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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.
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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. 
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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?
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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.
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Overcoming Your Fear of Disclosure: Part II

May 13, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
  Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. The Great Fear #2 Is It Competitors You Fear—Or Your Own Employees?  Sad to say, a lot of companies hide their financials not because they're afraid of their competitors, but because they're afraid of their employees. They don't think people will understand the numbers, and there's some truth to that. If you don't show employees how to use financial information as a tool to help the company, they might well use it as a weapon against the company.
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Overcoming Your Fear of Disclosure: Part I

May 6, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
 Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. How do you get to the point where you can even think about democratizing the workplace—about being a transparent business that gives people access to the numbers and therewith the means to control their destiny? Not by swallowing your pride and admitting that you don't have all the answers and can't make all the decisions. No, it's by swallowing your fear. The Great Fear #1 What If Competitors Get Hold of Your Numbers?
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Don't Worry About the Big Issues, Just Do Your Job

May 1, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. Like most American companies, International Harvester operated on the principle that everybody should focus on doing the specific job he or she was assigned. The corollary was that you should only give people the information required to do their specific jobs; everything else should be treated as some kind of corporate secret. Somehow it had become common wisdom that this was a good way to run a business—in fact, the only right way to run a business. That is the biggest myth of all.
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It's a Big Mistake to Promote People Too Quickly

Apr 24, 2019 by Jack Stack 0 Comments
Excerpted from The Great Game of Business. The common wisdom is that people should prove themselves before they get promoted. I always promoted people as fast as I could. Sometimes I promoted them right out of my department. I liked giving people opportunities, and I didn't want them to get bored and stale, but I had an ulterior motive as well: it made my job a lot easier to have friends all over the company.
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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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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.