Management 3.0: Is it for me?

managment czy to dla mnie

In the article below, I will tell you more about the Management 3.0 concept – what it is, how it was created, where it will work best and what its advantages and disadvantages are. And most importantly, is this an approach for every manager or leader?

Foundations of Management 3.0 

Management 3.0 is a management concept that revolutionizes the traditional approach to working and managing teams. It was born in response to the growing need for change in traditional management, when it turned out that the current employee management formulas – issuing orders, strict control of work progress and daily reporting – no longer work. They stopped working due to the new digital era dominated by:

  • continuous and dynamic evolution of the organization’s priorities and needs, 
  • greater demand for creativity and quick problem solving in the workplace, compared to the previously more frequently expected accuracy and repeatability of activities, 
  • finding a balance between private and professional life on the part of employees, when the range of motivators is no longer limited only to the numbers in the bank account, but also – although I don’t want to follow stereotypes – the need for understanding, meaning and purpose.

The Management 3.0 approach focuses on flexibility in operation, cooperation between individual employees and continuous improvement. But above all, on creating a work environment that supports creativity, independence and development of employees. The role of a manager and leader in the Management 3.0 concept is therefore different from the traditional role of a manager – the manager is no longer an infallible ruler and decision-maker – he becomes a partner and advisor. But more on that in a moment.

History Management 3.0

The roots of the Management 3.0 approach date back to the 1990s, and its creator is Jurgen Appelo, a Dutch expert in the field of management and leadership in organizations. Jurgen Appelo, inspired by theories such as Agile, Lean and complexity theory, developed a new management philosophy. His vision of management 3.0 is based on trust, autonomy and employee involvement. He described it in his book “Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders,” published in 2010. Since then, it has become a popular approach in project and team management. Here are the areas in particular.

Application areas of management 3.0 

Management 3.0 as a values-based and employee-oriented approach has been used in many industries and organizations. It is particularly useful in companies operating in dynamic environments where adaptation is key. Tools and techniques  this approach allows teams to work more efficiently, make faster decisions and better adapt to changes in the market. It is also worth emphasizing that Management 3.0 is not limited only to technology companies; can be used in various sectors.

The role of the manager in Management 3.0

Okay, everything is clear. But is this for me as a manager or leader? Is this for us as an organization? I’m answering now.

In the Management 3.0 concept, the manager’s role is more collaborative, focused on supporting the team and creating conditions for effective work. This approach assumes greater employee autonomy and focuses on cooperation and trust as key elements of management. Here are some fundamental elements of the role of a manager and leader within this concept:

  • Co-creating goals: managers do not impose goals from above, but co-create them with the team. They operate on the basis of shared prioritization and goals are flexible to adapt to changing conditions.
  • Servant leadership (servant leadership): The Management 3.0 concept promotes the idea that managers and leaders are there first and foremost to serve the development of people. Their task is to support and help employees achieve their goals, not to impose their authority on them.
  • Inspiring: managers in the Management 3.0 concept play the role of inspirers. Their task is to provide inspiration, motivate and support their employees in achieving their goals. They encourage independent thinking, creativity and innovation.
  • Eliminating obstacles: managers work to eliminate obstacles and barriers that may hinder the team’s effectiveness. They help solve problems and remove obstacles on the path to success.
  • Catalyzing: managers in this concept act as catalysts for change and innovation. They encourage experimenting and testing new ideas, and support continuous improvement processes.
  • Facilitation: Managers act as moderators and mediators, helping to resolve conflicts and build effective relationships between team members.
  • Development care: The Management 3.0 concept emphasizes the importance of employees’ personal and professional development. Managers act as development supervisors, helping employees develop their skills and careers.

What you, as a manager or leader, will get in return:

  • Increased employee engagement: Management 3.0 emphasizes the importance of employee involvement by encouraging cooperation, independence and responsibility; puts emphasis on employee commitment and autonomy, which leads to their higher motivation and creativity.
  • Empowerment (Empowerment): Management 3.0 gives employees greater responsibility for their actions and decisions. It also gives them greater freedom in choosing tools and work methods, which obviously affects motivation, but also potentially according to the definition of collective intelligence– leads to the selection of better tools and solutions 
  • Competence development: Management 3.0 assumes continuous development of competences of both leaders and employees. Supports the development of interpersonal skills, project management and other necessary skills.
  • Improving communication: Thanks to the tools and practices from Management 3.0, teams communicate more effectively and collaborate with each other.

Coming back to the question “is it for me?”, I would say that Management 3.0 is a concept that all managers and leaders should know about. They should know its basics and know how and when it works, so that based on this knowledge they can make an informed decision whether to choose it. In my ideal world, every manager should be a servant leader who creates an environment for joint creative work and development.

And here’s a question for you. Maybe you are already such a manager or leader? Look at the graphic below and answer which of the statements are closer to you – those on the right or the left?

porównanie management 1.0 vs management 3.0

Is management 3.0 for us as an organization? 

Once we have answered the question whether it is for you as a manager or leader, we can go further and ask whether it is for you as an organization and what you could gain. It is certainly not the case that Management 3.0 is a “golden mean” for every problem in the company. In addition, introducing Management 3.0 may be difficult in companies with a traditional management culture. It will not work in every organization – some industries, e.g. industrial, may require a more centralized approach to management. However, you can always try to apply this approach to a part of the organization – where it makes sense and will bring benefits. And at the company level, there are quite a lot of them – see for yourself:

  • Increased innovation: Management 3.0 supports the development of creativity and innovation in the organization. Encourages experimenting and introducing new ideas.
  • Increased efficiency: This concept promotes self-organization of teams and decentralization of decisions. This leads to faster responses to changes and more effective management. Self-organizing teams are faster and more effective in creating solutions (I will mention it again here definition of collective intelligence).
  • Greater flexibility: Management 3.0 promotes flexibility and adaptability in the organization. It allows you to adapt to changing market conditions and the business environment.
  • Better communication and feedback: Management 3.0 promotes open communication and regular feedback between employees and management. This helps you identify problems and respond to them quickly.
  • Focus on values: This concept is based on values ​​such as trust, respect and responsibility. These values ​​help build a positive organizational culture.


Management 3.0 is an approach to management that gives organizations the tools to effectively deal with the challenges of modern business. Thanks to flexibility, trust and commitment of employees, it significantly contributes to increasing the efficiency and innovation of the company. Its implementation can sometimes be difficult, especially in organizations that need time to change their management culture. However, it is worth taking up the challenge, because the benefits are significant. If you want to learn more about Management 3.0 and learn about the tools and techniques used in this area, please visit a series of my training courses addressed to managers and agile leaders.