When Jack Stack and his colleagues bought Springfield Remanufacturing from the failing International Harvester Corporation in 1983, he stepped into a company that had huge problems. Sales had slowed to a trickle, overhead costs were through the roof, and the company’s stock price was an abysmal $.10 a share.
To put it lightly: Springfield Manufacturing was in a crisis.
Yet within 10 years, Stack had turned the company around, increasing sales ten-fold and sending the company’s stock price over $20 a share. How did he do this in such a short amount of time? By stepping into the situation with a solid set of professional values. He believed that the biggest gap in business was between management and the workers, and that without closing this gap it was impossible for a business to succeed. He believed that every person at every level needs to feel responsible for the well-being of the company, or else the business will be like a tall stack of pancakes; eventually it’s gonna fall.