George Bush visits Team Member, Jack Stack and the Great Game of Business.

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The Great Game of Business

Jeff Payne and Bill Fotsch

The Great Game of Business is a subsidiary of Springfield ReManufacturing Corporation (SRC), a Missouri company featured in numerous national media stories such as: Eye On America (CBS News) with Dan Rather, The McNeil Lehrer Report, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Inc Magazine (cover story) and
Business Week. They have also been the subject of many national and local newspaper articles. Since SRC’s President (Jack Stack) developed this now famous management style, he has written two best-selling books on the topic: The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome.

He has empowered Mr. Payne, Mr. Fotsch and their team to market and implement this unique management style to inculcate what could be considered the most productive and rewarding corporate culture in the nation. By changing the paradigm of employees to an ownership mentality — empowering employees through the ‘Great Game’ and stock ownership has driven sharply increased productivity, versatility and innovation. Over the past 10 years, they have worked with hundreds of companies, in a broad array of industries, resulting in success stories consistent with the dramatic financial improvement that has been the legacy of SRC. Clients have included several companies on Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Places to Work — including Southwest Airlines, Harley-Davidson and UPS, to name a few.

The success of SRC is best evidenced by their own history. In 1983, Jack Stack and twelve fellow members of management scraped together $100,000 and acquired the company from International Harvester for $9 million with an 89 to 1 debt-to-equity ratio. Jack then installed an ESOP and set about creating a corporate culture wherein all employees of SRC were taught to read, understand, and contribute to, the balance sheet. By using a formula of both short and long-term incentives and exemplary leadership and motivation, SRC’s stock value has gone from 10¢ a share to $84.00 with more than 47% of the company now owned by the ESOP. Additionally, SRC Holdings now boasts 18 subsidiaries that are operated by managers who were formerly hourly wage employees, including the Great Game subsidiary. The company has gone from 117 employees to over 800 and now enjoys revenues of over $160 million. As a result, (to paraphrase Dan Rather) SRC in Springfield, Missouri is probably the only place in America to which investment bankers now routinely travel to hear the wisdom of ten-dollar-an-hour machinists.

The Great Game of Business

Jeff Payne, President

Bill Fotsch, V.P.

ESOP Association
NCEO Kelso