Of course, this board member hardly needs an introduction. Unfortunately, some guy called Caesar already claimed Veni, Vidi, Vici otherwise he could have done it. He’s the writer of Management 3.0, creator of the Management 3.0 brand, initiator of ALE – Agile Lean Europe, co-initiator of Stoos and, obviously, founder of Happy Melly: meet Jurgen Appelo, our Chief Ecosystem Officer.
Melly: ‘Hi Jurgen. So, how’s life?’
Jurgen: ‘Great! Busy, but that’s good.’
M: ‘Tell me, you owned a brand that did very well, you traveled the world and were involved in all great kinds of collaborations and communities, why start something new?’
J: ‘There were, as usual, a couple of reasons. First of all, I just didn’t want to ‘own’ the Management 3.0 brand forever. I couldn’t just hand over the brand to some company, whether or not I myself would start it. No, it had to be an organization I truly believed in. One that would totally be Management 3.0. Yes, I wanted to be involved with the brand, but at the same time I like to practice what I preach and get others involved. And that’s the second reason; there are many people with great ideas and I wanted them to contribute to Management 3.0 so it would become stronger, better. And last but not least: I think there are many other brands and initiatives out there that deserve a big audience and could use a large network. That’s why Happy Melly was born.
M: ‘A lot of people ask me, Melly, what are you? Can you enlighten them?’
J: ‘I get that question a lot as well. ‘Is it an idea, a network, a movement?’ And I always answer with: it’s a business. I’m involved with several communities and the main lesson I learned is that you can get people do great and incredible things, even if you can’t pay them. But at the same time, people have to make a living. So no matter how enthusiastic and passionate they are about something, work comes first. In the book I’m working on right now I’m talking about the Mojito-method that I often use (combining the best of existing ideas in something fresh and new that gets you going), and this is one of them in a way. It has aspects of a cooperation, since Happy Melly consists of several entities. Of a franchise, since we all work with the same brands. And of an incubator, since we’re not yet sure what businesses we will launch. We just want to help people with great ideas. Our way of organizing ourselves is the real revolutionary aspect, though. It’s 100% transparent and non-hierarchic. Every stakeholder has a voice that will be heard.
M: ‘Very well, what is your role as Chief Ecosystem Officer?
J: ‘It’s my job to get people moving, to bring them in contact with others. After that it’s up to them. Which works, because people that feel attracted to the Happy Melly concept have an entrepreneur mindset. People that flourish when things aren’t put in detailed processes or job descriptions.
M: ‘Do you have a message for our readers?’
J: ‘Yes I do! We need to make money in order to make Happy Melly a success. But it’s not our goal. Our goal is to make people happy in their jobs. I am happy and I know how it feels! I want to share that with other people. So if you are not happy in your job, join us and learn what you can do to change things. If you are happy in your job, join us and share your story so others can learn from it.’
M: ‘Thank you so much for your time! Love and keep up the good work!’
J: ‘You’re welcome. Thank you for sharing this story.’