In the early 1980s, Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation (SRC) in Springfield, Missouri, was a near bankrupt division of International Harvester. That’s when a green young manager, Jack Stack, took over and turned it around. He didn’t know how to “manage” a company, but he did know about the principle of athletic competition and democracy: keeping score, having fun, playing fair, providing choice, and having a voice. With these principles he created his own style of management – open-book management. The key is to let everyone in on financial decisions. At SRC, everyone learns how to read a P&L — even those without a high school education know how much the toilet paper they use cuts into profits. SRC people have a piece of the action and a vote in company matters. Imagine having a vote on your bonus and on what businesses the company should be in. SRC restored the dignity of economic freedom to its people. Stack’s “open-book management” is the key — a system which, as he describes it here, is literally a game, and one so simple anyone can use it.
The 20th Anniversary Edition of The Great Game of Business includes a new introduction and commentary by the author and a “Get in the Game” how-to guide to help readers begin implementing the ideas detailed in the book. The original book, published in 1992, became the primer for open-book management; a (then) new method based on the concept of democracy, the spirit of sports and the reality of numbers. The Great Game of Business has become a business classic and driven thousands of executives to visit Springfield, Missouri to attend “The SRC Experience” where they can meet the employees at SRC, learn how open-book management works and see the results firsthand.