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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 www.noop.nl, 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 Exactly Is the Organization?

02.15.2013
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People talk about “transforming organizations”, “the culture of organizations” and “the lifetime of organizations”. But can someone tell me, what exactly is the organization?

Being independent I have a legal entity for my work. Is that my organization?

I work with 3 freelancers. We call ourselves a team. Is that the organization?

The Management 3.0 course has 32 licensed trainers. Is that an organization?

Don’t forget my books’ translators and reviewers. Are they the organization?

Sure, I would love to discuss transforming my organization, the culture of my organization, and the lifetime of my organization, but only when someone can explain to me what my organization is!

Because I don’t see it.

All I see is a business of networked people creating value.

The Internet age has enabled people and businesses to work together across the world, through a multitude of legal entities and institutions, and conglomerations of informal groups and tribes.

Who, in the 21st century, still cares about “the organization”?

And if you believe “the organization” exists, does that concept still deserve the focus of your energy?

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.)