Before starting Imagine Schools, Dennis Bakke was successful in both government and business.  After co-founding the global energy company AES in 1981, Dennis applied a unique organizational philosophy that put decision-making in the hands of employees who were closest to the problems. This decentralized leadership approach resulted in high levels of employee satisfaction and dedication.  This approach has been featured in the business press (e.g. Forbes) and in case studies at Harvard and other leading business schools.  After leaving AES, Dennis published Joy at Work, a business best-seller about this approach.

The story of Imagine Schools began with Dennis’ desire to apply the work philosophy to the education field. The Shared Value of Fun at Imagine Schools – decentralized leadership, freedom with responsibility, utilizing each person’s gifts to their maximum, and giving decision-making power to people closest to the action – is a new concept in the world of public education. This approach empowers teachers and staff and gives them the freedom and flexibility to apply the best learning models to meet each student’s unique needs.

For more information about the Joy at Work philosophy, to access resources, and/or to order a copy of the book, visit