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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, 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

What's Your Value Story?

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Maturity colorWhen you have determined what your values and purpose are as a team or organization, you have to put your money where your mouth is. Turn your values and purpose into action! Create your own story!

Are you aiming for honesty, excellence, and service? Get the team in a car, drive to a client where something went wrong with your product, and sing a song about how sorry you are while handing over a big bouquet of flowers. Should your work be focused on creativity, discipline, and orderliness? Get your team to make a perfectly executed work of art out of sticky notes, carefully measured out and modeled on the computer. They key is not only to promise to keep these values in mind, but also to do something to prove that these values matter.

At the end of the day, you just ask yourself, ‘How did our vision and values influence decisions I made today?’ If they did not, then they are pretty much BS.

- Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline

My Values and Purpose

I am preparing the launch of a business called Happy Melly, together with Maarten Volders and Vasco Duarte. As our core values we have defined freedom, transparency, and holism (originally described as system thinking). And our purpose is the pursuit of happiness in work. Do I have a story to express those values? I certainly do!

One month ago I wrote the post Why I Won’t Take Your Call. In that post I explained in an honest and transparent way that I prefer emails over phone calls because I don’t aim for local optimization (of conversations). Instead I take a more holistic long-term view of the job of being a writer, and daily phone calls simply don’t fit the picture. I claim the freedom to place such constraints on my communication with people, not because I’m an autist (though maybe I am), but because I claim a right to happiness as a worker.

I didn’t realize it at the time of writing, but this story perfectly illustrates the values and purpose of our Happy Melly business, at least from my point of view. (And I’m sure Vasco and Maarten can produce similar examples, without the autism bit.)

What are your values?

What’s your story?

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

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