Extreme Teams


Title: Extreme Teams: Why PIXAR, AIRBNB and Other Cutting-Edge Companies Succeed Where Most Fail
Author: Robert Bruce Shaw
Publisher: www.amacombooks.org
List Price:   $27.95
Format: Hard Cover; 256 pages
Publication Date:   2017    
ISBN: 978-0-8144-3717-9
Reviewer: Douglas Dodd, Jr., MBA, PMP
Review Date: June 2017



This book tackles the lesser-addressed issue of high-performance teams and their critical impact to the success of some of the highest achieving organizations of today. The reader gets a peek inside of the mindset of the organizational founders and their drive to build and keep their corporate culture alive through the use of high-performance teams.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is structured into 7 chapters. They are designed based on the statement “The common approach of the highly successful organizations reviewed in the book is that they (value)”:

  1. Results and Relationships
  2. Foster a Shared Obsession
  3. Value Fit over Capabilities
  4. Focus More, then Less
  5. Push Harder, Push Softer
  6. Take Comfort in Discomfort

Chapter seven then reviews results as proof of their successful utilization of teams:

7. Teams at the Extremes

The remainder of the book is its Acknowledgements, Chapter Notes and Index sections, which come in handy if you wish to dive further into any one of the companies studied.


This book takes a very balanced, shockingly brutal look at the benefits, costs and potential pitfalls of utilizing high-performance teams as the cornerstone of your employee alignment model.

For every success, the author is quick to list a noted failure and stresses that the high-performance team approach is not for every organization. For instance, organizations who need to maintain the status quo such as regulatory and various City, County, State and Federal agencies may not utilize high-performance teams as effectively as the private sector. Indeed, high-performance teams may introduce fear and job insecurity in institutions that can’t compete in the compensation market against private sector business and use job security as a major recruiting chip for those people more interested in a work/family balance than at-market salaries.


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About the Reviewer

Douglas Dodd, Jr

North Texas, USA


Douglas Dodd, Jr
, MBA, PMP, OCA, Oracle 10g, 11g DBA, Network+, Security+, is a member of the PMI Dallas Chapter and has been involved in project management at multiple levels over the last decade, as a stakeholder, team-member or project manager. He has 20+ years of experience as a Business Analyst, Finance Manager, Financial Information Systems Manager and Business Software Solutions Analyst. He currently works as a consultant in Higher Education at Columbia Advisory Group in Dallas, TX. He is also on the Adjunct staff of Dallas Baptist University in Dallas TX. He currently resides in Wylie, TX with his wife Ava and son Brandon. Douglas can be contacted at [email protected]


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