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Business Games

Posted On: 2006-12-23
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Hello, welcome to another edition of the Duct Tape marketing podcast. This is your host, John Jantsch, and my guest today is Jack Stack, the president and CEO of SRC Holdings Corporation in Springfield, Missouri. And author, or I should say co-author, of "The Great Game of Business" with Beau Burlingham. So, welcome Jack!

Welcome, it's nice to be here. Thank you for the invitation.

You bet. So, I want to jump right in and get on my soapbox before I let you explain the great game, and that is, I think that is, I read the book is written, what 1994?

Yes sir.

I read it sometime around that period. I must admit I have owned my own business for longer than that, and I think the concept of game is just right on in terms of what businesses, but the unfortunate thing, I found, is that for many companies it's a really boring game because there are no rules and no way to win. And I think that that's what you nailed, I mean in the Great Game of Business. In 1994, did the term "open book management" even exist?

No. I had worked for a Fortune 500 company for 14 years and in those 14 years, they gave me a great education in terms of how to making a product, or making a service, but they never taught me how to make a company. And in those 14 years, I was mostly my key performance measurements or indexes were all centered around products and services, nothing, no metrics relative to the business. And I was at that 60-70 era where I really wanted to find something where it can motivate people, it can engage people, and I tried everything. I tried lights, I tried total quality management systems, any guru that wrote a book, I tried it, and it just didn't work. And then the company failed and we were put on the chopping block, and I tried to save the company, my company that I planted, I was working for, and in that process I went out to try to borrow money, and there was a whole new metric system out there. And I was blown away that in the 14 years I had been with that company, they never taught me the metrics of business. And so I did two years trying to borrow money, writing all kinds of business plans, and I got angry every time I got turned down for a loan. Angry at the company that I had worked for 14 years because they never thought that I could understand the metrics of business, and had they taught me that, I probably could have gone to those people on the floor and said, you know if you learn this it could change your life forever. And so I promised myself and God that if I ever got this company I'd teach people the metrics of business, and appeal to a higher level of thinking, and as a result of that I bet I'll get higher levels of performance. But the bottom line was that I had to find something truly intriguing that I thought wealthy people really knew, and have nots had no idea what it was, and I thought that the difference between the haves and have nots was that we ought to be teaching the have nots how the haves made it. And so for the last...

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