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The New CEO: Creative Ecosystem Organizer

· Agile Zone

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


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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Published at DZone with permission of Jurgen Appelo .

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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