Book & Inventory by Geoffrey Bellman, Kevin Coray & Kathleen Ryan

Extraordinary GroupsExtraordinary Groups

How Ordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results

Book & Inventory

Reviews & Endorsements for Extraordinary Groups

"Extraordinary Groups is an extraordinary book. Geoff Bellman and Kathleen Ryan have rigorously examined the compelling cases of sixty high-performing groups and revealed the elements of their success. This book is rich with uplifting stories that will inspire you, practical advice that will guide you, and applied exercises that will develop you and your team. If you want to know what is required of you to do truly amazing work in groups, then this is the place to start. Buy it now. Use it often."

—Jim Kouzes, Award-winning Co-author of the best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge, and Dean's Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University


"At a time when every organization is looking for ways inspire people, achieve more results and build loyalty, this book provides the way. The authors' ability to capture the practical techniques coupled with ideas on how to tap into people's real desire to contribute is astonishing. A must read for anyone interested in change and contribution."

—Carol Vipperman, President & Founder, Foundation for Russian American Economic Cooperation


"This book offers a useful model for being a great group leader or member, no small undertaking. Groups are the essential structure for making a difference in the world and this book adds to our capacity to create something important together. An easy read with a clear structure, I happily recommend it."

—Peter Block, Partner, Designed Learning, and Author of Community: The Structure of Belonging


"At last the book that answers how to get that 'special sauce' that makes some groups totally exceed our expectations while others fall so short. As a CEO and management consultant, it provided me with new insights through the powerful stories and practical guidance and an essential reminder of the ingredients that differentiate the ordinary from the extraordinary!"

—Ann A. Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO, Herrmann International


"In fifty years of consulting and facilitating, never has a book about groups so completely captured my interest, or provoked such deep reflection and insight as has Extraordinary Groups. Geoff Bellman and Kathleen Ryan not only capture the magic each of us feels in the presence of a deeply fulfilling group experience, but they also provide a map of the territory that can be followed by anyone seeking to create such experiences. Their work is firmly grounded in the observations and reflections of 60 members of Extraordinary Groups, from which they have distilled guidelines for success that are clear and doable without being overly simplistic. Their accompanying exercises can be used by anyone, whether group leader, facilitator, or member, to enhance your own experience of group life, and to help your group be all it can be-both in its impact on events in the world, and in providing satisfaction for the needs we all bring to group life."

—Roger Harrison, Consultant, Author, and Adjunct Professor, California Institute of Integral Studies


"'I am me not only because of who I am, but also because I am in relationship.' In Archbishop Tutu's philosophy, this view of us in relationship is a fundamental life force - especially relevant in these times of "six degrees of separation." Extraordinary Groups provides a blueprint for building the relationships that must occur as we find the synergies needed for problem solving and breakthrough."

—Patricia McLagan, Chair, Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation


"Anyone charged with leadership for a project, team or entire enterprise will be energized by this clear guide to providing outstanding outcomes through proven team tools. Amidst many works on teams this book emerges filled with clear and "try it today methods" to produce great outcomes through super teams."

—M. Jane Dailey, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Kindred Healthcare, East Region


"Lively stories, generative questions, and practical insights support tools that cut beneath the surface of groups. Bellman and Ryan invite us to mine our own experience, to learn from what we already know and recognize it for the first time. Coaches, managers, and leaders who want to make a difference will find Extraordinary Groups invaluable for staff meetings, leadership workshops and consultations."

—Laurent A. Parks Daloz, Senior Fellow, The Whidbey Institute


"This is a "must read" for leaders looking to achieve transformational results in their organizations. The authors not only make a compelling case about the power of engaging small groups, they give us a pragmatic blueprint to move groups to ever higher levels of performance."

—Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, JPMorgan Chase, Pacific NW, and Former CEO, The Seattle Foundation


"Change gets its legs when kindred spirits bond in a common purpose. In Extraordinary Groups Bellman and Ryan shed light on this essential, non-linear, relationship-based process. If you seek change, this book lends insight into an important aspect - creating teams that work."

— Peggy Holman, Co-Author, The Change Handbook


"This book is about more than groups - it's about understanding how humans interact and make decisions. In our interconnected and increasingly collaborative world this is essential learning for individuals and organizations that expect to deliver outcomes that exceed expectations."

—Colin Moseley, Chairman, Simpson Investment Company


"Carl Rogers once said that the predictable response of individuals who feel fully and deeply heard is that "the spine will tingle and the eyes will water!" Extraordinary Groups is for those of us who want to have that kind of experience on a regular basis through membership in passionate and powerfully productive groups. It is about understanding and appreciating what goes on at the intersection of transformative learning, peak experiences, high performing teams and the sustainable pursuit of meaningful work. The book offers an elegantly simple mosaic for perceiving and intervening in the ongoing life of groups that matter the most."

—Edie Seashore, MA, Organization Consultant and Charlie Seashore, Professor, Fielding Graduate University


"Over the years we've wondered why it is that some groups are dynamic and life-giving while others are so-so, missing some kind of essential spark and failing to meet our hopes and expectations. When the latter happens, we sometimes blame ourselves, the group, or throw up our hands and blame the misaligned planets! Enter this book, combining inspiring examples, thoughtful analysis and clear guidance about conditions that contribute to transformational work in small groups for the individuals involved as well as for the task at hand. What a timely, hopeful and helpful resource!"

—Marcy Jackson and Rick Jackson, Co-Directors, Center for Courage & Renewal


"Geoff Bellman and Kathleen Ryan have put together an engaging treatise on what makes for extraordinary teams. They eloquently take a very complex subject and boil it down to its most meaningful parts, all supported by stimulating real-world stories. I found the book to be pragmatic and backed by field research. In a nutshell, this extraordinary book should achieve amazing results."

—Stephen L. Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Global Solutions Management, Right Management


"Extraordinary Groups is the 21st century knowledge worker's survival guide. It reminds us that we are better together and explains how we can make ecstatic work experiences a best practice rather than a once in a life bitter-sweet memory."

—Bill Koenig, Administrative Director, Organization Systems Renewal Graduate Program, Seattle University


"Life is too short to spend time in groups that do not fulfill their promise." So say, Geoff Bellman and Kathleen Ryan who have studied over sixty Extraordinary Groups in variety of settings. In doing so they have identified six human needs that when met increase the likelihood of extraordinary things happing. Written with sensitivity and deep understanding of the human condition, Extraordinary Groups, is for people who are weary but not defeated by groups where both individuals and groups fall short of their true potential. Extraordinary Groups is destined to become a trusty guide for people who want to make a difference in their community, at work, or at home."

—Richard Axelrod, Author, Terms of Engagement: Changing The Way We Change Organizations


"For years, we've talked about the potential power of groups and teams and their ability to transform our organizations, our communities and our world. In Extraordinary Groups, Bellman and Ryan show leaders what's behind this power and offer practical advice and methods for fostering a team's abilities to achieve amazing results."

—Kim Wells, Organization Development Advisor, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


"Successful coaches, CEO's, and business owners know that they win when they engage not only the heads, but also the hearts of their teams. Bellman and Ryan show us how— read this book if you want extraordinary results."

—Jeff Blancett, Principal, the Galena Group