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Jurgen Appelo - Managing For Happiness

The research is clear: happy workers are more productive workers. And it?s best when managers enjoy their jobs as well. Managing for Happiness is about concrete management advice for all workers. Practical things that people can do next Monday morning in order to change the organization?s culture, and make it a happier place to work. This is not only relevant for managers, but for everyone who is concerned about the organization. We create a happier environment by managing ourselves, and lead by example, in an environment focused on experiments and learning.

All creative workers are expected to be ?servant leaders? and ?systems thinkers?. In this session, you will learn how you can do that concretely, with a number of inspiring stories and examples. A happier organization starts with people managing themselves.


  • Content rating (0-no new ideas, 5 - a new ideas/approach, 9-new ideas): 7
  • Style rating (0-average presentation, 5 - my level, 9-I learned something about presenting): 8

Action / Learning

  • See Delegation-Poker as idea for how to make sure roles and responsibilities are understood
  • Idea of Turnover as a measure of happiness
  • Color poster 12 Steps to Happiness


Original presentation is at Managing for Happiness

My copy Managing for Happiness


Some people have long toes vs stepping on people's toes

Hire me to work for your competitor - so I can crash

Manage the system for happiness Offer products with meaning

7 silver bullets

Change is easier when people share food

Invite to dinner Made them cook the dinner

People enjoyed it. Let them coach, let them be happy

Nurture happiness

Sales people Forget to tell ops about delivery Big sales. Sales celebrate. But no one else could

Teams should have reason to celebrate. Bell “ring for any reason”

Embrace playfulness

This is experience

Run experiments

Management experiment Drop work and celebrate somethings

Contacts limit people's freedoms

No contracts with people Own title Make own rules

See if it works

Innovate management

Building for meaning

Trends are not for collocation Actually need mental closeness

Practice personal maps Mind maps yourself Share with rest of the team Cannot present the personal map Others have to ask questions Creates bonds

People expressing themselves

Management from Italian word maneggiare for handling horses

“There is a lot of bad management out there but no management is not the alternative”

Delegation is not binary

Seven levels

  1. Tell. Dictatorships
  2. Sell
  3. Consult
  4. Agreement
  5. Advise
  6. Inquire
  7. Delegate

Management delegate to teams and vica versa

Delegation board.

“We Dutch we don't care what you grow as long as you grow in straight line” Growing marijuana in rectangular rows

See delegation-poker

Turnover as a measure of happiness

Does success lead to happiness. Or happiness lead to success

Happy people produce more - “when we are happy” - study

What makes people happy

Thank someone Appreciate Eat well Etc

12 steps to happiness Decisions you can make

Thank Exercise Meditate Give Rest Socialize Help Experience Aim Eat well Hike Smile

Do as a manager

Code review hike

Download 12 steps to happiness

Value stories


Sustainability Or was it size

Need feedback cycle Something that bothers you etc create stories that people remember

Value stories channel on slack People remember story not value list Feed back

Culture book

Value days - how the do what they say they do

“The culture of the organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing tolerate”

Or best behavior that the leader is willing to amplify

Merit money

Praeto principle- bonus at end

Alternative spread value all the time (60% people are above average drivers)

How much did you contribute - 140%

Peer to peer system 100 points - credit each other Bonus money over time builds up

At beginning of month - throw a six - get the bonus

Means don't know when the bonus will come - so not spent it before it comes as don't know when it comes

Democracy arse kissing

Should we celebrate failure

Celebration grid

Mistake experiments practices Success failure Learning

Do more experiments

/home/hpsamios/ · Last modified: 2020/06/04 11:59 by hans