Your Work Is Awesome, Your Work Is Crap

Changing the world requires telling people when you feel delighted, and when you feel you’re suffering.

Last week was our annual trip to the Belgian Ardennes, where my friends and I enjoyed 7 days of reading, walking, playing, and eating. We had a great time in a wonderful house. There was just one problem… The design chairs in the living room were nice to look at, but awful to sit in. And so I told the owners, “Awesome house, crappy chairs!”

Changing the world requires open and honest feedback.

How else are we going to make this world a better place?

This means you must be able to tell someone, “Look, I really like you, but your service is crap.”

Part of my commitment to change the world is to let customers, suppliers, and partners know when I feel delighted and when I’m suffering. If you’ve served me the best Tom Kha Kai in 10 years, I will say, “Your work is awesome!” But when you let me read my books in a 500 EUR camping chair, I will say, “Your work is crap!

And I expect the same in return.

Because, if nobody does, the world will look exactly the same 100 years from now. Except it could be 5 degrees warmer. And many more people will be sitting in camping chairs.

(Jurgen Appelo is author of Management 3.0, a best-selling management book for Agile developers. It has a picture of a monster in it.)

  • Management 3.0 in the USA
  • Global Management Warming Starts in Switzerland
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