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Great Game of Business comes to SBJ pages

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Right up front, you should know I'm a believer.

Open-book management is practiced at the Springfield Business Journal. The stories of its application in the companies of Springfield ReManufacturing Corp. are fantastic tales of success. Both the theory and practice of this idea promulgated by SRC President Jack Stack are, in my mind, important and true.

I've read the books, the columns and the articles. I've heard Stack speak. I've participated in our own use of open-book management. And I've been persuaded in reportorial conversations with Stack of his sincerity and vision.

Still, I had not been immersed in The Great Game of Business, the name by which SRC companies conduct open-book management.

In April I joined about 30 people in a two-day seminar at SRC's building on East Division, home to its corporate headquarters, as well as The Great Game of Business subsidiary. Participants were from around the country as well as Springfield, and represented a diversity of industry.

All SRC employees are encouraged to go through the training. I shared a table throughout the seminar with people from SRC subsidiary Newstream Enterprises. These are not just top-line management types, but employees throughout the company, as you would expect if you know anything about The Great Game.

My goal in attending was twofold.

First, I wanted to learn more about The Great Game of Business subsidiary. Why do so many people travel to Springfield from the corners of the country indeed, the globe to learn about this management philosophy? In addition, I knew the seminar would be a further education for me about SRC companies, a subject I cannot know too much about in my position.

Second, I hoped to learn more about open-book management and how we might better practice it in our company.

Those goals were met. And then some.

Stack had previously impressed me with the vigor of his vision. A conversation we had before Thanksgiving last year was notable for the passion he brings to the larger ideas represented by SRC. The company is employee-owned. Indeed, that is its essence and is the key point of the company's inception and its rise from certain extinction in its previous incarnation as a small cog in the behemoth machinery of corporate America.

Stack spoke about ownership, its merits and its possibility for wealth creation. SBJ readers understand that equity ownership, as Stack said, is the difference between the haves and the have-nots. Employee ownership, open-book management and The Great Game aim to address this while improving performance.

I learned from my tablemates at the seminar, from SRC corporate presenters, from Heavy Duty line employees during a visit to their plant, and from MegaVolt managers in a real-life weekly meeting, that this Great Game is more than mere platitude. It works[[In-content Ad]]

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