Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham

The Great Game of Business

People versus profit. For some this is not a debate, profit always wins, right? For Compassionate Leaders, this conflict is always tangible and ever present. We absolutely love The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham as a tool to work through this conflict in a productive and meaningful way.

In the past we only had to worry about shareholders, but now, in our environment, we need to look at the whole ecosystem. And people are at the heart of the ecosystem. Yet the challenge with people, is that if you ask for input and opinion, you rarely get everyone to agree, except when it comes to winning. Everybody wants to win. And nobody likes to lose.

The Great Game of Business taps into the power of the game mindset to resolve the people-profit conflict. It provides insight into how to shift from a command-and-control approach to leadership to one that taps into the competitive spirit of every person. When we play games, it feels like fun and not ‘boring’ work. It’s a hook that switches on our deep desire to win the game while having fun.

At the heart of this approach is the power of ‘open book management’, built on three key principles. Firstly, the team needs to deeply understand what makes the business successful, the measures and drivers. Secondly, the team must have the authority and capability to improve performance plus be expected to do so. Thirdly, every team member must have skin in the game, or a direct stake in both winning and losing.

So The Great Game of Business gives an organisation great input on how to achieve deep levels of accountability and exponential financial performance. It’s not a quick fix process. It’s a process that takes a turnaround in culture and in knowledge that is used throughout the organisation to focus on the right things. We have seen the massive leaps a team can do by applying this approach in playing good games and winning for the right reasons.

To find out more information about this book, visit Amazon HERE, or even better, order your copy at your local bookstore.


If leaders are so important, then how come we aren’t teaching people to lead all the time?

Ann’s Favourite Quote From The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham