It Happened to Me

Manager 2.0 (or: Why I Love My Job)

If you don’t work in the internet industry, you might be wondering what I’m talking about when I refer to “Web 2.0”. It’s a bit of a problematic term, as its definition is rather amorphous: ask a dozen different people in my industry what it means and you’ll likely get a dozen different answers. That being said, in those dozen answers, I’d be willing to bet that there would be one underlying commonality: that it’s more people-centric.

(For some good layperson-friendly articles about “Web 2.0”, I suggest checking out the cover story of this week’s Newsweek, Publish’s article on Web 2.0 and computer book uber-publisher Tim O’Reilly’s piece, What is Web 2.0?)

One of the side effects of Web 2.0 is the joke of adding “2.0” to all sorts of things. I myself have referred to married life as “Life 2.0” and at geek gatherings I’ve excused myself to use the bathroom, claiming “I have to go do number 2.0”. What can I say, sometimes I’m easily amused.

Over at Kathy Sierra’s blog, Creating Passionate Users, there’s an entry that talks about Manager 2.0, which talks about two different types of management — the “1.0” version and the “2.0” version. If it seems familiar to you, it should — as Kathy herself points out, Tom Peters has been talking about this for years, and I can direct you to something of the same vintage: Theory X and Theory Y.

My line of work — I’ve been doing the “developer relations” thing since 2000 — is one of those jobs that didn’t even exist in a formal sense when I was in high school (when $3000 got you a 64K Apple ][ system with 143K disk drives). It is often changing to meet the demands of an industry that was in its infancy ten years ago, in a larger field whose basic definitions — computable, computer — aren’t even 100 years old (they were defined formally in the 1930s). It requires a “flatter”, more participatory office structure than most of our parents were used to, and perhaps even our generation, depending on where one works. I tend to thrive in systems where I’m given the authority and autonomy to shine, which is why I’m rather fond of the company for whom I work — Tucows, the position I hold: Technical Community Development Coordinator and the “Manager 2.0” treatment I’m given.

What is “Manager 2.0”? Here’s a chart:

'Creating Passionate Users' chart comparing 'Manager 1.0' versus 'Manager 2.0'.

2 replies on “Manager 2.0 (or: Why I Love My Job)”

When I went on maternity leave, my replacement was also named Susan. So I named myself Susan 1.0 and her Susan 2.0. My son, naturally, was Susan Version 1.1. He’s the beta version and he’s got a few bugs but I think my development days are done now.

== Ice Queen

I like this list. It’s very comprehensive in it’s simplicity. We need more workplaces where the job is tailored to the individual, rather than the person tailored to the job. I just recently moved to Calgary from Halifax, and I can’t believe the difference out here. There is a simple, underlying truth though – people don’t like change. I’ve been through the entire spectrum of interviews, from informal to those involving testing and “personality indexes” on paper that looks as though it’s been photocopied 500 times since the ’70s. I hope that today’s entry-level managers learn to adapt to “manager 2.0” to encourage better workplaces for all!

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