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Library — From Others


This part of the library contains four types of material relevant to creating Extraordinary Organizations:

  1. Articles and Papers
    You can [Read] some of these on this site. You will find links to other sites for others. If neither of these is available you will find a reference.
  2. Books
    Descriptions of books with a link to a site where you can buy the book if one is available.
  3. Web Sites
    These are sites that are worth exploring. You will find a link to the site. It will be to a particular page if it is most related to creating Extraordinary Organizations.
  4. Research and Reports
    You will fine either links or references for these items.


Articles and Papers

The Ad Agency to End All Add Agencies

This article appeared in Fast Company magazine in 1995. It describes the St. Lukes advertising agency in London. This organization has a number of attributes of an Extraordinary Organization. You can find the article at Fast Company.


Challenging Behaviorist Dogma:Myths About Money and Motivation


This article is by Alfie Kohn, the author of the books Punished by Rewards - The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes and No Contest - The Case Against Competition - Why we lose in our race to win. It looks at part of his thinking as introduced in its lead paragraph:

The idea that dangling money and other goodies in front of people will "motivate" them to work harder is the conventional wisdom in our society, and particularly among compensation specialists. Those of us who have challenged the Skinnerian orthodoxy that grounds this conviction have apparently caused its professional apologists to reassert in ever more emphatic and defensive language what most of their audience already takes on faith. (Hence the amusing spectacle of being admonished that it is "time that management specialists ... understood the importance of money" -- as though the field were guilty of attributing too little importance to it!) [Read]


Engines of Democracy

This article from Fast Company is introduced with this headline:

The General Electric plant in Durham, North Carolina builds some of the world's most powerful jet engines. But the plant's real power lies in the lessons that it teaches about the future of work and about workplace democracy.

To read it visit Fast Company.




Accountability - Freedom and Responsibility without Control
Rob Lebow and Randy Spitzer

This book published by Berrett-Koehler is very much in line with EO thinking, although it does not go "all the way". However, it makes a very good case for some of the beliefs and philosophy of EO's approach. EO has been recommending this book to both current and past clients.The BK web site gives this summary and description of the book:


  • Coauthored by Rob Lebow, author of the bestsellers A Journey into the Heroic Environment (over 220,000 copies sold) and Lasting Change (over 75,000 copies sold)
  • Presents a more effective and humane alternative to “control-based” management practices-the only option that most organizations think they have
  • Real-life examples reveal the benefits of this new approach to management


Accountability shows how to get people in organizations to be more personally accountable for high performance in their work and for the success of the organization - without resorting to the traditional management systems that rely on control and manipulation. Contrasted with three other commonly used, accountability models, the authors recommend Personal Accountability over all others. The author show, that by gaining a higher sense of self-worth and autonomy, the quality of employee decision-making skills is greatly improved. They then outline the seven steps needed to attain Personal Accountability, including: surroundings, seeds of change, and style of leadership.

For more information on the book and to purchase it visit Berrett-Koehler.




Creative Company - How St Lukes Became "the Ad Agency to End All Ad Agencies"
Andy Law

This book by Andy Law tells the story of the founding of St Lukes. It is a very interesting and enjoyable book that explains more fully than the Fast Company article the history, philosophy, and operations of the company. Although not an Extraordinary Organization in every respect, St Lukes comes very close and demonstrates the possibility of creating such an organization. The book received a 4 star rating from Amazon readers but unfortunately is no longer available from Amazon.




Web Sites

Mondragon Corporacion Cooperativa

Possibly the most interesting and far-reaching work on the ownership side of creating Extraordinary Organizations are the Mondragon Cooperatives. Located in the Basque region of spain they were started in the early 1940's by José María Arizmendiarrieta. These words of his quoted on the site give the flavor of their story.

"Nothing differentiates people as much as their respective attitudes to the circumstances in which they live. Those who opt to make history and change the course of events themselves have an advantage over those who decide to wait passively for the results of the change".
José María Arizmendiarrieta
(Ideologist and driving force behind the Mondragón Co-operative Experience)

This link will take you directly to the page where you can start to learn about the Mondragon Experience.


W. L. Gore & Associates

This company has pioneered some of the most interesting work on the path to Extraordinary Organizations. Although the site accentuates their excellent technology and products, it contains excellent information on its innovative organizational aspects. This link will take you directly to the best place to start, its about: culture page.


Research and Reports


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Extraordinary Organizations
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