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The T-Shirt Test

You pass the t-shirt test when people proudly wear a t-shirt with the logo of your organization on it.

T-shirt-chinchillaWould you proudly wear a t-shirt with your own name?

I would.

Would you proudly wear a t-shirt with the name of your spouse?

I would.

Would you proudly wear a t-shirt with a drawing by your children?

I would.

Would you proudly wear a t-shirt with a photo of your pet?

I would.

Would you proudly wear a t-shirt with the logo of your employer?

Hmm…

We spend most of our days living with ourselves, our partners, our children, and our organizations. And maybe a dog. Or a chinchilla. A happy life should include feeling happy about the relationships that you maintain, with yourself, your spouse, your kids… and your colleagues. (And your chinchilla.)

I call it the T-Shirt Test. An organization passes the t-shirt test when employees will proudly wear a t-shirt with the company logo on it, hoping that other people notice the name of the organization. Hoping that other people say, “Wow, you have a chinchilla? you work for company X? That’s so cool!”

When your colleagues don’t care to associate themselves gladly, in public, with the image of your organization, you might have a problem.

Are you wearing the name of your company?

(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.)

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