“The Great Game of Business” is a book centered around one very interesting idea: share every detail of a company’s financials with its employees. At Springfield Remanufacturing Company (SRC), Jack Stack started doing just that.
Stack found that actively broadcasting the financial numbers created an awareness in every corner of the company (of several hundred people). Using the numbers, and some vision, he created a shift in the company’s culture, one which got folks very excited about their work.
The numbers became the score of a great game, in which the company became very engaged. Perhaps it’s just our nature of creating scores and trying to beat them. Or perhaps it was the bonus program, and the equity sharing, that were offered as the reward. But, by nurturing the spirit of the game, and figuring out how to keep accurate and up to date scores, Stack rallied hundreds of folks around a common cause: to win the game.
Stack is convinced that his philosophy and methods can be generalized for any type of company, though the reader will see all the concrete stuff in the context of the engine re-manufacturing factory. The bonus plan is an important part of their setup. It is awarded quarterly, based on the actual numbers against the projected income for the fiscal year.
Further details are left to the book, and the meat of those details are found in the latter half. But the whole book lays out a great philosophy about pushing decisions, responsibility, information, ownership, and reward to everyone in the company. The financial numbers are crucial because they are the true and concrete measures of success, but they also provide the means through which people are tied together for a common goal. This core basis of the book is the big takeaway, and it’s made all the more compelling with very real details from the history of SRC.