Book Review of The Decision Maker by Dennis Bakke

Dennis W. Bakke is a CEO and an entrepreneur.  He is currently the manager of Imagine Schools, a commercial charter school.  He is also an author of Creating Abundance, published in 1984,  the best seller Joy of Work: A Revolutionary approach to fun on the job, published in 2005, Purpose Matters, published in 2008, and most recently, The Decision Maker.

A month ago, Mike Henry asked if anyone was interested in writing a review of Dennis Bakke's book The Decision Maker. I did some research and decided to jump at the opportunity to review the book.

The Decision Maker is a byproduct of the things that Mr. Bakke used while building up AES to a fortune 200 company.   Employee engagement is at the heart of the transformation at AES. He believed in creating a fun work environment that starts with employee engagement.

From an employee engagement perspective, this is the best book I've read in years. What amazes me is that the concepts and application are not rocket science, but for some reason most companies do not embrace the idea of letting people closest to the problem make decisions. The advice process described in the book is an effective way of getting everyone involved.

When management comes up with a new program, employees are often skeptical about the purpose and value it brings.  Therefore it is important for management to make sure that any program must be well thought out and that the right people must be engaged. Many a time, I’ve seen that companies try to put lipstick on a pig. Nice furniture, library, or programs that do not last because they failed to connect and secure the buy-in of their employees.

 “Treat people like people, not machines.”  —Dennis Bakke

 In conclusion, I'm of the opinion that an employee does not only come to work for a paycheck. They want a sense of accomplishments and in return they want recognition for their contributions to the organization. The fact of the matter is that employees spend 1/3 of their life at work. Therefore it is important to not only provide a means of livelihood but a sense of belonging that includes personal and career development.

For those who are interested in connecting with their employees, this is the perfect book for you to engage your employee. Remember that happy employees can help improve the bottom line. It is worth noting that leaders do not necessarily have all the information needed in order to make the right decision. By putting the decision-making opportunity in the hands of people who are closest to the problem, you can unlock their potential. Feel send me an email to let me know your thoughts about the book. The book won’t disappoint.

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