This case outlines the origins of Open Book Finance, its core elements, and its implementation at Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan.Open Book Finance is a philosophy of management developed by Jack Stack, CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation in Springfield, Missouri. Open Book Finance is based on the premise that business is essentially a game—one that almost anyone can learn to play. As with most games, people must understand the rules; they must receive enough information to follow the action and keep score; and they must have the opportunity to win or lose (have a stake in the outcome). Stack’s philosophy was described in his book, The Great Game of Business. This philosophy spawned a movement of like-minded companies (many of whom have regularly attended a “Gathering of Games” conference in St. Louis, Missouri, each spring since 1993) who are dedicated to implementing an Open Book Finance model in their organizations.
Open Book Finance
by: Ryan Smerek, Wayne Baker
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After reading and discussing the material, students should:
- Understand the basic elements of Open Book Finance and how it originated.
- Analyze the challenges that arise when implementing Open Book Finance in a real business.
- Analyze the benefits versus the costs of implementing an Open Book Finance model.
- Discuss whether or not Open Book Finance is right for every organization.