The Great Game of Business Blog

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

The Great Game Changed Our Culture and Business

We were humbled and honored to be inducted into the Great Game of Business All-Star Hall of Fame. The Great Game of Business has changed the way we do business, but that is secondary to the sense of ownership, pride, and resilience that has come from playing The Game. Our team member’s reflections on how our work culture has changed say it best.  
Read More

What is Democracy in Business?

We run SRC with a lot of participation, but it is not a democracy in the political sense of the word. A political democracy derives its authority from the consent of the governed. A company derives its authority from the consent of the marketplace. The people who work for a company may think it’s just terrific, but they’ll have to work somewhere else if the company doesn’t make money or runs out of cash. So the market tells us what a lot of our decisions have to be. Often the trick is to recognize what it’s saying.
Read More

And The Winner Is…

Mar 2, 2021 by Jack Stack 2 Comments
How Healthy Competition Drives Continuous Creativity And Productivity At SRC By Jack Stack   I’m a big believer in the positive power of competition. I believe it’s a universal truth that all people like to win—and hate to lose. But as I’ve written about before, losing is also an opportunity to learn and to improve. So, why wouldn’t we try to build in some of that healthy competition into the workplace? To take some of the drudgery out of our day-to-day routines and spice things up with some competition? At a fundamental level, that’s what The Great Game of Business® is all about.
Read More

You Don’t Have To Go It Alone

Jan 19, 2021 by Darren Dahl 2 Comments
  How One Business Owner Empowers Her Team To Think And Act Like Owners In 2006, Aimee Woodall set off from Georgia on a 2,190-mile adventure to hike the Appalachian Trail. Alone. Woodall was inspired to tackle the five-month trek a year earlier when she inadvertently struck up a conversation with a couple of hikers in the town of Hot Springs, NC. While Woodall, a native of Houston, Texas, wasn’t much of a hiker at the time, she wasn’t going to let that fact get in the way of beginning an epic adventure. “It’s my personality to dive into things in an extreme way,” says Woodall. “And I like the challenge of jumping into something cold turkey. I don’t let fear get in my way.”
Read More

How Do You Build Confidence?

Nov 9, 2020 by Jack Stack 1 Comment
I recently wrote a blog about how, when our company conducted our second High-Involvement Planning (HIP) meeting in October, only 74% of our associates told us they were confident in the sales plan for the company—which was down from an 80% confidence rating when we conducted the same survey in June. Historically, we’ve seen confidence ratings consistently in the high 80s—sometimes into the 90s. Maybe it’s easy to write off the 74% number due to the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic as well as the election and other factors. But it did get me wondering about what truly inspires confidence in people. That led me to conduct an informal survey where I asked our associates to send me their responses to a simple question: “How do you build confidence?” I was blown away by the diverse range of answers we received. I found it interesting to see all the different approaches people recommended, so I grouped them into a couple of categories:
Read More

Closing The Gap Between The Haves and The Have-Nots

Sep 2, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
  “Business can be a step to make a positive difference in the world. It empowers people to pursue their dreams.” Those are the opening words that Jack Stack and I wrote in our new book, Change the Game: Saving the American Dream By Closing the Gap Between the Haves and the Have-notes. Our goal in writing the book was to share stories about the brighter side of capitalism. We wanted to show real-life examples about how we can create better lives for ourselves and our communities—and bridge the wealth gap plaguing our society—by teaching people the rules of business, helping them keep score, and by sharing A Stake in the Outcome®.  We wanted to shed light on the positive ripple effect that results when you build a business of business-people who think and act as owners do.
Read More

Do You Play The Game...Even When You Lose?

Jun 30, 2020 by Robert Isherwood 0 Comments
      I’d like to tell you a story. Let me begin with a disclaimer, it’s not about winning big or how The Great Game of Business® instantly made us hugely profitable and loads of fun. It’s a terrible story about losing. Also, I have not been involved in open-book management or The Great Game of Business very long. Truth be told, I’m about as green as anyone can be. Here’s the 10 second backstory – AMBAC International has been manufacturing precision engine components for over 100 years. The men and women on the shop floor know what they’re doing. I’ll tell anyone they’re the best in the world, and I’ve got the data to back that up. But, the shop floor wasn’t really connected to the ‘business’ and everyone suffered from poor corporate performance as a result. In fact, we were in real danger of losing the company.
Read More

When Winning is the Bedrock of Your Culture

Jun 18, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
  There is a secret weapon in the fight against COVID-19: America’s urgent care clinics. While Americans have long relied on these walk-in clinics for help in overcoming ailments like the flu and mononucleosis, the fear of COVID has kept people away from healthcare centers across the country. Lacking adequate personal protection equipment, urgent care center visit volumes, decreased 50% almost overnight.
Read More

Who Says Business Isn’t Personal?

Jun 2, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
  We all know some version of the line that appears in the iconic film, The Godfather, where Michael Corleone says to his brother, Sonny: “It’s not personal…it’s strictly business.” Turns out that the phrase was reportedly coined in real life by a guy named Otto Berman, who also happened to be an accountant for organized crime families. With a checkered origin like this, why has this phrase become so wildly accepted? 
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

The Secret to Creating an Ownership Culture: Hint—It's Not Just About Equity

Oct 29, 2019 by John Williams 0 Comments
Ownership Advantage: Financial Literacy is Key  to Creating an Ownership Culture Over the years I have talked to several business owners who want their employees to think and act like owners. They want them to be engaged and passionate about their jobs. They want them to enjoy coming to work. These owners often see setting up an ESOP as a way to change the organization’s culture and instill the aforementioned traits of thinking and acting like an owner. Two or three years later, I talk to some of the same owners, who at one time saw the ESOP as a cure for their culture problems and now are blaming the ESOP and the employees for their inability to create an ownership culture. They say: “I started this ESOP thinking that it would make all my employees care about their jobs. It hasn’t done anything. In fact, their behavior is worse now.” One would ask: “Why is it worse?” The answer is that these owners were using leadership to manage employees before the ESOP and after the ESOP they quit leading and managing them at all because they thought the ESOP would do this for them. I’ve heard of several cases like this. So, if the ESOP is not going to be the magic potion, what is?
Read More

Lists by Topic

see all

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.