Social Business Zone is brought to you in partnership with:

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, 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

Value Creation over Value Extraction

  • submit to reddit

When you see an organization as a social value network (as I do) then you inevitably come to the conclusion that all stakeholders participate in this network in order to derive value from it. Customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers, banks, communities, business partners, governments, and everyone who is economically involved, try to get some value out of the organization. Or else they would not contribute to that collaborative project that we call a business.

But new value can only be created when that which is already valuable remains intact. When you delight customers while screwing suppliers, you’re not creating value, you’re just moving it from one stakeholder to the other. When you increase productivity while cutting corners in quality, you’re also not creating value, you’re just stealing it from the future. And when you think you create shareholder value by depleting natural resources, you’re again not creating value. You’re just transforming part of an ecosystem into an economy.

True value creation happens when you respect the things that are already valuable to some stakeholders. This means taking into account the values of people, at all levels of the hierarchy, and in all corners of the network.

Rather than viewing organizational processes as ways of extracting more economic value, great companies create frameworks that use societal value and human values as decision-making criteria.

- Rosabeth Moss Kanter,
How Great Companies Think Differently

“But”, I hear you think, “What is valuable to stakeholders? Which values should we respect and uphold? Because I want to be a true value creator!” Well, it seems you’re showing signs of curiosity, enthusiasm, and determination. Great! That means you’re already on your way to know the answer.


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

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)