In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
City & State:
Question: Love your piece on Jack Stack and SRC Holdings (watch here and here). I'm interested in the open book management policy. Is there more info somewhere on how to do that with staff -- does one share ALL financial info etc?
Paul Solman: Lots more information, all over the Internet, including a Wikipedia entry. The phrase itself was coined by John Case in 1993 after both he and fellow Inc. magazine writer Bo Burlingham had been introduced to Jack Stack and SRC. (It was Bo who called me in the late '80s and said, approximately: "There's a story you have to do." It was the story of Stack and his Great Game of Business, which has become its own spin-off company, teaching open-book techniques to small businesses. Like Yellow Dot Designs, perhaps?
An interesting side note (or at least it's interesting to me): Burlingham, Case and for that matter your humble economics correspondent, were all left-wing journalists in the 1970s -- "left-wing" in the original sense of the term: in favor, that is, of more, rather than less, equality of income and wealth. (The term comes from the French National Assembly of 1789, where the clergy and nobility sat on the right; the bourgeoisie, representing common society and its economic complaints, on the left.) We were all friends as well.