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Jurgen Appelo calls himself a creative networker. But sometimes he's a writer, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, illustrator, manager, blogger, reader, dreamer, leader, freethinker, or… Dutch guy. Since 2008 Jurgen writes a popular blog at www.noop.nl, covering the creative economy, agile management, and personal development. He is the author of the book Management 3.0, which describes the role of the manager in agile organizations. And he wrote the little book How to Change the World, which describes a supermodel for change management. Jurgen is CEO of the business network Happy Melly, and co-founder of the Agile Lean Europe network and the Stoos Network. He is also a speaker who is regularly invited to talk at business seminars and conferences around the world. After studying Software Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, and earning his Master’s degree in 1994, Jurgen Appelo has busied himself starting up and leading a variety of Dutch businesses, always in the position of team leader, manager, or executive. Jurgen has experience in leading a horde of 100 software developers, development managers, project managers, business consultants, service managers, and kangaroos, some of which he hired accidentally. Nowadays he works full-time managing the Happy Melly ecosystem, developing innovative courseware, books, and other types of original content. But sometimes Jurgen puts it all aside to spend time on his ever-growing collection of science fiction and fantasy literature, which he stacks in a self-designed book case. It is 4 meters high. Jurgen lives in Rotterdam (The Netherlands) -- and in Brussels (Belgium) -- with his partner Raoul. He has two kids, and an imaginary hamster called George. Jurgen has posted 145 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Ring the Bell!

05.05.2013
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Ship's bell colorA few years ago I discussed some organizational challenges with my former CEO, and I noted the employees in our company rarely took time to enjoy their successes. People were always working hard and they never seemed to celebrate the things that went well. I suggested that maybe we should have a big bell in the office, so that we could ring it whenever there was something to celebrate. The idea of a bell came to my mind because I wanted something that would be visible, inviting, and impossible to ignore when used.

One week later, to my big surprise, the CEO brought me a copper ship’s bell and said, “Here’s your bell. Now do something useful with it.” I convinced the office police manager to hang it in the middle of our big open office space, and I let everyone in the company know that every employee was allowed to ring the bell, if they had something to celebrate.

From that moment, every few weeks or so, someone would enthusiastically yank on the rope, for signing a government contract, deploying a .NET web application, or for something less strenuous, such as running a marathon, or birthing a baby. Any reason was valid. (I once rang the bell for having more visitors on my blog than the company had on its website. It was just my excuse to enjoy another celebration.)

When the sound of the ship’s bell blared through the office, all employees immediately got together for a 10-minute celebration. Our people knew that the bell was often a signal for free cake or cookies, which probably contributed to the quick and easy gathering of the entire work force around the coffee machine. The person who rang the bell then usually took a few minutes to explain what was being celebrated. There was enthusiastic applause. Yay! And then the eating started. The last time I heard the bell was when the CEO announced my departure from the company.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Jurgen Appelo. (source)

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