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

Identity, It's Not Rational

  • submit to reddit

Wherever I am in the world I smile a little when I glimpse the logo of KLM, TomTom, Philips, or Unilever. I once even took pictures of an airplane flying circles over the city of Chicago, with a slogan of Heineken behind it. Why? I don’t even drink beer!

It’s because these businesses are Dutch, and I am Dutch too.

There’s nothing rational about it. I rarely want to hang out with other Dutch people when I’m abroad. I usually find them lacking good taste, manners, humor, and spare change. But beware! Don’t ever make the mistake of writing my name with an umlaut, thank-you-very-much. My name is Jurgen, not Jürgen. I’m Dutch, not German.

Strangely enough, except for some misfits who are either recently imported or incurably catatonic, I seem to be the only Dutch person not participating in football parties or Queensday celebrations. I really don’t care that much about the cheese hats and lion pants. But when I’m on the other side of the planet, I admit I will proudly wear orange.

I told you, it’s not rational. It doesn’t make any sense.

How about you?

Would you proudly wear a t-shirt with the flag of your country? How about the name of your spouse? A drawing by your children? The symbol of your sports club? The colors of your political party?

How about the logo of your employer?


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.)