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The New CEO: Creative Ecosystem Organizer

18/07/2013

CEO's should not be Chief Executive Officers. They should be Creative Ecosystem Organizers.

The-new-ceo

I am now officially the new CEO of Happy Melly. Last week the representatives of stakeholders (suppliers, facilitators, customers, owners) voted in a Huddle, and they all agreed the dirty job is now mine. Hurray.

Granted, the Happy Melly lead-by-example business network was my idea in the first place. And thus it makes sense that people want me to take care of it too. But I’m happy to see that with DARE and Happy Melly Express it’s already growing in directions I had not imagined myself. Now it’s up to me to herd those cats. Awesome.

This brings me to my title: CEO

Chief Executive Officer

I don’t like it.

First of all, I don’t consider myself a chief because I’m not the highest in rank. At Happy Melly all important decisions are made in Gatherings and in Huddles, and as CEO I’m not even allowed to vote in those discussions! My job is to make sure that at least some decisions are made by creative people, but I don’t control the outcome.

Second, I don’t like the term executive because I don’t have administrative or managerial responsibility. When people don’t do their jobs, it’s their problem. Not mine. Work will simply gravitate to the people who actually work. My job is to make sure there’s room for their self-development and for improvement of the ecosystem, but not to control who does what.

And third, I don’t consider myself an officer because I don’t hold an office of authority or command. I lead a network, I don’t govern a hierarchy. Therefore, my job is to ensure that the business scales out, not up. Those involved will have to manage themselves and each other, but as an experienced organizer I can help them be more successful at that.

I came up with a new title: CEO

Creative Ecosystem Organizer

Now that’s a title I can be really enthusiastic about!

I help organize an ecosystem of creative people. Isn’t that what all CEO’s are supposed to do?

Are you a new CEO?

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This article is written by on in Management & Leadership. Jurgen Appelo is at Happy Melly. Connect with Jurgen Appelo on .

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/lucianadrian Lucianadrian

    I am little bit confused and do not get me wrong, I like the result. What I do not understand is the starting point choice. Why do you need a new expanded version for an existing title ? Do you need that title to be filled in and used (e.g. CEO) in the first place ? Why there needs to be a CEO ? Why you did not start with something else ?
    I understand that you were appointed head or leader of the shareholders group. That could be a chairman, CEO or simply administrator or I do not know…it can be anything, as this is just a convention.
    For such a creative/innovative endeavor as Happy Melly “Corporation”, there should be an equally creative name-space for the various organizational position. :) Why could you not be named “Leader Maximo’” or “Inspiration spring” ?
    If the goal of this endeavor is to change organizations as we know them, why not be creative and different from the first place ?
    Maybe I am wrong or maybe I am missing something, but this is how I see things ..

  • http://profile.typepad.com/jurgenappelo Jurgen Appelo

    Of course, I can use any title I want. That’s not the point. But the Constitution of Happy Melly says there must be a person called CEO. (The reason is that outsiders will find it easier to understand.)
    However, the Constitution does not say what “CEO” actually stands for. So that enables us to be creative.
    We can also change the Constitution and come up with a different name than CEO. But I don’t see the point. I’m sure people would find that much more confusing.

  • Glen Wang

    get the idea, forget the words. the key words are manager setup stage and team self organizting.