In his groundbreaking book, The Great Game of Business, Jack Stack states:
"What lies at the heart of the Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the financial outcome, good or bad."
After introducing the reader to “The Higher Laws of Business,” he devotes an entire page to "The Ultimate Higher Law.” Stack states: “When you appeal to the highest level of thinking, you get the highest level of performance."
I read those words in 2009 and could not agree more. It inspired me to read three additional books on open-book management. At that time MyITpros was in the early stages of the Game, which in our case began with our leadership team of three people.
As we have built our financial management skills through the last five years, we have grown an average of 25 percent per year in the midst of a recession. In 2012, we blew away our budget targets by growing our top line revenue by 36 percent.
Of course, open-book management is not the only piece of the puzzle, but it’s a very powerful piece.
Since Jack Stack published The Great Game of Business in 1992, SRC Holdings has hosted more than 4,000 companies from all over the world to teach them the essential concepts of open-book management.
This month, I visited Springfield, Missouri for the SRC Experience. It is a two day, full immersion into the Game held six times each year. I met Stack, toured an SRC facility, attended workshops and learned a lot about taking open-book management to the next level in our business.
One more quote from Stack: “Ownership is not a set of legal rights. It's a state of mind. You can't give people that state of mind in one fell swoop. You can only nurture it through a process of education.”
That’s why I’m here. It’s one thing to teach financial statement management to your leadership team – it’s quite another thing to open your books and present financial information – both good and bad – with the proper context to make it real and meaningful at every level in an organization.
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