Martie, the management model, built with LEGO
Three weeks ago, Jurgen Appelo asked for volunteers on Twitter . He wanted to pose a challenge to the readers of his new book “Management 3.0”: To win a signed copy of the book, you needed to post something on agile management and mention Martie, the management model:
At the time, I liked the idea a lot but didn’t have the time to actually publish something myself, plus I thought that others would be better equipped to do the job… So I volunteered, was part of the jury, some people won a book… And with that extrinsic motivation gone, I suddenly felt I had to do something myself, especially since I read about half of the book in the meantime. I took my Lego set which I use for StrategicPlay and built my own model of Martie:
As the metaphors in these Lego models tend to ask for explanation, here it comes:
The most striking part of the model is the energized person on top. She’s been given wings, power, height, and a clear view on everything. To continue with the people side:
I decided to integrate the idea of growth into the team view of my model. You can see that in the empowered room where this team resides (fairly high up in the model) people can be seen in different states of growth. Of one just a head can be seen, another is already half-grown… You see that empowerment of teams leads to funny faces and haircuts. The eye on the left is a direct quote from Jurgen’s original picture.
To continue from a different angle: in this picture you see how the team (and more) is enclosed by clear boundaries. There are prominent cornerstones, but the borders are easy to step over and still clear for everyone to see. I didn’t want high fences in the model so that people don’t feel locked in by the constraints. Within the constraints, there’s room for growth:
There’s three important aspects of growth: first (and most prominent) the natural aspect, second the bricks forming the base of the tower-like structure that empowers the teams, and third, the mechanics that give power to the structure and enable it to move. A similar counterpart on the other side ensures balance:
Note the eye quote again… The improvement elements are hard to capture on a photo. The cog-wheel symbolises the continuous energy needed for improvement. Its axis is not in the centre to show that improvement is neither linear nor easy… The other element depicts the improvement path. It goes upwards, in increasingly smaller circles with ever decreasing step sizes. The black arcs are the first leaps you make, achieving quite substantial changes. Then come the smaller, harder steps… Which lead you to the level up to that you empower your teams… Compare the first picture to see the alignment of the improvement staircase with the team level.
To make all this possible in your enterprise, you need to develop compentence. Again, I used two different metaphors for that: The right one with the propeller on top and a joint in the middle shows knowledge and tools, powerful yet flexible. Enlightened and fast… The learning duck is enlightened as well:
It has wide legs for broad understanding, and a quite big brain to be filled with knowledge. It’s curiously waddling towards the rest of the model, symbolising the attraction an agile enterprise exercises on partners, clients, and employees…
Hope this was fun. If you see anything in the model that I didn’t explain… feel free to ask!