You Can't Change History
No matter where it is practiced, Open-Book Management has two critical elements: sharing business information (open-book) and developing a process that enables everyone to use that information to improve the company (management). You can’t simply open up the books and expect more engagement and improved results – you have to actively and persistently manage the process. That’s where the Great Game comes in.
The Great Game of Business is about running your business in a strategic, forward thinking fashion. Employees are taught the rules of business, enabled and expected to improve performance based on that knowledge, and given a Stake in the Outcome – good or bad. They aren’t looking to historical financial information for answers, they are forecasting the future of the business and making it happen.
Whats in a Game?
Jack Stack, President of SRC Holdings and “Father of Open-Book Management” as coined by INC. Magazine, didn’t aim to trivialize business, but to demystify it. Business is a game, after all. It’s not an art or a science. It’s a competitive undertaking with rules, ways of keeping score, elements of luck and talent, winners and losers. It can be as exciting, as challenging, as interest and as fun as any game – provided, that is, you understand the rules and are given a chance to play. The difference is that in business, the stakes are higher, much higher.’
How do you teach people the business and make it understandable, interesting, meaningful and maybe even a little fun? That’s the challenge – and that’s where The Game comes in. What if we could approach our day-to-day business activities with the same state of preparation, the same level of knowledge, the same enthusiasm, and most importantly, the same desire to win as we do with any competitive endeavor we pursue?
The Game is strategy and management practice that takes the basic components of any game, applies them to the challenge of running a business, and provides employees (the players) a way to understand, participate and contribute in the overall performance of the business. The Game levels the playing field and gives everyone the opportunity to act and take responsibility for the success of the company.
The Principles of The Great Game of Business
Should be given the measures of business success and taught to understand them
Know & Teach the Rules
Should be expected and enabled to act on their knowledge to improve performance
Follow the Action & Keep Score
Should have a direct stake in the company’s success or risk of failure