The Great Game of Business Blog

Sign up to receive our blog posts conveniently in your email box

Greatness Comes from Looking Ahead

Jul 28, 2020 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
What a 9-year-old Can Teach Us About Life One Saturday morning, I found myself standing and watching a Little League baseball game. I had a mask on my face and was safely isolated away from anyone else. It was so weird. But I enjoyed being outside in the sun, hearing the familiar sounds of a ball popping into leather and the pings of the bat when hitters made contact. It almost felt like the start of something new.
Read More

When the Virus Hits Close to Home - A Tribute

Apr 13, 2020 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
Even on days when there might be a glimmer of hope in turning the corner on this pandemic gripping our country—when it seems like we might actually be flattening the curve—bad news can hit in an instant. We learned on April 8, we lost one of our own. Warren Burros, a longtime Springfield Remanufacturing Company associate passed away after battling Covid-19. Warren was part of the SRC team right from our start in 1983 and was with us until the day he retired in 2006 at the age of 65.
Read More

There Are ALWAYS Positives - Even During a Pandemic

Apr 10, 2020 by Jack Stack 3 Comments
There’s an unspoken rule of thumb in the news business that says, “If it bleeds; it leads.” Bad news, it seems, helps move newspapers, sell ads on TV, and generate clicks or “likes” on social media. I can remember a different time when professional journalists and broadcasters prided themselves on taking a more balanced approach to report the news. They were careful to never be too positive—or too negative. Things are very different today. Maybe social media has brought about this change. Now it seems that everyone’s first instinct is to look for the negative angle on an issue—especially when it relates to business.
Read More

There's No Shame in Trying To Save Your Business

Mar 30, 2020 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
A few days ago, I received a frantic call from a small business owner. This entrepreneur, who I’ll call Molly to protect the innocent, runs two retail shops. Like many similar brick-and-mortar businesses around the country, she had seen a dramatic drop in her sales over the past few weeks. Now, things were about to get worse; a lot worse. The state was mandating all retail shops like hers—along with restaurants, cafes, and other “non-essential” businesses—shut down to avoid spreading the coronavirus. Molly was beyond scared. Of course, she wanted to do the right thing and keep her people and her customers safe. But, by doing that, she wasn’t sure how she would pay her credit card, her rent, her banker, and her vendors. Worse, she wasn’t sure what would happen to her dozen or so employees—some of whom had worked with her for years.
Read More

Taking the Fear Out of the Workplace

Mar 17, 2020 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
Fear. Uncertainty. A growing sense of panic every time the president delivers a national address filled with increasingly bad news. Even with interest rates at essentially zero percent, the stock market (and 401(k) balances) continues to tumble. Chatter around the workplace is filled with questions like: Should I get married? Can I afford to pay my rent? Will I get sick? Will I have a job tomorrow? Sound familiar?
Read More

Creating & Distributing Wealth: Are You Doing Your Part To Raise the Standard?

Dec 26, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
One thing that scares me about our economy is the whole trend of downsizing. What’s really going on is that companies are getting rid of people and replacing them with machines. They view people as a contingent liability. They’re missing the fact that productivity depends on people. I don’t disagree that machines can make you more competitive. They can absorb overhead. They don’t take breaks. They don’t go on vacation. They don’t sit around wasting time. What machines can’t do is figure out how to make money. Only people can do that. If you have people who know how to make money, you’ll win every time.
Read More

Why You Need to Get Rid of the Employee Mentality

Dec 18, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
The big payoff to us for playing The Game is that we become a more educated, more flexible organization. We can respond instantaneously to changes in the market. We can turn on a dime for a customer if we have to. We can respond to problems in the length of time it takes to place a phone call. We can do all that because we have a company filled with people who not only are owners, but who also think and act like owners, not like employees. That’s an important distinction. Getting people to think and act like owners goes far beyond giving them equity. 
Read More

Why We Want to Do Away with Jobs

Dec 10, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
How often have you heard this: “All we ask you is to do the job, nothing more.” Well, I don’t want people just to do a job. I want them to have a purpose in what the hell they’re doing. I want them to be going somewhere. I want them to be excited about getting up in the morning, to look forward to what they’re going to do that day. Maybe it’s a matter of tricking people into wanting to come to work. I say “tricking” because I don’t think it’s a natural thing. Most people would rather be doing something other than work—I certainly would—but they feel they don’t have any choice. Companies reinforce that feeling. They not only tell people just to do the job, they set up the work so it is just a job. They say, “Drill as many of these holes as possible, as fast as possible, and don’t think about anything else.” That’s one way to run a company. What you wind up with are workers who think a job is just a job. I call them the living dead.
Read More

As a Leader, Are You Living Up to Your End of the Employment Bargain?

Nov 22, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
I have always believed that you take on a big obligation when you hire somebody. That person needs to bring home money, put food on the table, take care of children. You can't take that obligation lightly. Of course, the individual has obligations to the company as well. Employment is a two-way street. But as much as possible I want it to be someone's choice whether or not he or she leaves the company. It really bothers me to see people laid off through no fault of their own. To prevent that from happening, we have a contract among ourselves. Everything we do is based on a common understanding that job security is paramount—that we are creating a place for people to work not just this year or five years from now, but for the next fifty years and beyond. We owe it to one another to keep the company alive.
Read More

The 4 C's of Long-Term Business Planning

Nov 1, 2019 by Jack Stack 1 Comment
As you likely know, forecasting is an integral part of what we do at SRC Holdings Corporation. 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. Whenever we wrap these meetings, there’s almost always a sense of euphoria among us: “Wow! We are going to accomplish some great things together!”  It's incredible to see everyone excited about where we’re headed together and what we plan to accomplish. But I want to push the pause button here for a minute because this is where a lot of organizations get tripped up. Putting your targets out there isn’t the conclusion. It’s just the beginning. 
Read More

Jack Stack: Why I Wrote a New Book

Sep 3, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Making the decision to write a book isn’t for the faint of heart. For most people, it takes a significant investment of time and sometimes money to pull it off. There’s also the question of why you would ever write a book in the first place. At times, it can seem like a very egocentric exercise: Look at me and what I wrote! And don’t get me started on what happens when people actually read and remember what you wrote – down to the page number and paragraph. They hold you accountable for it. To be honest, I never figured I would ever write another book after Bo Burlingham and I wrote two of them, The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome back in the 1990s. I had already experienced my moment in the spotlight. What more could I possibly have to say?
Read More

The Four Pillars of Leadership

May 20, 2019 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.
Read More

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.