As the former CEO of AES, a Fortune 200 global power company, and cofounder of Imagine Schools, Bakke (Joy at Work) had a simple idea: “Treat people like people, not machines.” The result was so successful that Bakke has penned a fable to help managers “unlock the full potential of the people around them.” This charming parable draws on Bakke’s leadership experience, tracing the journey of a fictitious company, MedTec, from a traditional top-down decision-making enterprise to a company at which leaders put control in the hands of their people. The story unfolds as MedTec’s new owners begin to discover issues that threaten the company’s health. As they embark on a plan to empower everyone from HR to line managers to administrative assistants to make decisions, they encounter many obstacles along the way. Anger, skepticism, fear, and resistance plague all parties—including the owners and their investors, at different times—but in the long run, allowing people closest to the action to make decisions proves transformational. Knowing that the entertaining, ultimately rosy story is grounded in Bakke’s real-world experiences adds credibility to the narrative; the work’s engaging style is sure to inspire and captivate leaders and managers who wish to transform not only their businesses but also their employees’ lives. (Mar.)
That’s the conclusion Dennis Bakke came to, and he used it to build AES into a Fortune 200 global power company with 27,000 people in 27 countries. He used it again to create Imagine Schools, the largest non-profit charter-school network in the U.S.
As a student at Harvard Business School, Bakke made hundreds of decisions using the case-study method. He realized two things: decision-making is the best way to develop people; and that shouldn't stop at business school. So Bakke spread decision-making throughout his organizations, fully engaging people at all levels. Today, Bakke has given thousands of people the freedom and responsibility to make decisions that matter.
In The Decision Maker, a leadership fable loosely based on Bakke's experience, the New York Times bestselling author shows us how giving decisions to the people closest to the action can transform any organization.
The idea is simple.
The results are powerful.
When leaders put real control into the hands of their people, they tap incalculable potential. The Decision Maker, destined to be a business classic, holds the key to unlocking the potential of every person in your organization.
“Smart organizations are beginning to recognize that the secret to engagement is to provide employees ample autonomy, the opportunity to make progress, and a sense of purpose. Dennis Bakke brings these principles to life in a modern business fable with ample lessons for building successful organizations from the ground up.”
-- Daniel Pink, author of DRIVE and TO SELL IS HUMAN
“Companies are fond of saying their greatest asset is their people, yet few companies operate as if this is the case. In this engaging story, Bakke shows us how to unlock the latent potential that exists in any organization.”
-- Tim Jenkins, co-founder, Point B Management Consultants
“The work’s engaging style is sure to inspire and captivate leaders and managers who wish to transform not only their businesses but also their employees’ lives.”
-- Publishers Weekly
“There are many things to like about Dennis Bakke’s latest book, The Decision Maker .It is insightful, it is well-written, it is a breeze of fresh air in the management literature. Bakke’s principles are simpleshare the power, and let people have fun making decisionsbut like it is often the case, these simple principles can have a groundbreaking impact. Read The Decision Maker and change your outdated conceptions of what management ought to be.”
-- Frédéric Godart, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD
“Imagine an organization where bosses don’t make decisions. Sounds crazy, right? Read The Decision Maker and you’ll be surprised and inspired to try it for yourself. It’s a must-read/must-try for everyone leaders, managers, and individual contributors in any organization. It just might be the solution that reconciles generational and attitudinal gaps in the workplace today.”
-- Atsuko Tamura, la presidente and CEO, evo
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