Extreme Teams


Book Title: Extreme Teams: why Pixar, Netflix, AirBnB, and other cutting-edge companies succeed where most fail
Author:  Robert Bruce Shaw
Publisher:  American Management Association
List Price:  $27.95/15.37      Format:  hardback/e-book
Publication Date:   2017      ISBN: 978-0-8144-3717-9
Reviewer:     Femi Fakinlede, PMP
Review Date:   January 2018



EXTREME TEAMS, ET for short, is a well-organized and thorough analysis of cutting edge firms that exist today.  More specifically, it’s about AIRBNB, WHOLEFOODS, PIXAR, NETFLIX, PATAGONIA and ALIBABA.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book highlights the reasons why these firms are so cutting edge. From the Teams working within the company to the philosophy adopted at the top of the company.  ET describes why and how these firms stand the test of time, deal with competition and manage to keep the employees and teams empowered through the policies adopted or not adopted.

ET is a book that gives great insight for companies looking to maximize their footprint in their respective industry.  It also gives ideas for those firms and teams that would like to hire the best employees and motivate them to perform at the highest level they can.


A company’s philosophy and culture are ways that sustain a company.  For Patagonia, the company that specializes in making gear for outdoor enthusiast, they market to the “Dirt bag” individual.  This individual loves the outdoors and doesn’t mind getting dirty.  Their gear is durable and long-lasting and made with great quality.

Whole Foods has really developed the ultimate Team dynamic.  They take serious attention to the teams that make up the store, both at the local/neighborhood level also at the corporate level.

These Extreme teams believe in creating an individual Culture of their own.  A culture that is not copied but one that is created from within.  It speaks of Culture as originating from a Cognitive angle and from an Emotional angle.  Team members are thought of as being both Result and Relationship driven.  There exists a deep passion for the work they do, some would call somewhat obsessive compassion.  What makes a company of cutting edge caliber is the unified passion that is demonstrated.

Highlights: What I liked!

Will this person be a good FIT? This is a question ET asks.  While most mediocre firms/teams look to hire and make sure that each position remains filled, cutting edge firms seek to only bring in individuals who fit within their culture.  If there is no fit, they will not be hired.  This is because of 2 reasons, first, this person will ultimately not contribute in the long run and secondly, the team will end up lagging behind.  In a scenario where Teams are rewarded based on performance metrics, this is the way in which they remain competitive.  Eventually, only hiring individuals that make a good fit leads to quite a homogeneous group, some will say they all behave in a Clone-like manner.


To read entire Book Review, click here


About the Reviewer

Femi Fakinlede

Maryland, USA


Femi Fakinlede
 is a PMP certified government consultant.  A trained accountant who holds the CGFM certification and brings to the table 20 years of experience in financial management. He is also a data analytics professional specializing in data extraction and mining, process development and root cause analysis. He can be contacted at [email protected]


Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Silver Spring Maryland Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Silver Spring Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Silver Spring Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

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