Time To Play The “Game”: When Jack Stack Opened His Books, He Bridged the Gap Between Employee and Manager, Changed the Way Businesses Operate, and Established Himself As a National Business Thought Leader In the Process
They thought it was crazy.
They told him not to do it.
They said it was an unnecessary step.
But in 1983, Jack Stack had no other choice. Faced with the daunting task of turning around a dying division of International Harvester, (a missive that would save over 100 jobs), Jack took a bold step that had been practically unheard of up until that point: he opened up the company’s financial books to its employees. Even though others thought such information was to be made available on a strictly “need to know” basis, Jack showed them, line by line, what the company was up against, and provided the employees with quantifiable, actionable objectives based on those initial numbers.
And it worked!
Not only did Jack turn around the fortunes of International Harvester some 32 years ago, but since then, his style of “open book management” has worked many times over, including Jack’s signature company, SRC Holdings. Dubbed a “management mecca” by BusinessWeek, SRC Holdings is a conglomerate of over three dozen companies, and 1,200-plus of the most engaged “employee owners” you’d ever want to meet, each one knowing not only THAT his or her efforts matter, but, thanks to open book management, knowing HOW and WHY they matter.
Jack’s simple, but groundbreaking step has been a gamechanger for business in America, as business large and small continue to thrive, simply by keeping their employees in the loop. As for Jack, he has parlayed his experience into writing one of the “must haves” of any business bookshelf, “The Great Game of Business”, contributing frequently to leading business publications such as Inc Magazine, and positioning himself as one of the most sought-after strategy consultants and thought leaders in American business.
On this episode, Jack joins Raja on “The Raja Show” to tell his story. They’ll talk about how the idea of open book management came to be, the importance of employee engagement in the workplace, and how mastering a game such as chess or fantasy football really isn’t all that different from mastering the basic principles of business. Whichever side of the “manager/employee” line you fall on, you’ll want to know more about how the idea of open book management can help you succeed in business.