Critical Numbers: With Jack Stack
Stack and the employees of SRC Holdings Corp. are recognized as some of the country's most innovative thinkers of new business models. From open-book management, to employee management, to fostering innovation, Stack offers his best strategies for running a successful business.
Jack Stack is president and CEO of SRC Holdings Corp., formerly Springfield Remanufacturing Corp., based in Springfield, Mo. Stack and the employees of SRC are recognized as some of the country's most innovative thinkers of new business models.
The company's style of open-book management -- where all financial information is open for everyone to know, talk about, and focus on -- is summarized in Stack's book The Great Game of Business (Doubleday/Currency, 1992), coauthored with Inc editor at large Bo Burlingham. The book and its related seminars and training programs have attracted attention from companies around the world that are eager to study this unique method of operating.
Stack explored open-book management techniques in his Critical Numbers column for Inc. Below is a listing of those pieces as well as articles about Stack himself.
Photo by Kelly E. Rogers
Columns and Articles by or about Jack Stack
- The Training Myth
- The most valuable employee training usually comes from on-the-job experience, not from a formal training session. Here's how to empower employees to learn for themselves.
- The Next in Line
- Stack explains how a succession-planning program for all employees can help alleviate staffing shortages at a fast-growing company. (April 1998)
- A Passion for Forecasting
- Generating an accurate annual sales forecast will save you from wreaking havoc in your company next year. (November 1997)
- Stay the Course
- Never, never, never change your annual plan in the middle of the year, no matter how far off it proves to be. You have to stick with it, measure your performance against it, and keep everyone focused on the deviations -- even if it hurts. To do otherwise is to admit that it's all right to fail. (June 1997)
- The Curse of the Annual Performance Review
- There is only one good reason for having annual performance reviews: to hold people accountable for the commitments they make to the other members of the organization at the beginning of the year. (March 1997)
- Measuring Morale
- Employee satisfaction is supposedly an intangible, something you can't put a number on or give a score for. The truth is that there is only one way to know how morale is at your company: ask the people who work there. (January 1997)
- The Problem with Profit Sharing
- Stack explains why most variable-pay plans -- except one -- fail to deliver results. (November 1996)
- Dear Presidential Candidates
- An open letter asking presidential candidates to stop debating the economic problems of the past and instead focus on the future for a change. (September 1996)
- That Championship Season
- Most managers think it's their job to deal with the big problems. But a company stands a much better chance of winning if everyone knows the score -- and what it takes to win. (July 1996)
- Mad About Layoffs
- The conventional wisdom that layoffs are inevitable is nuts. Layoffs destroy the mutual trust and respect needed to make a company successful and are a sure sign of management failure. (May 1996)
- The Logic of Profit
- A businessperson's most critical numbers may not be found on the bottom line. It's tough to make money in any business if you don't know what your critical number is -- and how to use it. (March 1996)
- Economy 1996 Face-Off
- Entrepreneurs and Inc columnists Jack Stack and Norm Brodsky discuss the 1996 economy, leaving readers with two completely different outlooks. (January 1996)
- Being the Boss
- Jack Stack tells why he hates the traditional relationship between workers and bosses and offers his solution. (October 1989)
- The Turnaround
- How a dying division of International Harvester became one of America's most competitive small companies. (August 1986)