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When employees think & act like owners…


A few weeks ago I attended “The Great Game of Business” management leadership series seminar by Jack Stack. Jack started with his experience of working with SRC which at that time was a nearly bankrupt division of International Harvester in Springfield, Missouri. That's when Jack Stack and 12 other managers took over and came up with $100,000 to put toward a loan of $9,000,000 (A debt ratio of 89 to 1 -- the highest leveraged buyout in corporate America to date). Jack lays his emphasis on creating a business of business people. The three mantras for success of a business are -

1. Create leaders.
2. Become a successful business of business people.
3. Create business people who think and act like owners.

Stack’s methodology states that making money is not just the responsibility of the upper management and executives. Stack is a strong proponent of open book management where the employees understand the financial performance and strategic goal of an organization. Stack summarizes his ‘game’ as follows-

1. Know and teach the rules
2. Follow the action & keep score
3. Provide a stake in the outcome

1. Know and teach the rules
- High involvement planning (twice a year)
Part 1
- Market analysis
- Market competitive data
- Customer survey results
- Our strategy to accomplish growth
Part 2
- Sales and marketing performance
- Forecast for 12 months + 4 years
- Contingencies
- Employee buy-in survey results

- Financial planning (annually)
- Income statement
- Cash flow statement
- Balance sheet
- Bonus program/critical number
- Succession plan

- Business Training
- Classroom /formal training
- Tuition refund
- Interactive /informal training

2. Follow the action (weekly) & keep score (daily)
- Forward thinking - Adjust to a radically changing environment.
- Communication - A collective sense of responsibility for the direction and performance of the company.
- Create Wins - Reflecting day to day movement. Moment to moment excitement.

3. Provide a stake in the outcome
- Instant recognition - People need to be recognized for their contributions and their talents. They don’t want to be treated as part of a mob.
- Career opportunities
- Ownership equity - Believe in creating wealth for those you work with while you create wealth for yourself.

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