The Great Game of Business Blog

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During a Crisis – No Idea is Off the Table.

Dealing with this pandemic is exhausting. Whether your business is shut down, or booming, the uncertainty about whether you and your people might be safe is something that doesn’t stop. In our case at Springfield ReManufacturing Corp., we’ve been labeled an “essential” business. We make parts for key industries like defense, health care, and agriculture. And like Steve Choate, my longtime friend, and colleague, likes to say, “Farmers are gonna farm.” If we’re going to keep our factories open we need to do everything under God to keep them safe. It’s got me up at night, and up early in the morning, trying to think through every scenario I can dream of.
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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.
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10 Key Steps for your Business to Survive a Crisis

Jack Stack, CEO of SRC Holdings, is an early riser. It comes from a lifetime of working in factories. But these days, in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, Stack is getting even less sleep than normal. “My day starts at 4:30 a.m.,” he says.  Stack, like most business leaders these days, is trying everything he can think of to help keep the people who work at all divisions of Springfield Remanufacturing Company (SRC) safe and its factories running. It includes coming up with contingency plans to retain SRC’s employee-owners even if the factories are forced to shut down. Survival, to say the least, is a stressful job. 
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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?
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4 Reasons Your Employees Aren't on the Open-Book Bandwagon

Do you feel like your leadership team is finally ready to take the leap and open the books? But, you're worried some of your team aren't as enthusiastic as you hoped they would be? If you’re ready to start sharing your financial and operational information with employees, but you get the sense they’re just not ready yet, there could be some very logical – and common – reasons why. Today we discuss the top four reasons employees aren't ready to jump on the open-book management bandwagon. Maybe there's one or two that apply to your team. 
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How a Book Report Changed My Life: A Practitioners Story

Mar 6, 2020 by John Williams 1 Comment
January 30, 2006, was my first day on the job with Central States Manufacturing. During my initial on-boarding process I was given a copy of a book called The Great Game of Business® and was told to "write a book report” on what I thought the book was about. My new employer handed me my first task before the discussion about the companies health benefits, before showing me the videos on forklift safety and blood-borne pathogens, even before they'd gotten all my employee details logged. I’m not completely sure they had my social security card yet! It was THAT important to them. At the time, I had virtually no idea the impact of reading that book and working for a company like Central States would have on my life over the next 14 years. I'm here to tell you about how that book report completely redirected and changed my life. 
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3 Things to Consider When Self Implementing Open-Book Management

Deciding to implement a business system like open-book management is not something business owners take lightly. It's a powerful business tool that takes time, energy and commitment to follow through and keep going if you want to see the benefits. There's two ways to implement:  Do it yourself - aka "Self Implementation". Hire business coaches to help.  If you’ve been following the Great Game™ blog for a while, it's likely you've come across a few articles detailing each of these options. If you’re considering a DIY approach to getting started with open-book management, here are a few things to consider during the process. 
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4 Common Mistakes Companies Make with Open-Book Management

Feb 21, 2020 by Cassie Potts 2 Comments
For more than 25 years, we’ve helped thousands of companies implement open-book management to its fullest capacity. Along the way, we’ve developed a list of common mistakes companies make while using transparency and open-book management in their organization. If you think you are not executing open-book management correctly, or are not seeing the results you expected, then you may be making one of these four common errors:
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These Results are No Game: Real Results From Real Great Game™ Practitioners

Dec 13, 2019 by The Great Game Team 1 Comment
You've heard the Great Game of Business® is about transforming your business to achieve Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change™. But, you might be wondering: what results do our real practitioners experience? We've pulled together some of the amazing results and transformation from our 2019 All-Star champions. The principles of Great Game™ are time-tested to produce amazing results like these below. Could this be you?
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Jack Stack Reveals the Why Behind Great Game­™ in His Upcoming Book

  You might have heard that Jack Stack is releasing his third book.   His original bestselling book, The Great Game of Business, has inspired companies and business owners across the world with a life-changing business operating system that educates your people in the rules of business, rallies them around a common goal, empowers them to see and improve the score, and engages them by giving them skin in the game. It is in its 34th printing, was recently selected as one of the "100 Best Business Books of All Time," has been cited in 140 scholarly articles and 100 business books, and has been published in 14 languages.   Now Jack is releasing his new book, Change the Game: Saving the American Dream By Closing the Gap Between the Haves and the Have-Nots to share the Why behind the Great Game of Business® operating system:
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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger: Surviving the Recession by Starting with Why

Anthony Wilder is a full-service, custom architecture, construction, and interior design provider founded by the husband-and-wife team of Anthony and Liz Wilder. The Wilder team has been creating award-winning projects in and around the Washington, DC, metropolitan and tri-state area for more than twenty years. Back in 2006, the company was setting records in helping their customers’ dreams come true as the housing market boomed. Revenues were way up, and the firm had built up a two-year pipeline of backlog work to come. Everything was going great, and as the old saying goes, “Why fix something that isn’t broken?” And then the recession hit.
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Are You Too Afraid to Open the Books?

If you are reading this and haven't already "opened the books" to share company financials with your employees, my guess is it's because you are scared. What are your real concerns about open-book management? Financial transparency in business is a concept so new, so counter to the way business has always been done, no wonder it scares people. Just the thought of opening the books is followed by a whole list of what-ifs. The thing is - it's not actually that scary when you break it down. Here are our answers when people hit us with the what-ifs:
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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.