Javier Garzás interviews Jurgen Appelo

Aquí puedes encontrar la entrevista en español

For some time I did not interview someone (at the end of the post I leave you a collection of interviews that they are for the blog), there are interesting interviews here, such as that of 2014 to Jeff Sutherland (Co- creator of Scrum) or the interview to another of the signers of the manifesto, in 2013, interview with Alistair Cockburn.

The fact is that today I bring you a very good interview, a really interesting interview … Jurgen Appelo.

Jurgen, who will be in Madrid live on October 19 at PAM 2017, he is creator of Management 3.0. But there is much more besides Management 3.0, and in this interview there are things that I think you will like, in fact there are answers to some questions that I ask that I have loved.

I also leave a photo that we did in Orlando. I hope you like this …


1 – Most knows your work with Management 3.0, but… Who is Jurgen Appelo? Where are you from? Background? Tell us a little about your “personal map”.

I studied Software Engineering at the University in Delft in The Netherlands. After that, I spent time teaching people how to program computers, how to use software, etc. I also had my own startup with a very popular list of best computer games in the world. I made quite a lot of money from advertisers and sponsors. This led me to get informal investors to grow the business and I spent several years trying to make the startup work. But the market crashed soon after we started, and so we lost everything and I had to find a “normal” job. I then learned how to be a better manager in several software companies. In the last one, I was CIO for 7 years where I introduced agile practices and Scrum. This was a success and I started writing about the role of the manager in agile organizations on my own blog, called NOOP.NL. This led to the book Management 3.0 and the rest you probably know. :-)

2 – I think you are a happy worker, right? (me too). Sadly, we find every day people that hate your 8-hours (or more) workday, every year (like Melly :-). Maybe they prefer job stability… What do you say to them? What do you do to be happy at work? 

There are 4 aspects to happiness at work: First, you need to find something you like doing. This can take a lot of experimentation. I found out that I like reading, writing, speaking, and traveling. And I found a job where I can do all of that, which is being an entrepreneur and a public speaker. Second, you need to find out how to get paid for what you like doing. Because not all fun activities will earn you money. And without money, you cannot continue doing them. Third, you should find a problem in the world that is worth solving. The happiest people are those who feel that they are making a difference in the world. And last but not least, you need to get better all the time. It makes people happy when they are making progress and feel competent. Happiness is at the intersection of those four things: love your work, get paid for it, do something important, and keep improving.

3 – Some people are still skeptical about the implementation of some agile management / management 3.0 practices. Today many organizations are managed in a traditional way, some try to change… but sometimes the change seems impossible. What do you think about it? Do you think that in some cases the change is impossible?

Nothing is impossible. But sometimes, a change is so very hard, that it’s easier to start all over. As I often say, I don’t care about companies, I care about people. The only reason that there are bad companies is because there are people who keep working for them who are not quitting their jobs to find something better. Sometimes, it is easier to convince people to quit their jobs instead of putting an extreme amount of effort into changing a company’s culture. When everyone leaves, the company disappears. Problem solved. Of course, as long as there are people who care about the company, and who enjoy trying to change things for the better, it is worth to keep trying.

4 – Some recommendations for those young people who are about to look for their first job?

Experiment a lot. Don’t do anything for more than a year. Keep switching roles within a company, switch companies, and pursue ideas and (free) work outside of your paid jobs. The more experience you have with different kinds of work, the earlier you will know what kind of work you love doing. It took me twenty years to find and create the job that I love. Maybe I could have found it faster if I had tried more things in faster iterations.

5 – How do you see the future of agilite management and management 3.0? What further steps should give the management 3.0 community?

I think digitization will help us manage companies better and change organizations faster. Everyone nowadays uses software to be guided through traffic and to find new books, movies, and TV programs. Nobody goes to workshops to learn how to use their tables or smartphones. And nobody reads magazines and catalogs to find new entertainment and products. Nowadays, software offers us all of those recommendations. I believe the same is going to apply to organizations: we will get tips, guidance and recommendations from smart software on how to manage our teams and how to run our organizations. In fact, this is the project that I am working on right now. It is called :-)

6 – Finally, sometimes you have published in your blog lists of recommended books, but what are your three favorite management books that every professional must read? (Of course, in addition to yours)

There are so many!

But you could start with Creativity Inc. (Ed Catmull), Work Rules! (Laszlo Bock) and Team of Teams (General McCrystal)

You can find all my recent book reads here:

Others interviews in this blog…

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