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A Manager's Job Is to Come Up with Answers

Apr 17, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. It's very common for managers, especially new managers, to think they're supposed to have solutions for any problems that arise on their watch. That kind of thinking can get you into deep trouble. For one thing, it sets you up to fail because no one has all the answers. For another, it undermines your credibility because everyone knows that no one has all the answers. It also isolates you from people. A big pitfall of managers at all levels is the notion they have to be perfect. I know supervisors who can't hold a meeting because they're afraid someone might ask a question they can't answer. As I mentioned earlier, I know CEOs who can't leave their offices unless their ties are straight and every hair is in place. Managers like that wind up hating their jobs. They feel they have to live up to an image, to be an idol, to be a representative of a position.
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Nice Guys Finish Last

Apr 10, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. We've all heard how you have to be an S.O.B. to succeed in business. How you have to step on other people to get results. How it's okay to throw your weight around because it's a tough world and you win through intimidation. It's all a crock. I've worked on the shop floor. Believe me, nobody there wants to hear a guy telling you to bust your butt if he's rolling around in a Mercedes and beating up the people he works with. When you flaunt what you've got, when you intimidate, when you treat people badly, you lose power. I've watched guys like that throughout my life. I've learned it's just a matter of time before they get theirs.
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Don't Tell People the Truth—They'll Screw You

Mar 30, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. You may wonder if it's possible to play the Great Game of Business anywhere-in a division of a giant conglomerate, say, or in a factory with a dominant union, or in a company that doesn't share equity with employees or have an intelligent bonus system. In fact, The Game started in a place exactly like that, in a very small department at the huge International Harvester plant in Melrose Park, Illinois. It was there that I learned most of what I know about managing, and everything I've tried to forget about leadership.
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Remembering Herb Kelleher

Jan 4, 2019 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
I was saddened to hear about the loss of Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines. I’ll never forget the time back in the early 1990s when I was invited to Texas to talk about the Great Game of Business with Herb and his team at Southwest. After I gave my talk, I figured everything I had shared about our open-book story wasn’t worth much given how big Southwest was and how many locations they operated out of. I wasn’t sure our Great Game system would work in a big company. Then Herb stood up. He took over the podium and told his leaders that there were only five things that could take out their company: their five unions. I admit I was shocked because I didn’t know they were a union company. But Herb then told his team that the only way their airline was going to make it was if they could teach everyone, all ninety thousand people—including every union employee—how the company made money and generated cash.
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Why “People” Is Our New Critical Number

Oct 18, 2018 by Jack Stack 5 Comments
I might have raised a few eyebrows this past September when I gave my speech at the 26th Gathering of Games in Dallas. I talked about how we were now fighting a war for talent and that, thanks to retiring Baby Boomers and a hot economy, we now face a critical shortage of people. Without people, we will not be able to keep growing the business by taking advantage of the opportunities ahead of us. It’s our belief that by the year 2020, the companies with the best people will dominate their markets. In my speech, I explained that the Critical Number™ for our business for 2019 was going to be “people.” I thought that some members of the audience started to think they were at the wrong conference. (Was this some kind of HR seminar?)
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The Four Pillars of Leadership

Apr 28, 2015 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
As I was growing up on the shop floors of manufacturing plants, I was constantly bombarded with best practices that had names like total quality management, management by objectives and lean manufacturing. The idea was that the company’s management was trying to make us more productive and efficient. If one person could run a machine and still have time to stand around, we would give him two more machines to run. That was breakthrough thinking, essentially operating those two extra machines for free since we increased the productivity of this worker.
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The 4 "Cs" of Long-Term Planning: Capabilities, Capacity, Constraint & Culture

Jan 20, 2015 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
As you likely know, forecasting is an integral part of what we do at SRC. We come together twice a year to create a plan of what our organization will look like one year out, five years out, and even 10 years into the future. This is where our organization can, according to the legendary business writer Jim Collins, identify its BHAGs – or big hairy audacious goals. 
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The 4 "Cs" of Long-Term Planning: Capabilities, Capacity, Constraint & Culture - The Great Game of Business The Great Game of Business

Jan 20, 2015 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
As you likely know, forecasting is an integral part of what we do at SRC. We come together twice a year to create a plan of what our organization will look like one year out, five years out, and even 10 years into the future. This is where our organization can, according to the legendary business writer Jim Collins, identify its BHAGs – or big hairy audacious goals. 
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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.