#Workout Jurgen Appelo’s book summary

#Workout: Games, Tools & Practices to Engage People, Improve Work, and Delight Clients by Jurgen Appelo

We are all gifted with a great open space in our skull where our brain chooses the way he wants to “live his life”. HE may choose to be lazy. Or ignorant. Or with no self confidence.

But what would happen if your brain decides to go to gym? HE may become handsome. HE may work faster. More confident in himself and ready to test new levels of knowledge.

When a brain works out bright ideas come in. And when a well trained brain meets the proper organization to express himself – fresh and new perspectives on how things should be done in this field may be born.

Jurgen Appelo is an author, a manager, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a successful speaker. Despite all these he defines himself as a creative networker.

He was featured in prestigious tops as a Leadership Expert or as a Leadership Speaker. Wrote several innovative theories about bringing management to the 21st century. And he also developed Management 3.0.


Work is not only about Getting Things Done. It’s also about Making Lives Better.

His style of writing is the perfect combination of subtle humor and useful information, delivered in a light manner. With a writing style like this his book is easy to read, but at the same time, offers a insightful look at the world of management.

Instead of giving you all the solutions to the problems your company is facing, he focuses on changing your perspective. He is focused on helping  you find bright solutions by yourself.

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Jurgen Appelo says that the main difference between the concept of Management 3.0 and other styles of management is the fact that it hasn’t fixed rules or rigid guidelines to become a better manager. What this concept offers is, a new way of looking at things, which will make you re-think all the outdated rules that your company has. And will help you in creating new ones.

#Workout is totally different from any other management book. This book was something I was looking for.. Do not expect to find here a set of “good practices” that you should blindly follow. This book just sketches a new perspective and a different way of looking at things.

As the name suggests, this book offers a myriad of examples about what different organizations are doing around the world. Stop. Think. Re-think. And now you may be interested in something more practical as exercises. The purpose may be to improve the company’s performance overall.

One of the recurring ideas is the fact that

'management is too important to leave to managers'. @jurgenappelo Click To Tweet

This means that each employee can do certain things that will improve the performance of the company. Which will be the final result? More responsible employees. An environment where everyone is comfortable with their role in the company.

Several pages of this book are dedicated to rewards, salary and compensation. Here you can find practical advice on how to handle each of these things.

 “Rewards are among the trickiest and least understood tools in management”.

And, sometimes, rewards and incentives can actually demotivate workers. So, Jurgen offers practical solutions on how to avoid that.

Jurgen Apello.

#Workout is full of examples of what other companies around the world are doing in order to implement Management 3.0. And what Jurgen Appelo does is a fantastic job by giving us advice in the form of lists, which are easier to read and remember.

If I have to name one of my favorite, it may be the one about feedback. This is a great lesson about how we can improve our feedback-giving, since we can actually use this advice in absolutely every aspect of our lives. Here are 5 things to consider when giving feedback, according to Jurgen Appelo:

  • Step 1: Describe Your Context
  • Step 2: List Your Observations
  • Step 3: Express Your Emotions
  • Step 4: Sort by Value
  • Step 5: End with Suggestions

You’ll find in this book a brilliant comparison between good management practices, and working out, hence the name of the book. First lesson to be learnt comes with the title:

If you want to see good results, you need to keep “working out” using some exercises that follow the Management 3.0 way of thinking.

Are you expecting  to see results after going to the gym once or twice? This may be absurd! So, you shouldn’t expect to see any changes in the company after one management exercise. Persistence is key. What for?  Firstly for getting fitter and in improving an organization’s culture. But also for knowing the best exercises is crucial for obtaining the desired results.

Organization’s culture is not only a concept. “Work is not only about Getting Things Done. It’s also about Making Lives Better”. So, it’s crucial for companies to create a culture that helps people improve and allows them to experiment in order to learn. And while we’re talking about culture, we inevitably end up mentioning the company’s values as well. Which is useful, because discussing core and wish values is a great management workout exercise”.

Jurgen Apello.

This book is packed with good management practices that anyone can initiate anytime and that will help the overall performance of the employees.

A great example of a practice that can be initiated by anyone is the Work Expo, which has an entire chapter dedicated to it. A work expo is simply put, a dedicated wall in the office that showcases the accomplishments of its team members and helps everyone feel good about the work they’ve put in the organization. They will  also feel appreciated.

One thing that we need to keep in mind when starting a work expo is that the accomplishments don’t have to be major to be featured on the wall. Even the smaller things should be acknowledged and celebrated.

Another exciting exercise is the kudo box, which has many forms and shapes in the numerous organizations in which it was implemented. A kudo box gives employees the opportunity to reward each other for various behaviors. As in the case of the work expo, a kudo box doesn’t necessarily have to reward something huge. It can be something as simple as the fact that one team member bought coffee for everyone on a Monday morning.

If another team member would like to show appreciation, he could put a note in the kudo box. The note can be replaced by a gift card, or actual prizes with a small value. There are many ways in which the kudo box was implemented. But the main idea is that it allows people to focus on the positive things that are going on in the organization as opposed to focusing on mistakes.

This book is definitely worth reading. It will give you many ideas to think about and will surely make you reconsider some predefined notions that you had about management. So, go ahead and read it, and don’t forget that

 'Change = Idea * Passion * Behavior * Influence' @jurgenappelo Click To Tweet, and start changing the world!

Want to get the full book in Kindle version? Get it from here:
Amazon#Workout by Jurgen Apello from Audible

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