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The BookWorm: Corporate Rebels

This is a book I recently finished: Corporate Rebels – Make Work More Fun, by Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree.

The authors take us on a voyage to a bucketful of business cases of companies that took radical approaches in their (re-)organizations. We see a large variety of industries, from software to outdoor gear, through manufacturing and health care. And, while not strictly “industries”, a ministry and a nuclear submarine. We’re are going to visit California, Brazil, Switzerland, China, Spain and many other places, including the authors’ Netherlands. And they'll acompany us by interviewing key players as well as employees.

And what do we learn during this journey? In one shot, from my point of view: that organizations and their individuals are capable of much more if the workplace environment is appropriate. Take one example: if the command structure of a business is changed from hierarchical to an autonomous-groups based scheme, where you put staff in charge, not just “empowering them” but giving them full responsibility, it leads to speeded up decision making (closer to where the real problem is), higher involvement and motivation and overhead reduction. And this way we learn about changing our perspectives from “profit” to “purpose & values” of from “rules & control” to “freedom and trust”, just to mention two of the eight dimensions the authors cover. Other keywords here are “network”, “leadership”, “experiment”, “authority”, “transparency” and “talents”.


Not intended to be a “guideline” of any sort, as each case is a world by its own and must find its own suitable solution, we are presented in each chapter with five degrees of implementation: from less drastic (but drastic enough to raise some eyebrows) to full radical.

I enjoyed reading this book. Without a lot of business or behavioral theory, the underlying ideas in the many cases examined come clearly into light and the reader can easily follow through the reasoning. And you don’t need to be in a managerial position, just keep your mind open to learn what could be done better in your workplace.


Joost and Pim have gone further and created a “Corporate Rebels” movement, with the aim of making work more fun. You can follow them under or searching the hashtag #CorporateRebels in LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.

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