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Publisher's Summary

Imagine a company where people love coming to work and are highly productive on a daily basis. Imagine a company whose top executives, in a quest to create the most "fun" workplace ever, obliterate labor-management divisions and push decision-making responsibility down to the plant floor. Could such a company compete in today's bottom-line corporate world? Could it even turn a profit?

Well, imagine no more. In Joy at Work, Dennis W. Bakke tells the true story of this extraordinary company, and how, as its co-founder and longtime CEO, he challenged the business establishment with revolutionary ideas that could remake America's organizations. It is the story of AES, whose business model and operating ethos, "let's have fun", were conceived during a 90-minute car ride from Annapolis, Maryland, to Washington, D.C. In the next two decades, it became a worldwide energy giant with 40,000 employees in 31 countries and revenues of $8.6 billion.

Joy at Work offers a model for the 21st-century company that treats its people with respect, gives them unprecedented responsibility, and holds them strictly accountable, because it's the right thing to do, not just because it makes good business sense. More than any book you've ever read, Dennis Bakke's Joy at Work will force you to question everything you thought you knew about corporate success.

©2005 Dennis Bakke; (P)2005 PVG

Critic Reviews

"A timely and inspiring book that challenges us to rethink the purpose of business in society." (Bill Clinton)
"A must-read book for anyone who wants to make work fun." (Jack Kemp)

What members say

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  • Overall

wordy, hard to listen to

I couldn't finish this audiobook, though I listened for over an hour. I found the ideas expressed too verbosely, and the author seemed to slur his words every couple of sentences which made the recording hard to understand.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Don't waste your money

The first couple chapters were such a disappointment I could not bear to continue through the whole thing. This was the only time I really wanted a refund for an audiobook. I was also looking for some non-religious inspiration and new ideas but clearly I selected the wrong audiobook maybe I just skimmed the description too quickly.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • MoorabbinAustralia
  • 07-23-05

Good - but not great!

Why do publishers give misleading titles?

I expected an innovative, exciting book that gave me a way to make a workplace fun, exciting, even fresh. I got a nasally author telling me, in a very roundabout way how he ran a power company.

NOT VERY RELEVANT and far, far too wordy. You really will struggle to get through it all.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Southaven, MS, USA
  • 06-24-05

Don't expect much

Where is the joy? The narrator doesn't seem to express much. Hey this stuff is not new. Good Christians and great leaders have long known this and expressed it in fewer words before. I wish he wrote this book as a reminder of how people should treat each other and not as though it is something he thought of himself. Maybe I expected too much. Maybe it is a sad comment on the state of our business culture that this is considered revolutionary. I agree with most of his tenets, but people shouldn't expect too much. It reminds me of Dr. Phil in some ways ( without the bombast). He gives advice without acknowledging that it won't work without a fundamental change in a person's nature. He doesn't seem to be willing to acknowledge the fact that evil exist and it can exist in human beings, and if these things aren't acknowledged and dealt with, all the good advice in the world is pretty much an exercise in vanity.

28 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A different perspective

Perhaps there are some valid views presented here, but this is a highly religeous aproach. In fact, If you aren't interested in a religous pep rally,,you really aren't interested in this book.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Marcus
  • 02-09-12

Bakke walks his talk.

This puts into practice the theory of stewardship. Bakke appears to have braved many obstacles but his conviction and fundamental values kept him on the straight path. Building a multi-billion dollar business with so much decentralised power and decision making is an inspiration to any forward thinking employer or entrepreneur. Bakke provides insight into how we can create companies we'd actually want to work for and where we would have the right to do our best work for the greatest personal satisfaction and contribution. I think it was Ken Blanchard who said, "Success is all about getting; significance is about giving back". Dennis Bakke is a significant business leader and I suspect his legacy will have positive ripples across many decades if his story is told and replicated. Read it.