• Joe Rizzo. Director of the New England Lean

The Great Game of Business


Another family-owned business, Colonial Mills in Pawtucket, RI, uses the book, “The Great Game of Business” by Jack Stack to manage and run their business. Colonial Mills was started by Don and Greg Scarlata in 1979. Colonial Mills designs and manufactures a wide spectrum of braided rugs, storage baskets and accessories. They are proud of their heritage and proud of the fact that all product is manufactured in the United States.

The “Great Game” is defined as:

The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the final outcome, good or bad.

  • We show them how to keep score and follow the action

  • We give them the information they need to do both

  • We also give them a big stake in the outcome – in the form of equity, profits and opportunities to move ahead

Other sections of the book include:

  • Why We Play the Game

  • Myths of Management

  • The Feeling of a Winner – Creating a Team

  • The Big Picture

  • Open-Book Management

  • Setting Standards

  • Skip the Praise – Give us the Raise

  • Coming Up with the Game Plan

  • The Great Huddle

  • Tips for Holding a Huddle

  • A Company of Owners

  • The Five Tools in the Great Game Kit

There is no question that this phiosopy and methodology has worked well for Colonial Mills. It is a very successful business and there was definitely a feeling of ownership and pride in the workers as I took the plant tour and had a chance to talk with several of the operators.

I highly recommend the book, “The Great Game of Business” by Jack Stack to all members of the New England Lean Consortium.


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