The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company
By Jack Stack, Bo Burlingham
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 principal, of athletic competition and democracy: keeping score, having fun, playing fair, providing choice, and having a voice. With these principals 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. As part of the Currency paperback line, the book includes a “User’s Guide” — an introduction and discussion guide created for the paperback by the author — to help readers make practical use of the book’s ideas. Jack Stack is the president and CEO of the Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation, in Springfield, Missouri. The recipient of the 1993 Business Enterprise Trust Award, Jack speaks throughout the country on The Great Game Of Business and Open Book Management.