012 delivered Management 3.0 training to clients in Australia and facilitated subsets of the training course into Australian Agile Conferences.

Mediocre Managers Manifesto

By Anton Rossouw.

I have had the privilege over the past 30 years or so to work with many humane, inspiring and energising managers and leaders.

Since studying Industrial and Organisational Psychology and Computer Science in the early 80's back at university it has always been my hope that management science (with some technology) will foster the development of better managers. However of late I have not seen much evidence of that.

So in homage to the great leaders that inspired me I decided to create an “anti-” view that can be used to tacitly amplify what “good” leadership looks like as the mirror image i.e. “bad”. As a pattern I used the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (representing those on the good side).

Reflecting on my past career I must also confess that at times I caught (like a bad cold) some traits from the not-so-great managers I worked with because it seemed a good idea at the time and the accepted “way we do things here”. I now recognise that one should never take on bad behaviours but stand firm and be brave enough to change it, even though it means you may lose your job (yep its not as easy as that especially when its about money).

After all is said and done to get the “job done”, I always hope that I leave my workspace as happier places where I helped my teams in some way develop and grow to their potential.

Now for the Mediocre Managers Manifesto for creating Mayhem and leading the organisation up Schitt Creek without a paddle:

We are uncovering strident ways to work by doing it and forcing others to do it. Through these ways we have come to value:

Command-and-control over agility and self-organisation.

Passive aggressive conflict over collaboration.

Arguing the details over working the big picture.

Being promoted over delivering value.

Blunt answers over thinking what’s best.

Information secrecy over transparency.

Talking incessantly over listening intently.

That is, while there is most value in the items on the left, there is little value on the right but we will say we do it even though we don’t.

We follow these principles:

  • Me, myself and I as the supreme manager always know best.
  • Always blindly follow the bosses’ orders because they know best.
  • People are annoying but considered as resources to be consumed and discarded.
  • Get the job done at any cost but remain true to yourself by using manipulation, throwing tantrums, and whinging.
  • Playing people off against each other is an important and fun game.
  • Bantering in a critically logical way will be used to belittle, confuse and disorientate the team, and when that fails because they have better answers, then emotional blackmail must be applied.
  • When I don't understand something then it is their fault.
  • Vendors and suppliers are important because they are someone to blame when my team stuffs up and I don't want to lose many of my team members in one go.
  • With power comes responsibility to weed out clever, considerate and open people. They have no place in this world and must be taught a lesson.
  • Apathy must be applied to protect us from commitment.
  • We believe in our own rhetoric as enforceable doctrine for everyone else to obey.
  • Knowingly withholding acknowledgment and approval motivates people to try harder next time.
  • Managers are not paid to foster happiness at work, rather spend their time growing empires and attacking others empires.
  • My smartphone is at any one time more interesting than what anyone is trying to say in any meeting, except if it is a bosses meeting.
  • In particular don't trust individual workers but specifically not teams because they may over time wield more influence than the manager. Facilitate infighting within teams to reduce their effectiveness.  

The Mediocre Managers Manifesto can be used as an assessment checklist tool for managers “where the shoe fits”. If only a couple items apply then there is hope and behaviours can easily be ameliorated, but if most items apply then major therapy and years of coaching would be required to become a “normal” manager again.

To further explore the "bad" side of management one of the best books about it is by Barbara Kellerman. Believe that good management is possible. Inside every bad manager maybe there is a great leader trying to get out!

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      

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.

The Stoos Transformation has begun !

By Anton Rossouw.

The philosophies and methods of Agile is fast infiltrating the world of general management. This is due to the many successes due to adopting Agile mindsets to the way that software is delivered. This has stimulated rapid evolution fueled by practical learning causing thinkers, practitioners and authors world wide to project Agile into management teams, boardrooms and workplaces outside of IT and software product development.

And so this gave rise to the Stoos network .

It was incubated on January 2012 at Schwyz in Switzerland by 21 concerned and inspired change agents swarming around the leadership problems we face today. Together they agreed that there must be a better way. A rallying call to action was developed:

“Reflecting on leadership in organizations today, we find ourselves in a bit of a mess. We see reliance on linear, mechanistic thinking, companies focusing more on stock price than delighting customers, and knowledge workers whose voices are ignored by the bosses who direct them. All these factors are reflected in the current economic crisis, increased inequity, bankruptcies and widespread disillusionment.

There has to be a better way”

The Stoos network has rapidly grown exponentially to become an organic self organizing learning community of like minded radical business change agents, that share a passion to learn from each other and find the better ways to change organizations for the better.

We go about this by sharing problems, discussing new ideas, theories, paradigms and practices, and implementing them as safe-to-fail experiments to enact positive change. These abundant ideas bring new ways of thinking about systems, driving sustainability, developing leadership, transforming management practices, fostering high performance teams, embracing complexity, implementing simplicity, unlocking innovation, becoming agile and adaptive, and growing new organic organizational structures.

We participated in the first Stoos Stampede that was held on 6-7 July 2012 in Amsterdam, in a stunningly beautiful conference venue De Roode Hoet in Keizersgragt. It was implemented as a classic “un-conference” by organisers Jurgen Appelo and his team. More than 200 inspired people from all over the world attended the spirited sessions of conversation, each contributing and sharing in their own unique way their own unique perspectives and experiences. I am sure we all went away vowing to put new things into practice to find the better way. There were interesting, interactive and collaborative sessions such as:

  • Indicators for Companies Culture and How to Change

  • Facilitating effective interventions from within organizations

  • Management and corporate culture hacking

  • Agile transformation - What should be the best approach?

  • Gamification of the working environment

  • Guided Self-Organisation: Creating a Learning Network

  • Sociocracy: new governance structure for organizations

  • Management is dead! Grasping the new model & methods for change

  • Using Personal-Professional Growth to Adapt Business Cultures

  • From Overwhelming Complexity to Effective Simplicity

  • Organize for Complexity. How to make work work again

  • Organization Design powered by Evolution

  • Leading change good practices

  • Learning for complexity. New approaches for knowledge-building

  • Stoosian Emergent Organizational Practices from the wild

  • Dealing with Generation Bottleneck

  • The 10 Worst Management Practices, And How To Turn Them Around

  • Using Complexity to Accelerate Higher Consciousness

  • Being the change you want to see in the world

  • Extremely simple and practical mgmt theory: is that possible?

  • Fairytales for organizational change

From this we see that there are very passionate people set on creating better leaders and better organisations. The key is sharing knowledge and learning in practice. It will take not a massive revolution, but a quiet and sustained social revolution leading continuously upwards to better places.

Become committed as we are to contribute actively to the Stoos movement!

Stoos is always seeking passionate people that can become part our learning network. Our individual positive contributions can create valuable change that will transform organisations to become more balanced, humane and sustainable workplaces. Its all about change for the better !