Imagine a company where people love coming to work and are highly productive on a daily basis. Dennis Bakke is co-founder and CEO of AES, an energy company with 40,000 employees in 31 countries and revenues of $8.6 billion. Bakke led a quest at AES to “create the most ‘fun’ workplace ever, obliterate labor-management divisions, and push decision-making responsibility down to the plant floor.”
Shaped by his religious faith, his years at Harvard Business School, and his experience working for the Federal Energy Administration, Bakke tells the remarkable story of AES in Joy at Work. He describes his fight to break the stranglehold of “creating shareholder value” on the corporate mind-set and replace it with more timeless values: integrity, fairness, social responsibility, and above all — fun. He also describes the assault on his leadership when AES was sucked into the Enron downdraft and faced plunging stock prices.Joy at Work offers a model for the 21st-century company that wants to treat its people with respect, give them unprecedented responsibility, and hold them strictly accountable because it’s the right thing to do — not just because it makes good business sense.
Also, the Joy at Work Bible Study Companion leads individuals and small groups through the biblical basis for Bakke’s views on work and leadership.
Reprinted from the Center for Faith and Work at LeTourneau University.